They Know Much Ado About Nothing

, | Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, UK | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid

(I work in the gift shop at one of William Shakespeare’s houses, and we get a lot of very silly questions from customers.)

Customer: “Excuse me, did Shakespeare write The Wind in the Willows?”

Me: “…No, they didn’t have motor cars in the 17th century, I’m afraid. They weren’t invented until the last 1800s.”

Customer: *considers it for a second* “Hmm… Yeah, I’m not sure about that. Can you look it up for me?”

Me: *Googles it*The Wind in the Willows was written by Kenneth Grahame in 1908.”

Customer: “Oh. Well, it’s not too far in the future from Shakespeare’s stuff, is it?”

Me: “Madam, Shakespeare died in 1616.”

Trying To Encourage Independent Thought

| Paradise Island, The Bahamas | Holidays, Tourists/Travel

(I’m decorating our storefront for Independence Day, which is July 10th. In 1973 we gained independence from Britain, though we are still part of the British Commonwealth. The glass doors are decorated with American colours for July 4th and the whole front of the store is decorated with Bahamian colours for July 10th. An American tourist walks up with her husband.)

Tourist: “Miss! You’ve got the date wrong, and why are you using those colours?”

Me: “Oh, yes, ma’am. Bahamian Independence Day is the 10th. These are the colours of the Bahamian flag. I’ve decorated the front door with red, white, and blue for Americans like yourself!”

Tourist: *looks puzzled for a moment* “But Independence Day is on the 4th…”

Me: “Yes ma’am, in the US it is, but here it’s the 10th.”

Tourist: “But it’s July…”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. A strange coincidence that they are both in July, isn’t it?”

Tourist: *finally looking resolved* “No! This isn’t right; you should have the right date and colours like every other state, even if you’re on an island!”

Me: “But we aren’t a state… We aren’t even part of your countr—”

Tourist: “State, member, province, whatever, that is no excuse to act un-American! Darn islanders…” *she walks off as her husband glares at me over his shoulder*

Mommy Money

| NC, USA | Family & Kids, Money

(A family comes into the gift shop where I work. A small boy starts tugging on his father’s sleeve.)

Boy: “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!”

Dad: “I’m not buying you anything.”

(The boy pauses, and then rushes over to his mother.)

Boy: “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!”

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

| Whitehorse, YT, Canada | Extra Stupid, Math & Science

Customer: “Excuse me, what are these earrings?”

Me: “Those are an amethyst stone set in rose gold.”

Customer: “Rose gold? What is that, some cheap, fake gold? Gold is expensive!”

Me: “No, no, it is gold. Gold comes in different hues – like white gold, classic yellow gold, and rose gold.”

Customer: “Oh. Well, it’s too cheap to be pure gold.”

Me: “Well, gold has to be set as an alloy. It is too soft to be in pure elemental form, so they use another metal to keep it solid.”

Customer: “What other metal is it? That’s too expensive if it’s not gold.”

Me: “It’s set over sterling silver.”

Customer: “Oh. Well, never mind then…”

Having A Light Bulb Moment, Part 3

, | Grand Canyon, AZ, USA | Extra Stupid, Geography, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

(It’s almost dusk at the gift shop I am running at the southern rim of the Grand Canyon. A tourist couple approaches.)

Woman: “Where is the best spot to watch the Canyon at night?”

Me: “Well, anywhere along the walkway is good, but the sun’s going down very soon.”

Man: “Yes, we want to be here when they turn on the lights.”

Me: “…lights?”

Woman: “Yes, so we can see it at night.”

Me: “Umm, the Canyon is over a mile deep at this point, and the northern rim is over a mile across from here. There aren’t any lights in it for nighttime.”

Man: “Then how do you see it at night?”

Me: “…basically it’s the big blackness out there.”

Related:
Having A Light Bulb Moment, Part 2
Having A Light Bulb Moment

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