Patron: You know your nametag is upside down.
Me: Yeah, that’s so I can read it. How else will I know who I am?
Patron (looking at his own embroidered name on his uniform): My name is right side up.
Me: That’s too bad. How are you supposed to remember your name that way?
Patron: You’re right. I should get them to change it.
He tried to pronounce his name backward and we laughed.
I took the nametag off and put it in my pocket. I was done with the nametag, which was clearly far too complicated for my simple mind.
Me: I can’t believe I’ve been out here for hours and hours and no one told me my name was upside down. Ah, well, I don’t want anyone to know my name anyway.
Patron: I know your name.
Me: Well you’re special.
Patron: So, how long have you been a librarian?
Me: Well, I’ve worked here 18 years, but I’ve only been a librarian for about the last 3 years.
Patron: And you’re the naughty librarian, eh?
Me (in mock horror): ME!? Who told you about me?
Patron: Oh, no one had to tell me. I can see it in your smile. I knew it right away – yep, naughty librarian.
Damn, my cover’s blown.
Patron: Don’t you guys have a Halloween section?
Me: What kind of Halloween stuff are you looking for?
Patron: Good ol’ fashioned Halloween stuff.
Me: Oh, that kind. No. Sorry. You’re too late. We’re already prepping for Christmas now. We’re like the stores, you know? And I’m not talking about Christmas this year. We’re working on Christmas for 2011. You’re already over a year behind for Christmas, and for Halloween this year – pshaw! You should’ve seen us in April of 2009. What’s the matter with you?
Patron: I guess I just didn’t realize…
Me: Well, now you do.
Patron: Funny girl. That’s why I come to you with all my questions. And why isn’t there anything for grownups for Halloween anymore?
Me: Sure there is. Halloween stuff falls into two categories these days: little kid stuff and slutty stuff. The sluttier, the better. Costumes give women the opportunity to be total whores and just bat their eyelashes and say, “But it’s just a costume. I’m not really this slutty.” Uh-huh. So, are you looking for the slutty Halloween section?
Patron: OHMYGOD, you’re right! Costumes are getting sluttier!
Me: I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been said before.
Patron: Actually, I’m looking for CDs with spooky sound effects. Where would those be?
Me: Slutty spooky sound effects?
Patron: Uh, no, probably not.
Me: Kids stuff. See how it works?
Patron: Oh man, I think you just ruined Halloween for me.
Me: DUDE, it’s the sluttiest season there is. Enjoy it!
Patron (laughing): You’re right! Tits and ass everywhere! What’s not to love?!
Patron: I need some information on clarinets. The parts of them. You can look that up, but I have to go to the washroom, so I’ll be right back.
Me: You better.
He looked at me for a moment as if he didn’t understand those two simple words I just uttered and then realized I was joking and made a very lame attempt at a forced laugh.
I looked at Marina.
Me: He’s scared of me now. Bwahahaha! Score! I bet he doesn’t come back.
Marina: He may not.
He did. We spent the next half hour cracking jokes, and he taught me about why they prefer Beechler mouthpieces in Mexico.
I guess I didn’t scare him – threatening him made him feel more at ease.
My patrons are weird.
When they’re weird in a good way and we bond, I just love my patrons.