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one of those nights

A patron just came up to the desk and asked me, "What time would 10:40 be?"

I have to admit that this question threw me a bit. I would guess that 10:40 is the time that 10:40 would be, generally speaking. So I said, "I'm sorry, I don't understand your question. What do you mean?"

He repeated, "I need to know what time 10:40 is."

After a few rounds of this, he said he was talking about Pacific time. He had an eBay auction he was bidding on, and needed to know what 10:40 Pacific is in our time zone. They're one hour behind us, so it would be 11:40. Then we had a few back-and-forths on that point, and eventually he wandered off.

Sometimes, this job is just kind of surreal.


right after I posted that, I got a patron who told me about the numerical significance of everything in his life, including his social security number, the dates he enlisted and got out of the military, the date the South fell, and the number of signers of the Declarations of Independence and Indulgence. Turns out he wanted a biography of Philip Massinger, a contemporary of Shakespeare. "The one connection Britain had with the Colonies was Shakespeare!" the patron declared repeatedly. So apparently Shakespeare was behind this whole American Revolution thing, and he's going to get to the bottom of it. I gave him a call number and wished him good luck :-)