It’s an old wheeze here by now, but the full moon – maybe in conjunction with May Day? – seemed to have an extra strong effect this month. People seemed to be unhinged – Teddy Bear Man was shaking and apologizing and groaning instead of speaking.
The craziness was coming thick and fast. First Mr. Hyperspeed came in. He was waving a pile of papers around, dropping them on the desk, on the floor, on the keyboard. He kept repeating himself, “The place closes at 6:30. I have 900 dollars in there, but can’t get to it – it’s embarrassing with people behind you in the ATM line. The woman said to call her with my email address and they’d send me a new PIN number. I gotta get an email address – the placesclosesat6:30Ihave900dollarsinthere....”
He was repeating this about three times a minute, flapping his hands and waving his papers and speeding up every time. I got him to an internet station. “Sir, this is where you sign up for email,” I said, trying to get him to sit down. “Can’t you do it for me? I don’t know nothing about computers.” “You need to give me the information, sir.” He flapped the whole pile of papers into my hand and said, “All my information is right there.”
We got him into Yahoo, got his name in there, figured out an account name. “Congratulations!” the screen said, “This ID is available.” He wrote it down at hyperspeed and jumped out of the chair. “That’s my email, right?” he asked. “I’m going to go call her and tell her that’s my email.”
“Wait, sir! We have to finish signing you up before it will register!” but he was already gone to the pay phones. One security question option is your father’s middle name. One of the papers he thrust at me was his birth certificate, which had his father’s first name, but not middle. I just used the first name – I didn’t know what school he went to or his favorite sports team.....
He came flapping back in. “That man won’t get off the phone,” he said. “I got to call them before 6:30...” He drifted off as I continued filling out the email form.
When I looked up, he was at the desk, using the phone there. I walked over with the pile of papers. “Here,” he said, thrusting the phone at me. “You talk to her.”
“Sir? Who is it?” I asked him. “It’s the credit card company,” he said. “Tell them I need a new PIN, they told me to call by 6:30 with my email address....”
I explained the situation to the woman and she said, “Can I speak to the card holder, please?”
He finally finished with her and said, “I’ll be back in 15 minutes – she said they’d email me a pin. Thankyousomuchforyourhelp,” and he sped out the door.
In the 15 minutes that he was gone, Quiet and Classy Librarian was approached by a woman who was sort of glassy-eyed and shaking a little bit. “Where are your books for people who hear voices?” she asked.
I took a call from a woman who began with, “The library has never let me down.”
“I have a new kitten. And I have a hole in my wall. The kitten went into the hole. How do I get her out?”
Wow. This is a library question? I guess so – someone is asking me....
“Have you tried putting down some fancy cat food? Maybe that would lure her out,” I said.
“Well, she likes cheese. But she just took the piece closest to her and ran back in the hole,” the lady said. “What about catnip?”
“Um, I don’t think I’d recommend that,” I said. “It sort of makes them go crazy.”
“Well, I’ll try the cat food, then,” she said. “Thank you.”
“Hithere,” Mr. Hyperspeed said.“Can you help me get into my email? Ican’trememberallthatstuffyousaid.”
“Sure thing.” I sat down and got him into his email. “Here’s the message from the bank, sir.”
“Can you just read it to me? I forgot my glasses.”
Of course. I know his email password and mother’s maiden name. Why not his PIN, too?
He thrust the pile of papers back into my hand and asked me to write it down. I did, then asked if he wanted me to sign him out.
“Ohyesplease,” he said. “I really appreciate all your help. Can I buy you a soda or something for your trouble?”
Hm, tips at the Reference Desk? That’s just too crazy.
I’m glad it’s a month between full moons.