Another library story

Between years at college I worked at the hometown library. One week I was assigned to the children’s room. It hadn’t changed much since I first walked in there as a six-year-old. 

I was shelving thin books with lots of pictures and behind the books on the bottom shelf I saw something crooked leaning against the wall. I felt for it and pulled it out. It was a digest-sized magazine of erotic letters. No pictures, just x-rated descriptions of sex. I hid it inside a book and smuggled it home. 

It was disappointing. I’m sure I read every page but I was too critical to get anything out of it. One item described a woman who was so aroused that her nipples stuck out “one and a quarter inches.” That couldn’t be right, I read it again. It was the same, 1.25 inches. That couldn’t be. It made me think of being at a diner at the cash register where there's a spike on the counter on which they stick the paid receipts. Weren’t there any fact checkers on the editorial board of this periodical, or was that only for the New Yorker?