The elderly gentleman wore a white Guayabera, a man’s shirt popular in Latin and Asian countries, and walked briskly towards me at the Reference Desk. I have to admit, from past experiences, because of the way he was dressed AND his age, I prepared myself to focus on a heavy Spanish accent (Before I get any hate mail, my grandfather wore Guayaberas, and he was from a Latin American country). But nothing could prepare me for what I heard. The first sounds out of his mouth weren’t English or Spanish. They weren’t even Spanglish.
Elderly gentleman (in a loud voice): “Chair Lee Ho. D-B-D. Chair Lee Ho.”
Me: You want a DVD?
Elderly gentleman: (nods head excitedly) “Chair Lee Ho!”
I glance at my normal hearing coworker and he shrugs his shoulders, indicating he has no clue what the man is saying, either.
Me: (handing the gentleman a paper and pen) “I’m not quite getting the title. Can you write that down for me?”
Elderly gentleman: (looking offended) “Chair Lee Ho! Okay, I write!” He writes down the printed version of “Chair Lee Ho,” triumphantly hands the paper to me with a big smile, and once again says, “Chair Lee Ho!”
Me: (trying not to laugh) You want a Sherlock Holmes DVD?”
Elderly gentleman: (grinning from ear to ear) “Yes! Chair Lee Ho! Chair Lee Ho!”
Sometimes you have to be Sherlock Holmes just to understand people in the Library!