He said "I have some terrible news." I was finishing the check-out with a patron, so I said, "Yikes, give me a second to prepare myself." When we were alone, I took a deep breath and said, "Okay." I was pretty sure Dustin was going to tell me about one of our patrons being hurt or killed. "I totally ruined the copy of Hellboy you lent me," he said. "It got wet in the rain, and now the pages are all stuck together and it's a mess."
I just about hugged him. "Listen," I told him. "I operate this library based on the hope that patrons will do their best to get books back to me, but on the assumption that they have bigger things to worry about than that book. Please don't worry about it."
He was unconvinced. He still felt terrible about it, and wouldn't check out another book for the day. He did agree to be photographed with the library card from the Hellboy pocket, though.
Thanks again for coming around, Dustin.