I work in a library. Never have I seen such rampant stupidity in what I consider a place of learning as I did today.
So a lady comes into the library and is just looking around like she's searching for something. I ask if I can help her and she looks over at me real fast like I surprised her.
She stares at me for several seconds, then points to a little potted plant on the desk. "What's that?"
I pull the identifying stake up a bit and tell her, "It's called Pothos Ivy. Popular as a housewarming plant due to its forgiving nature and air purification abilities. In fact, it is cited as one of the best plants for removing impurities from the air. Warning: keep away from animals and children. Toxic.' "
And even as I'm reading the warning part, she reaches way over the desk into my space, rips a leaf off and stuffs it in her mouth!
I am frozen for 1/10th of a second and then I'm yelling. Fuck library silence. Fuck people studying. I am yelling at the woman, telling her to spit it out, that the plant is poisonous.
The woman shoves me away, chewing hard and fast like a child who has a cookie and refuses to let the parent take it away from them. Then she swallows.
My manager comes out during my tirade, hears me yelling about this stupid bitch eating part of a poisonous plant and grabs the phone, calling for paramedics.
She's yelling at me, criticizing my ancestry, telling me what a horrible person I am, that I need to be quiet, that we're in a library, that I can't tell her what to do.
And as she's yelling over my yelling, the plant kicks in. The first thing that happens is that she vomits. I will say, with no irony or sarcasm, thank GOD she puked on the tile floor OUTSIDE the desk rather than all over my workspace. Chunks of the plant come up, and I have no damn idea if that will make it worse or better, but I'm just glad the plant is being expelled from her stomach.
Oh, hear that? It's no longer my ancestry in question, it's the library she's mad at now. Because she's going to sue us for deliberately poisoning her. (?!)
My boss is talking rapidly on the phone explaining what happened, he tells the dispatcher what happened and what is happening now. The woman's lips and tongue are swelling, and she's starting to wheeze as it starts to swell her esophagus.
Thankfully, an ambulance was nearby and "lady just ate poisonous plant' cracked the whip under their arses. They come in through the front door like a SWAT team into a crack house and get the woman on oxygen and start babbling bio info to one another while forcing her down. (She was doing this over dramatic flailing and wailing.)
They know her by first name, a name I happen to overhear.
This sends up a flag as I tend to read up on current court stuff during down time. Don't knock it; you find some of the dumbest and most hilarious lawsuit attempts ever doing this.
(For example: some asshole built a retaining wall between himself and his neighbor without proper drainage. When rain caused the retaining wall to buckle under the pressure of saturated ground, he tried to sue his neighbor, who had a tree near the wall. The judge was on record saying, "You built the wall without proper drainage. The tree had nothing to do with this. You sir, are mentally deficient, and I am dismissing your case." This is the kind of stuff I snicker over.)
Anyway, I put in her name and... yep. A few court documents I read last week details this woman. She has a history of lawsuits... all of them involving mildly toxic (but generally not fatal) plants and attempts to bilk the companies in court. I immediately grab a pen and paper and scratch out details and case numbers.
By the time a cop comes over to question me, I am smiling as I hand over a neat list and I explain to him exactly what happened. The woman is taken away and my boss invites the officer back to see the security footage of our front desk. Will I get to see the judge knock this idiot down live and in person, or will it be dismissed out of hand before it ever reaches court?
I don't know, but we've got a betting pool going.