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:
- 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.”
- “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.