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    Our Great DiscrimiNation, Part 2

    | UK | Bigotry, Top

    (I’m in the library, queueing at the front desk to take out two books. I’m standing with my arms wrapped around the books. Patron #1 is talking to a librarian at the counter, while Patron #2 is waiting further down the counter.)

    Patron #1: “Do you have any Islamic books?”

    Librarian: “Well—”

    Patron #2: *patronizing* “No, dear, because this isn’t a Muslim country. It’s a Christian country.”

    (Patron #2 looks around at me and the librarian as though she expects us to agree. We are both white.)

    Librarian: “Actually, we have a collection Islamic books in both Urdu and English. They’re just over here.”

    (The librarian shows Patron #1 to the books.)

    Patron #2: *to me* “Can you believe that? Why do we need Paki books in our libraries? This is what’s wrong with this country. Maybe instead of speaking Paki, they should learn English and try to fit in!”

    (I remove my books from my arms and lay them out clearly where she can see them. I have a sociological study of the Philippines and a history of India, as my two closest friends were born there).

    Me: “Maybe what we need are more books that teach people to stop being bigoted and start respecting and understanding other people.”

    Patron #2: *scoffs at me and leaves*

    Related:
    Our Great DiscrimiNation (Not Always Working)

    All Signs Point To Duh, Part 4

    | Pennsylvania, USA | Top

    (I have a patron who has asked for our astrology books, but she has written “astronomy” in her notes. I ask her to clarify.)

    Me: “Okay, so are you looking for astronomy or astrology?”

    Patron: “Um…”

    Me: “Science or mysticism?”

    Patron: “Um…”

    Me: “Are you citing NASA, or Madam Cleo?”

    Patron: *blank stare*

    Me: “Sorry; bad joke. Is Jupiter a god, or is it just another planet?”

    Patron: “What?”

    Me: “I’m just trying to figure out what you’re looking for here. Let’s try this: are you looking for star signs, or just stars?”

    Patron: “I don’t understand what you’re asking me all this for. I just want astrolognomy!”

    Me: “Let’s try one more time. Would the phrase, ‘What’s your sign’ be in any way relevant to what you’re looking for today?”

    Patron: “Are you making fun of me?!”

    Me: “I’m trying not to, really!”

    Related:
    All Signs Point To Duh, Part 3
    All Signs Point To Duh, Part 2
    All Signs Point To Duh

    Dewey Decimal Disobedience

    | Teaneck, NJ, USA |

    (Note: Because it is a large, central location, the public library is sometimes used for town meetings. However, the library employees have nothing to do with these meetings. On this particular night, a public hearing is being held on the topic of firefighter layoffs.)

    Firefighter #1: *leaving meeting* “I can’t believe they’re actually firing people! This is so f***ed up!”

    Firefighter #2: “Those f***ing d***s!”

    Firefighter #1: “I’ll show them! I’ll mess up their card catalogs!”

    Me: *to coworker* “Do you want to be the one to tell him we use computers?”

    Weighting For The Other Shoe To Drop

    | South Carolina, USA |

    Regular Customer #1: “Hey, have you lost weight?”

    Me: *beaming* “I have, in fact! I’ve had to fight pretty hard for it. Thank you for noticing!”

    (Ten minutes later…)

    Regular Customer #2: “Are you having a baby?”

    Me: *no longer beaming*

    Alohomorons

    | Newport, TN, USA | Extra Stupid, Family & Kids

    (I’m working in the library when a patron of about 11 or 12 years of age walks up. We have the following exchange.)

    Young Patron: “Where do you have the Harry Potter books?”

    Me: “They’re right back here…”

    (I show her to the section where we keep them. She stares at them for a while.)

    Young Patron: “Can I have the Prisoner of Azkaban?”

    (I take it out and place it on a table. She opens it up and leafs through it.)

    Young Patron: “Oh my God! There are so many words! Can I have the one with less pages?!”

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