Friday, December 14, 2007

When Bad Patrons Go Good: Take 2 (Tales of the "Good" Patrons Week: Day 5)

I was mindin' my own at the circ desk when a brightly-dressed lady entered the building, approached the desk and set some Danielle Steel books down.

"I'm bringing these back," she said in a genial tone. Then she moved off toward the New Fiction section.

Now the lady looked a little familiar but I couldn't quite place her face. When I checked in the first book, though, the patron record of one Mrs. Carol Satan popped up.

I didn't want to believe it at first. My eyes said the record was hers, but my other senses, particularly my nose, usually detect her presence long before I actually lay eyes on her. Mrs. Carol Satan, you see, traditionally smells like a heaping bowl of that old Christmastime favorite, Aunt Linda's 3-Unfiltered-Lucky-Strikes Salad.

(RECIPE: In a large dirty ash-tray, mix together three packs of half-smoked, unfiltered Lucky Strikes, three 10 oz cans of Veg-All, a handful of Junior Mints and three cigarette-pack-cellophane-wrappers full of balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Toss. Serves seven.)
After a few minutes had passed, Mrs. Carol Satan returned to the circ desk with a stack of seven or eight hardback books. She placed them on the edge of the counter, but did so a bit faster than advisable, for the whole stack tumbled over, avalanching toward the back edge of the desk. Fortunately, my "liberry" ninja skills kicked in and I caught the whole tower before a single one could fall. What happened next, though, came completely as a shock.

"Oh, I'm SO sorry!" Mrs. Carol Satan said. And there was genuine regret in her voice as she said it. Granted, it was regret crusted over by layers of tar, but it was regret all the same. "I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to let them fall like that."

"That's... that's okay," I said.

Mrs. Carol Satan continued to be very nice as I checked out her books. First, she readily offered her library card without having to be asked, made chit-chat with me while I scanned and stamped each one and seemed remarkably pleasant for a woman who has repeatedly blessed me out for issues that were her own fault. She even smiled. SMILED! And still I couldn't smell any cigarette fumes coming off of her. In fact, she smelled... pretty good, really. Was this somehow a twin sister? Maybe a Mirror Universe escapee, sans goatee? Why was she being so nice to me?

And I still don't know. Mrs. Carol Satan gathered up her books when I was finished with them, wished me a good day and vanished through the doors, a smile still upon her lips. I was floored! This was a turnabout in behavior that could not possibly have been achieved without divine intervention, or at least a few visitations of the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, Future and Zyban.

Mrs. Carol Satan: recent divorcee?


Gardenbuzzy said...

I'm enjoying your tales of the good patrons. It's nice to know there are some good patrons out there in the world.

Anonymous said...

I always thought the smell of cigarettes was brimstone. I'll be surprised if Mr. Crab decides to donate $200 despite his earlier pronouncement.

Anonymous said...

Hi Juice, completely unrelated to this post, but have you seen these knitting patterns for Daleks? Maybe your mother in law can make you one for christmas!

Monster Library Student said...

Too funny.

Did you smell alcohol on her breath at all? That usually softens up the worst of our patrons. :)

Monster Library Student said...

Too funny.

Did you smell alcohol on her breath at all? That usually softens up the worst of our patrons. :)

MrAnonymous said...

So are you chomping at the bit to get back to writing about the weirdos and nasty patrons yet?

An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.