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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!

War Can Be Taxing

| Coventry, CT, USA | History

(I work at a house museum that specializes in Revolutionary War era history (1770s). In the gift shop, I am ringing a woman and her son out.

Me: “Okay, so you’re buying a quill pen for $2 and some ink for $3. We don’t have tax, so your total will be $5 even.”

Customer: “No taxes? Is that because taxes hadn’t been invented back then?”

Me: “Actually, taxes are what we fought the whole Revolutionary War about.”

Customer: “What war?”

Pages Of A Post-Apocalyptic Persuasion

| United Kingdom | History

Customer: “I want a book to complete the set for my grandson.”

Me: “Certainly, madam. Can I ask what you’re looking for?”

Customer: “Well, he’s interested in history. I want to encourage him, so he’s already got books on World War 1 and World War 2. I want to get him the next one so he can be prepared before they do it at school.”

Me: “Um, the next one?”

Customer: “Yes. Haven’t you got anything on World War 3? I’ve looked all over.”

Me: “I’m sorry, madam. I’m pretty certain we don’t have anything on that subject at the moment.”

Customer: “Oh, never mind then. I’ll try a bigger bookshop.”

History And Cookbooks Are Written By The Victors

| Calgary, Alberta, Canada | Food & Drink, Health & Body, History

(An older lady is looking through the buffet, when she comes to our Japanese section. She eyes the sashimi.)

Customer: “Oh! Is this smoked salmon?”

Me: “No ma’am, it’s actually sashimi, the Japanese way of serving fish, so it’s cleaned and served raw.”

Customer: “Raw? That can’t be healthy! Are you sure you are allowed to serve raw fish? Someone could get sick!”

Me: “I can assure you, raw salmon won’t get anyone sick. We have served this for years.”

Customer: “But it’s raw! Someone will get sick! That’s what raw fish does – gets people sick!”

Me: “Ma’am, the Japanese have been eating raw fish for centuries. I think it will be OK.”

Customer: “Well, they also lost World War 2. I don’t think this is safe!”

Me: “…”

Either She’s A Revisionist Scholar, Or She Needs A Dictionary

, | Iowa, USA | History

Me: “Ma’am, may I help you find a particular title?”

Customer: “I don’t know exactly what I want. I just want a good book to read.”

Me: “Is there a topic that you are especially interested in?”

Customer: “I like historical stuff.”

Me: “Great! What kind of history specifically?”

Customer: *stares blankly*

Me: “For instance, a particular time period, or the history of a certain country?”

Customer: “American history, obviously.”

Me: “We have some really great American history books, right over here.”

(I lead her to the proper section and pull a few titles to show her.)

Customer: “These are all about stuff that really happened. I want a story.”

Me: “Okay, so, historical fiction then? I’m sure we can find something for you.”

Customer: “No! I want something like this…”

(She gestures to a book she rejected, a non fiction title about American history.)

Customer: “… only I want it to be made up.”

Me: “Right, historical fiction. Let’s start with a time frame within American history and I’m sure we can find something.”

Customer: *sighs melodramatically* “I don’t want FICTION, I want a book with a story that is MADE UP!”

It Was Either That Or Get Shocked By The Kite Again

| Los Angeles, CA, USA | History

Customer: “I need a biography of Benjamin Franklin.”

Me: *I take him to the history section* “Here’s his autobiography.”

Customer: “That means he wrote it himself, right?”

Me: “Yes, that’s correct.”

Customer: *eyes widening* “They could do that back then?”

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