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PALM LATITUDES

L.a. Speak

August 29, 1993|Kathleen Moloney

What they're whispering--a sample of library lingo:

8 o'clock: n . a person who comes in five minutes before closing with a difficult request. "I had an 8 o'clock last night who wanted to know how much the fingers on the Statue of Liberty weighed."

elephants: n . oversized volumes that don't fit on the regular shelves.

full-moon day: n . when an inordinate number of disturbed patrons visit.

juvie: n . the children's section. "She's been working in juvie for so long she sounds like Mr. Rogers."

mushroom head: n . a patron with big or heavily coiffed hair. "That mushroom head wants to know where Wyatt Earp lived in L.A."

n.o.s.: n. not on the shelf. "Last week's People magazine is n.o.s. "

purple sheet: n . a list of job opportunities in the Los Angeles library system or other administrative memos. From the color of the type produced by mimeograph machines. "With the freeze on hiring, the purple sheet looks pretty grim."

p.p.: n . problem patron. "I had a p.p. yesterday who wanted to call the mayor's office because there weren't any paper towels in the restroom."

stage four: adj . the worst degree of body odor, used to describe the emanations of some of the transients at the downtown library. "Grab a gas mask if you're going over to the map cases. There's a stage four patron there."

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