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    Iron Chef

    | QC, Canada | Family & Kids, Geeks Rule

    (I’m working in a bookstore, storing cooking books. On top of the pile is Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe book. A boy of around 10 walks by and stops next to me.)

    Boy: “Mom, look! Pepper Potts wrote a cookbook!”

    (Being a comics fan, he totally made my day!)

    Smells Like Teen Illiteracy

    | Medford, MA, USA | Musical Mayhem

    Customer: “Do you have anything from Nirvana?”

    Me: “Sure, right this way. Here is a book about Kurt Kobain, and over here is a copy of his diary.”

    Customer: “No, the music.”

    Me: “Oh, did you want the book about the band and the grunge scene?”

    Customer: “No, the music.”

    (The customer holds up his hands to his ears, miming headphones.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, are you looking for the music on CD?”

    Customer: “Yeah, a CD.”

    Me: “Oh, sorry. We don’t sell that here. Maybe you could try the music store on the other side of the mall?”

    Customer: “What? You’re out of the CD?”

    Me: “No, we don’t sell CDs at all. Just the—”

    Customer: “Why the h*** not?”

    Me: “Ah, because this is a bookstore?”

    Customer: *looks up and around for the first time* “Huh! What a stupid store!” *walks out*

    History Needs Repeating

    | TN, USA | History

    (A customer calls, asking if we have ‘War and Peace’.)

    Me: “No, we do not.”

    Caller: “I want you to tell me all the titles of the books you have.”

    Me: “We have over 100,000 books.”

    Caller: “What types of book?”

    Me: “Fiction, mystery, how-to, true crime, western, history.”

    Caller: “What is history?”

    Me: “Like the Civil War.”

    Caller: “You mean War and Peace?”

    Me: “No, like World War 2.”

    Caller: “There was more than one?”

    Marriage Has Grey Areas

    | London, England, UK | Rude & Risque, Spouses & Partners

    (I’m at a bookstore, witnessing an exchange taking place between an employee and a middle-aged male customer.)

    Customer: “Excuse me, do you know where your copies of 50 Shades of Grey are?”

    Employee: “Sure, they’re over there.”

    (The customer walks over to the indicated shelf and picks up a copy.)

    Customer: “Right, anniversary present… sorted!”

    Top Shelf Morals, Bottom Shelf Attitude

    | Medford, MA, USA | Awesome Customers, Rude & Risque, Underaged

    (I am stocking magazines at a bookstore when two young boys reach high up on the shelves and grab adult magazines. They hunch over and open the magazines to gawk at the photos.)

    Me: “Excuse me, are you guys 18 or over?”

    Boy #1: “Why, what’s it to you?”

    Me: “It’s my job, actually. If you’re not 18, you can’t even touch those. Would you put that magazine back, please?”

    Boy #2: “I’m 18.”

    (Boy #2 is obviously about 12 or 13 from his height and appearance.)

    Me: “Really? What year were you born?”

    Boy #2: “None of your business!”

    Me: “Okay, both of you put those magazines back, right now.”

    Boy #1: “I’m 18, too.”

    (Just then, a young mother carrying a baby and a diaper bag approaches the counter a few feet away.)

    Young Mother: *to cashier* “Can I ask you for a certain book?”

    Cashier: “Sure, what are you looking for?”

    Young Mother: “It’s called ‘How to Raise a Moral Child‘.”

    (Boy #1 and Boy #2 burst out laughing, catching the attention of the young mother, who looks over disapprovingly. The boys laugh and turn away from her, now facing me.)

    Me: *arms crossed, leaning in* “How about now?”

    (They stop laughing abruptly, put the magazines back on the nearest shelf, and slink out.)

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