Patron of the Week: Mrs. I’ve-Got-A-Live-Parrot-On-My-Shoulder

Graphic for button from New Media Consortium on Flickr

This week’s Patron of the Week comes from the Land of Last Second Contestants.

Please welcome Mrs. I’ve-Got-A-Live-Parrot-On-My-Shoulder.

It was 10 of 5 p.m. yesterday right before we closed when she walked in right past me — it didn’t dawn on me right away, but then I turned around and saw it: a live parrot on her…wait for it, wait for it…right shoulder.

Normally, we don’t allow pets into the library unless it’s a guide dog, so I almost asked, “Excuse me, ma’am, is that a guide bird?” But I couldn’t bring myself to say the improbable words, which probably would have sent me into paroxysms of laughter. Instead my co-worker and I just watched as she came to the check-out desk.

She asked if she could use a public computer.

“Well, the computers shut down at 10 of 5.”

“What time is it now?”

“Um, 10 of 5.”

She then said she’d just get a couple of movies and asked for two Alfred Hitchcock movies specifically by name as if we were Netflix and could just pull them up from our vast warehouses. Naturally, being a small town library, we didn’t have either one — in fact, the only Alfred Hitchcock we do have is in our basement, still on videotape.

She did manage, though, to find two movies and brought them to the desk. At the time, I was on the other side of the main room and said to her back (with the parrot perched on her right shoulder):

“You just want to make sure you bring the movies back on time. The fine is a $1 a day and don’t leave them in the drop box, because the fine is $5 for each movie.”

I tell people that as a courtesy so they’re not surprised by fees they didn’t expect. Of course, as fate would have it, as she was checking out the movies, my co-worker told her that she had $20 in fines because the last time she came to the library, we hadn’t been open and she had dropped the DVDs in the drop box.

Before she left, my coworker asked the patron if the parrot talked (I almost expected my coworker to ask her if her parrot bites, which definitely would have sent me into those aforementioned paroxysms of laughter) and the woman said it did. However, she didn’t have the parrot talk to us so we don’t know if she was telling the truth.


This morning my wife turned on the computer to see this on the Google homepage:

She asked me if today had some significance for pirates and if maybe that’s what the woman was celebrating. While today in 1850, Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island, was born, somehow I don’t think that’s what this week’s Patron of the Week was celebrating. Of course, working in a library and having a woman with a parrot come into the library the day before his birthday, I would like to think so. At least, then part of her visit might have made some semblance of sense.

The only thing I do know about yesterday is that the parrot wasn’t a Norwegian Blue. <– You really thought I’d get away without referencing this famous sketch? Not likely.

12 responses to “Patron of the Week: Mrs. I’ve-Got-A-Live-Parrot-On-My-Shoulder

  1. P.P.S. — I’m glad I’m not the only person in the universe who help but think of Monty Python every time I see a parrot.

    • unfinishedrambler

      Partially, thank my wife. She can quote Monty Python ad nauseam, and with the accents too. To be honest, I can’t take many things British too seriously after Monty Python. I almost go into those paroxysms of laughter, of which I talked earlier, every time I hear a British person speak in an interview. I can’t help myself.

  2. P.S. — What a strange coincidence about the pirates and Robert Louis Stevenson and all that. Life is strange, sometimes.

  3. I used to live near a park in downtown Denver that was frequented by a shirtless man with a talking parrot on his shoulder, although I can’t remember which shoulder. Why it didn’t fly away, I couldn’t understand. But then, I can’t understand why anybody would walk around with a parrot on their shoulder. I would find it enormously irritating and distracting, partly because I’d constantly be worried that it was about to poop on me. I hate being pooped on.

    • unfinishedrambler

      Well, if HE had come into the library without a shirt, THEN we would have had a legitimate reason to ask him to leave. The parrot, though, on the woman’s shoulder, just threw my co-worker and I for a loop and we didn’t know what to do.

      I think we all are with you on the “being pooped on” part. At least, I hope we are.

  4. Uhm, did you get them both pierced, Rambler? Parrots are gay blades to begin with. I like it when they talk. If that parrot had started quoting Tolstoy, you would have had a better impression of it’s owner.

    • unfinishedrambler

      Speaking of linguistically, I must say that was a nice catch. I could have meant both ears, but no, I didn’t get either or both ears pierced. In fact, I’ve never had any body part pierced.

      If it had started quoting Tolstoy, what would you have deduced about its owner? šŸ™‚

  5. Pingback: Exploring the House Without A Key (TSS) | an unfinished person (in this unfinished universe)

  6. I don’t understand, is there a difference of which shoulder the parrot sits on? Kind of like when a guy gets his ear pierced, there’s the “gay” ear. Is there a “gay” parrot sitting shoulder?

    • unfinishedrambler

      I don’t think so. I was just being odd linguistically or is that dictionally. Either way, I just noticed I had kept using the word “right” and was going to edit it out, but then decided to keep using it — even if it was my own private joke. <– Explanation of the comedy process <– Means it's not funny. šŸ˜¦

      Personally, I never got which one was supposed to be the "gay" ear. Of course, I never had one of my ears pierced so didn't have to "worry" about that.