• A Pain In The Nugget
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  • October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

    Category: History

    Customers who don’t remember history are not only doomed to repeat it, but in some of these stories, to completely rewrite it!

    Born Yesterday

    | Allentown, PA, USA | History

    (Several teenage patrons are reading the ‘What does your birthday mean?’ keychains.)

    Teenager #1: “Mine’s September 11th. Wasn’t that, like, a bad day in history or something?”

    Me: “How old are you guys?”

    All teens: “Thirteen!”

    (I do quick mental math. I realize they were only six when the twin towers fell.)

    Me: “Yes. It was a very bad day. Members of an extremist group hijacked some planes and–”

    (While reading a keychain from the day the Berlin Wall fell, the second teenager interrupts me.)

    Teenager #2: “Hey! What does ‘co-MUNE-ism’ mean?”

    Spaced Out

    | New Mexico, USA | History, Math & Science

    (I work in the astronomy section of my local natural history museum, which features several large NASA photos. A visitor approaches me and points at a picture of an astronaut doing a spacewalk.)

    Visitor: “What is that astronaut doing?”

    Me: “Oh, he’s doing a spacewalk.”

    Visitor: “You can walk…in space?!”

    Me: “Well, no. They just sort of float there while tethered to the spacecraft. They only do it when they need to exit the shuttle to do repairs.”

    Visitor: “Oh…” *points at a photo of Apollo 11 launching* “What’s that?”

    Me: “That’s Apollo 11 launching to put the first humans on the moon.”

    Visitor: “Oh…why didn’t they just build a big ladder?”

    Little Nuggets Of Interest

    | Dublin, Ireland | Awesome Customers, Family & Kids, History

    (I am providing a tour through Ireland and explaining its history.)

    Me: “…and then the Danish Vikings and the Norse Vikings got together, and created the most fantastic thing in the world. Does anyone know what that is?”

    Young passenger: “Chicken nuggets!”

    Me: “I was going to say red hair, but that answer just blows mine out of the water!”

    So Pho, So Crazy

    | London, UK | At The Checkout, Bigotry, History, Language & Words, Top

    (I am working the tills at a supermarket. I am of Vietnamese descent but was born in London. An older gentleman comes through my till.)

    Customer: *practically shouting* “Ni-Hao!”

    Me: “Hello to you to sir, but that’s Chinese. I am actually Vietnamese.”

    (I point to my name tag which in our shop goes by family name instead of first name. Mine is the very common ‘Nguyen’.)

    Customer: “Don’t lie!”

    Me: “I assure you sure I am Vietnamese.”

    Customer: “There aren’t any Vietnamese people left!”

    Me: “Pardon?”

    Customer: “Yeah, the Americans killed them all back in the seventies or something.”

    Me: “I think you may have your history confused. I assure you there is still a Vietnam and it is full of Vietnamese people.”

    Customer: “Well I don’t know how you managed to escape but I wouldn’t say it so loudly. There might be Americans around looking for survivors.”

    Me: *as I ring up his last item* “Probably a good idea. That will be £10.34 please.”

    Customer: *as he pays* “Wouldn’t want a young lad like you getting caught!”

    (The customer heads towards the exit, but unfortunately notices the security guard who also happens to be my brother. He is 6ft tall and a body-builder and I dread what might happen.)

    Customer: “Ni-Hao!”

    Brother: “Actually I’m Vietnamese.”

    Customer: “Another one?! But the Americans wiped you all out!”

    Brother: *standing to full height* “I think you might want to just keep on walking.”

    Customer: “How dare you talk to me like that?! I’m going to call the Americans, and then they’ll come down here and shoot you!”

    (Not One Of) History’s Mysteries

    | Chicago, IL, USA | Books & Reading, Family & Kids, History, Top

    (I am helping a little boy find a children’s book on Native American history for a book report.)

    Me: “I think this one will come in handy. It’s all about the different Native American tribes and traditions. It even includes a large map showing where the Native American tribes lived.”

    Little Boy: “Thank you!”

    (He walks away with his book and an adult customer approaches me.)

    Customer: “Why did you do that?”

    Me: “Do what?”

    Customer: “Tell him those are real.”

    Me: “Native Americans?”

    Customer: “Yes!”

    Me: “Because they are real.”

    Customer: “No! They only exist in movies with cowboys!”

    Me: “I can assure you that Native Americans exist.”

    Customer: *mocking* “I suppose you believe cowboys really existed, too?”

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