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    Go Directly To School, Do Not Pass Go

    | Oxford, UK | Books & Reading, Family & Kids

    Customer: “Hi, I need to buy Monopoly.”

    Me: “I’m sorry. We don’t actually sell board games.”

    Customer: “Oh? Why not?”

    Me: “Well, this is a bookshop. We pretty much only sell books.”

    Customer: “Can I get the book of Monopoly?”

    Me: “I’m not sure we have any books about Monopoly the game, but I can have a look on our system.” *I check the system* “Yes, I’m sorry. The only books we have are about monopolies in finance.”

    Customer: “Maybe that will do? Does it come with the hat and everything?”

    Me: “It’s a book, not a board game so there aren’t any player pieces or anything, and we don’t actually have any books about the board game monopoly either. I think if you’re interested in Monopoly the game, you should go to [store] across the street.”

    Customer: “Okay, maybe I’ll try that. While I’m here though, do you have that one with the candlestick and the library?”

    Me: “Cluedo?” (Called ‘Clue’ in the USA.) “Again, I’m afraid it’s a board game so [store] across the street is your best bet.”

    Customer: “How do you expect kids to like reading when you don’t sell anything they’d want to read?!”

    Why Can’t We All Just Get Oolong

    | Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA |

    Customer: “What is the difference between chai tea and Tai Chi?”

    Me: *jokingly* “Well, one is a spiced black tea, and the other is a can of whoop-a**.”

    Customer: “I think I’ll have the black tea.”

    Noah’s Nondescript Ark

    | San Diego, CA, USA | Pets & Animals

    Customer: “So, uh, on this tour, will I, uh, feed the…uh…tall things, and uh, the not as tall…things?”

    Me: “You mean the giraffes…and rhinos?”

    Customer: “Yes, that’s it! It’s like you’re reading my mind!”

    (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?”

    Flipping Through The Atlas

    | San Jose, CA, USA | Language & Words, Top

    (I am Filipino, but people often mistake me for Chinese due to my pale skin. Another Filipino co-worker comes in while I am working with a customer. We exchange greetings in Tagalog, a Filipino language with some Spanish influences.)

    Customer: “Say that again. That thing you said to that other guy.”

    Me: “Kumusta?”

    Customer: “‘Cómo está’. That’s Spanish! What does a Chinese dude need to know Spanish for?”

    Me: “Actually, I–”

    Customer: “Say something else in Spanish!”

    Me: “Sir, I don’t speak Spanish very well.”

    Customer: “Come on! Say something!”

    Me: “Vamanos?”

    Customer: “Wow! Hey, do you speak Chinese?”

    Me: “Sorry, no.”

    Customer: “Come on now! You must know some Chinese!”

    Me: “Uh… I don’t know… ‘Ni hao’?”

    Customer: “Now say something in Japanese!”

    Me: “Sir?”

    Customer: “Japanese!”

    Me: “Arigato?”

    Customer: “Now do Russian!”

    Me: “Vodka?”

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