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.