A patron walked up to my desk and stood there, staring at the side of my head.
"Hi," he said.
"Hi," I said back.
Then I noticed that he had drool running down his face and soaking into the first five inches of his shirt. He thrust a sweaty clutch of snapdragons at my face.
"These are for you."
"Um...Thanks." I accepted with hesitation, taking the bouquet with only two fingers and placing it gingerly on a piece of absorbent paper.
"What- do you think they're poisonous?" He seemed pretty upset that I hadn't clutched them to my bosom and swooned.
"Huh? No, I'm just putting them here for...later."
"Oh! Not poisonous!" he caterwauled, and snatched them back, bringing them to his mouth and taking a huge, crisp bite and chewing, somewhat messily, while smiling at me as though I had just given him permission to crap on the carpet.
"Sir, you might not wish to do that. In fact, you don't want to eat those. They might not be good for you." I had never encountered anything like this before. Usually the crazy people want to hurt you, not themselves. What was the protocol? I had no idea.
Luckily, the LA sitting next to me jumped up and reiterated my concerns, adding that she thought they might be poisonous.
She called the security officers while I Googled the possibility.
The man happily munched away on the snapdragons, pieces of petal falling from his wet face to land on his soppy shirt and behind him on the floor as he wandered in circles.
Security tried to talk to him and advise him to not down any more exotic plants, but he resisted their common sense advice, assuring them that he knew what he was doing by yelling "Not poisonous! Aphrodisiac!" before he stumbled away and out the door.
A later inspection of the snapdragon arrangement in the lobby confirmed that there was only one lonely stalk left, and that he could have been eating snapdragons all morning. But since he left without the chance to let us know if it was true, we can only speculate on the demise of the decoration.