In his Inferno, Dante details the nine circles of Hell, each circle increasing in wickedness:
I remember reading this in college and thinking, “How interesting—Fraud and Treachery are worse than anything!”*
Oh, no, Dear Reader. There is one thing worse than even those wicked acts. Something far more heinous and abominable.
Tearing pages from library books.
I did my research** and found Her Royal Baking Majesty Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Cake Bible. I just knew this was what I was looking for: an excellent book on baking cakes. With a few keystrokes, I placed the book on hold and waited, hoping it would arrive in time for the 4th of July so I would have a day to bake a fabulous cake from this highly regarded cookbook. The book arrived on the 3rd, and I took it home and immediately began flipping through it. Oh, what cake will I try? Oooh! Here’s a good one, and Birnbaum recommends a buttercream frosting. I’ll just look at that recipe to see if I have everything to make it-
DOH! Someone had ripped out the pages of the basic buttercream recipe!
Upon further inspection***, I discovered that the fiend had also ripped out the pages of the key cake recipes:
Who would do such a thing? Was there no photocopier nearby? Did the brute not have a smartphone to snap a photo? If it meant that much, it would be a far better thing to steal the whole damn book than to disfigure it and then leave its remains for unsuspecting bakers to discover and flail upon.
So now I am debating whether to place a hold on a different copy of the book, or to find a different cookbook to work from, or (heaven forbid), just find something from the Internets.
*Yeah, I’m sure that is exactly what I was thinking. It was more likely along the lines of “What the $#@&? How did Dante get to that? Someone must have seriously screwed him over.”
**”Research” = searching Amazon for “Most Popular” “Cookbooks” “Baking” “NOT Kindle”
***”Inspection” = starting with the title page, looking for other missing pages because, you know, criminals don’t commit just one crime.