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    Needs A Stern Conversation With Her Son

    | Medford, MA, USA | Family & Kids, Rude & Risque

    (It is 1993. I am working the register when an elderly woman comes up to the counter.)

    Customer: “Do you have that book, Body Parts?”

    Me: “Hmm, I don’t know that one by name, but let’s see if we can find it. Who’s the author?”

    Customer: “I don’t know. It’s that new story, Body PartsBody Parts.”

    Me: “Hmm, okay, just give me one second to look it up so we can find it on the shelves. All our fiction is alphabetical by author.”

    (I look it up in our primitive computer, and find an old book.)

    Me: “Well, I don’t have that book here, but I can order it for you. It would take one to two weeks.”

    Customer: “Why don’t you have it? My son says it’s a bestseller! You should have a lot of them! He saw it here and I want to get it for him for his birthday!”

    Me: “Actually, it’s a few years old and we haven’t had it in the store for some time now. When’s his birthday? Maybe I can get it in time.”

    Customer: “No, he saw it here yesterday! Body Parts! It’s a bestseller.”

    Me: *flash of recognition* “Wait, a bestseller, right? Are you looking for Private Parts by Howard Stern?”

    Customer: “That’s what I said! Private Parts! Private Parts!”

    (The woman is now yelling the correct name of the book. Other customers turn to look and giggle.)

    Me: “Of course, Private Parts. Sorry, I must have heard you wrong. Right this way.”

    (I bring her to the best sellers rack and hand her a copy of the book. The cover has a photo of the disk jockey Howard Stern, naked, but holding a cloth over his private parts.)

    Me: “Is this the book?”

    Customer: *squints through her glasses at the book* “Oh! This is disgusting! Ugh! My no-good son’s gonna get it!”

    (She drops the book on the floor and walks out in a huff.)