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Patron of the Week: Mrs. Distant-Ship’s-Smoke-On-The-Horizon

This week’s Patron of the Week comes from the Land of the Spaced Out.

Please give a warm welcome to Mrs. Distant-Ship’s-Smoke-On-The- Horizon.

She had to pay fines totaling $3.40 for both her and her daughter. She gave me $5.50 and after entering it on the register and putting the money in the drawer, I proceeded to divvy out the $2.10 in change. When I told her: “Here’s your change,” she gave me a blank stare and I said again, “Here’s your change,” followed by the amount, “$2.10.”

It was then she told me this:

“Sorry, I saw your lips moving, but I didn’t hear what you were saying.”

I had two thoughts almost simultaneously collide in my skull:

  1. Wow. I just got bitch slapped by a patron. She might as well have said: “You truly are the most boring person I’ve ever met — bar none. Even the bagger in the checkout line at the supermarket is more scintillating than you are.”
  2. “Your lips move/ But I can’t hear what you’re saying.” Followed by “When I was a child/ I had a fever/ My hands felt just like/ Two balloons…”

Only after she left did I think of what I should have said, but didn’t:

“Ma’am, the next time you come into the library, it might be a good idea not to be high.”

Instead, I just told her I was letting her know how much change I was giving her, followed by the standard:

Have a nice day.

10 responses to “Patron of the Week: Mrs. Distant-Ship’s-Smoke-On-The-Horizon

  1. Or it could be that she is a mother and completely worn out because her kids take every last ounce of energy and thought she has. Often at the grocery store when I only have an item or two the person in line ahead of me with a full cart will ask if I want to go ahead because I only have an item or two (did I repeat myself?) I don’t because that is the only time I can stand there and just get lost in my rather vapid and aimless thoughts. It’s kinda like drugs but not nearly as much fun.

    • I think she has one kid, but as someone who doesn’t have even one kid, I guess it’s possible. Of course, I have vapid and aimless thoughts all the time, so I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on her.

  2. Dear, that was one of your truly good works for lent! Thank you!

  3. Of course, I meant “her hearing” not here hearing. But you already knew that.

  4. Poor thing. It may be her hearing. Or it could be her concentration on other matters. Or it could be that you were using that creepy whispery “Library Voice”.

    • She wasn’t that old. Personally, I like the drugs angle better than just blaming it on lack of concentration.

      Oh, you don’t know our library, we don’t whisper in our library. We’re all chatterboxes. Sometimes the patrons have to ask us to shut up. 😉

  5. Dude! That $2.10 was your tip!