[The following is a work of fiction. Only the final discovery is real. Any resemblance to the LP's behavior in the department office is entirely accidental.]
LP: It's 12:30 PM! I must check the mail for goodies!
[Skips merrily down the hall to the office, startling several innocent undergraduates.]
BWAHAHA! It's...a book box!
[Does celebratory dance while the fictional work-study student looks on in understandable bemusement.]
Whatever could have arrived for me today? Let's see...
[The box has been swathed in at least six layers of shipping tape.]
I need longer fingernails. [Attempts to peel off tape.] Is this a book, or a mummy? [Struggles frantically, knocking colleague's photocopies off the counter in the process.] I must have this book, or...or...I'll spend the rest of the day in my office, crying and eating Les Petits Ecoliers! And the Laws of Academic Calories do not apply! [Attacks tape with teeth, scaring a colleague who wanders in at the same moment.]
WORK-STUDY STUDENT: Um, Dr. LP...have you considered...scissors?
LP: Brilliant! [Assaults tape with scissors, but there's so much that the scissors can barely penetrate it.] To the last, I grapple with thee; from Hell's heart, I stab at thee; for hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee! [Stabs desperately at the package.]
VOICE OF WILLIAM SHATNER: KHAAAAAAN!
[They all stare at each other for a moment, then shrug.]
LP: I have it! The game is done, I've won, I've won!
[She opens the box, to reveal...]
OBSTACLE #2--SHIPPING PEANUTS
LP: There has to be a book in here somewhere. [Paws through shipping peanuts, which spill onto the floor.]
RANDOM FICTIONAL COLLEAGUE: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...
LP: Uh-huh. [Keeps looking for the book.] I think I'm being attacked. [Tries to detach peanuts from hair, fingers, and clothing, to no avail.] What are these, styrofoam leeches? Wait! I think I've found something...
[She reaches in, and extricates...]
OBSTACLE #3--CARDBOARD WRAPPER
LP: No! No! Not more tape! [Brief interval of sobbing; some students who have walked in quickly exit again.] But I am strong! I will prevail! Nothing gets between me and a book. Nothing, I say!
[She tears off the wrapper, and discovers...]
OBSTACLE #4--A BUBBLE-WRAP ENVELOPE
LP [panting, in a combination of ire and exhaustion]: This must be a super-duper awesome kind of book. [Punches the bag several times to make popping sounds.] In fact, it had better be worth all of my next month's salary. [Makes more popping sounds.] Open Sesame!
[She rips open the envelope, and finds...]
OBSTACLE #5--A PLASTIC BAG
LP [now in a decidedly grim mood]: I take it I'm supposed to suffocate myself with this? [Starts peeling away the bag.] Gr-r-r-, there go, my heart's abhorrence!
[Finally, she removes the bag. Lying within is...]
LP: An advanced reading copy? An advanced reading copy?? O day and night, but this is wondrous strange! This is supposed to be a hardcover first edition!!! [Begins to hyperventilate.] What have I done to deserve this? What??? [Bursts into tears of agony in the middle of the office.]
WORK-STUDY STUDENT: Have a Petit Ecolier.