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    Perplexing Paper Positioning Possibilities

    | VA, USA | Extra Stupid

    (A customer comes to check out with a basket of art supplies, including a pad of drawing paper. The customer hands me the other items, but stands there holding a shopping list and the paper, looking back and forth between them and frowning.)

    Me: “The paper, too?”

    Customer: “Will this work?”

    (The customer’s list has ’12 x 18′ written on it.)

    Customer: “How do I know if this will work?”

    Me: “The paper cover says ’18 x 12.’”

    Customer: “But she wrote ’12 x 18!’”

    Me: “… well, she didn’t specify the kind of paper or the kind of pad, just the size. This is the same size; she just wrote it a different way.”

    Customer: “Oh, but, I don’t know!” *very anxious* “How can you be sure?”

    (My coworker sees the confusion and comes over.)

    Coworker: “Did you have a question?”

    Customer: “I’m supposed to buy ’12 x 18,’ but I can only find ’18 x 12.’”

    Coworker: “…uh, you should be fine. See, you can hold it two ways, so it doesn’t really matter which side the binding is on. You can always cut the drawings out. It’s the same size paper.”

    Customer: “This is just so perplexing to me!”