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  • Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 7
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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!

    We Wish You A Merry Saturnalia

    | Cleveland, OH, USA | History, Holidays, Religion, Theme Of The Month

    (I worked in a local retail store while in high school and college. A week before Halloween, I notice a regular customer riding in one of our electric carts, staring at the Halloween costumes and props. She is there for some time. I decide to ask if she needs help.)

    Customer: “St. Michael the Archangel defend us in battle—”

    (As a Catholic, I recognize she is praying.)

    Me: “Ma’am, can I help you?”

    Customer: “Only if you can replace all this evil with Christmas stuff.”

    Me: “Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. One more week!”

    (The customer then goes into a rant about what Halloween means to Wiccans and pagans. Then she gives a thorough lesson in Tartarus and other mythologies. She invites me to help her host a Bible study for her good Christian neighbors, which is her alternative to dressing up and ‘worshipping demons.’ By this time, my manager thinks I’m just goofing around and is coming towards me to say something. The customer stands up, grabs my arm and raises it into the air while using her other arm to throw costumes, props, and wigs out into the aisle. My manager seems to understand what is happening. After getting her to stop protesting, he turns to me.)

    Manager: “Thank you for not telling her about the origins of gift giving on Christmas.”

    Feeding The Baby And The Trolls

    | KS, USA | Health & Body, History, Top, Wild & Unruly

    (I work at a renaissance festival every year for the past 11 years. My son is about 6 months old. As there is no spot designated for breastfeeding, I just find somewhere quiet and out of the way. Two patrons notice me.)

    Patron #1: “Oh, my God. What are you doing!?”

    Me: “Beg your pardon? Are you talking to me?”

    Patron #1: “Yes, of course! That is so nasty. You should be ashamed. That is absolutely disgusting, and sinful, and child abuse.”

    Me: “Oh, please. I do not want to hear it. I’m feeding my son. There is nothing wrong with it and it’s my right to do it wherever I want.”

    Patron #2: “He’s right. You can’t do that here. Take that nasty s*** where it belongs. Get a f****** bottle.”

    Me: “Leave me alone, please. I have a right by Kansas law to feed my son anywhere I want.”

    Patron #1: “Feed him with a bottle. That’s nasty and unsanitary. You’re abusing him by making him do that. Why you feminist b****es want to do that is beyond me. You’re so gross.”

    Me: “Okay. I’m not going to defend myself to you. So, just keep moving guys.”

    (One of my fellow festival participants comes along.)

    Participant: “Excuse me, gentlemen. Is there something I can do to help you?”

    Patron #2: “Yeah. You can make her leave. No one wants to see that!”

    Patron #1: “You guys shouldn’t allow that in your festival. You’re promoting child abuse.”

    Participant: “She actually has every right to be here as she’s a member of the faire, as is her baby. She has to feed him, gentlemen. If it bothers you, please feel free to look away from her.”

    Patron #1: “No. I want to sit on that bench right there and watch the gypsy’s dance. She needs to move.”

    Me: “I’m not moving. If you want to watch the show and don’t want to sit by me, go sit somewhere else.”

    (All the participants carry a walkie-talkie to contact security. This participant calls them.)

    Patron #1: “That’s right. You get someone here to make her leave.”

    (I move my son to burp him and switch sides. One of the patrons grabs my arm and attempts to remove me himself. I have my hands full with my son. I spot a group of yeomen (royal guards) walking by and immediately start yelling for them.)

    Me: “Insuth! Insuth!”

    (This is a way to alert other performers that I am NOT acting, and that I am in actual danger. The yeomen run over and one of them draws his sword, which is very real.)

    Yeoman: “I’d suggest you let the lady go. It appears she does not wish to accompany you.”

    Patron #2: “This little b**** needs to get the f*** out and we’re going to help show her the way.”

    (The other three yeomen draw their swords as well.)

    Yeoman: “I’m really thinking that is not going to happen. As it is, you gentlemen will be the ones leaving the grounds.”

    Patron #1: *sarcastically* “Oh, yeah. You and your fake weapons are gonna make us, right?”

    (One of the yeomen steps up to the tree that is next to him and takes a swing at it. The sword embeds several inches before he pulls it back out to show it is very real and sharp.)

    Yeoman: “Is that demonstration enough for you, sir? Would you like another?”

    (Finally, security arrives and holds the patrons until two state troopers come and arrest them. The yeoman who helped me was given a pin of achievement, as he had not broken character during the entire ordeal. I made them muffins every morning for the rest of the festival and have done so every year since.)

    Tour Guides Are Ready To Answer All Questions And ‘The Question’

    | Derbyshire, England, UK | Family & Kids, Geeks Rule, History, Top

    (I work in a museum located in an Elizabethan manor house, which naturally shows a few signs of wear and tear. Today, I’m in a room with a large crack across the wall. I’m also a huge fan of the television show ‘Doctor Who.’ I carry a toy sonic screwdriver in my bag and have the phone number that is suppose to be the Doctor’s keyed into my phone. A young boy and his parents come into my room and spot the crack.)

    Boy: “Look, Mummy, a crack! It’s The Silence!”

    (The Silence are a race of monsters that created cracks in time and cause you to forget them as soon as you stop looking at them. His parents look pained, so I step in.)

    Me: “Don’t worry kid; this museum is a monster-free zone.”

    Boy: “How do you know? You might have just forgotten them.”

    Me: “Nah, The Doctor came and checked the crack for us; he said it’s fine.”

    Boy: “Really? You’re not just making that up?”

    Me: “Of course not! I’ll prove it.”

    (I pull the sonic screwdriver out of my handbag, and the boy’s eyes go wide.)

    Me: “See? The Doctor gave me this just in case one turns up, but I’ve never had to use it yet.”

    Boy: “Wow!”

    Me: “And if I really get into trouble…”

    (I pull out my phone, bring up my contact list and show him the number listed as ‘The Doctor.’)

    Me: “…he told me just to give him a call and he’d come right over.”

    Boy: “AWESOME!”

    (The boy is delighted for the rest of the visit, and his parents thank me profusely. Apparently he’d been skittish of cracks since the episode went out, and I’d been the first person to reassure him completely. Later, my boss came round with a thank you card they’d got me, addressed to ‘the Doctor’s companion.’ It made my day!)

    The First And True Language Of America

    | Santa Fe, NM, USA | Bigotry, History, Language & Words, Top

    (I’m waiting in line behind a woman speaking on her cellphone in another language. Ahead of her is a white man. After the woman hangs up, he speaks up.)

    Man: “I didn’t want to say anything while you were on the phone, but you’re in America now. You need to speak English.”

    Woman: “Excuse me?”

    Man: *very slow* “If you want to speak Mexican, go back to Mexico. In America, we speak English.”

    Woman: “Sir, I was speaking Navajo. If you want to speak English, go back to England.”

    Seen One, You’ve Seen A Mall

    | Washington, DC, USA | Extra Stupid, Family & Kids, History, Theme Of The Month

    (I live near DC, so I am used to hearing tourists and tour groups ask very stupid questions. A group of out-of-state high-school kids are walking near me between two museums.)

    Teenage Girl: “So… where are we right now, anyway?”

    Teenage Boy: “In DC.”

    Teenage Girl: “No, I mean, like, where in DC are we?”

    Teenage Boy: “Oh, we’re on the National Mall.”

    Teenage Girl: “Nuh-uh!”

    Teenage Boy: “Yeah we are. Look at your map, right here.”

    Teenage Girl: “No way! Are you SERIOUS?”

    Teenage Boy: “Yeeeah…”

    Teenage Girl: “That doesn’t make ANY sense!”

    Teenage Boy: *silence*

    Teenage Girl: “So, wait… you mean the National Mall isn’t, like, you know… an actual MALL?”

    Teenage Boy: “Nope, but all the grass is 20% off!”

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