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    May Contain Scenes Of Gratuitous Bowie

    | London, UK |

    Customer: “Yes, I’m looking for this movie for my daughter: Pan’s Labyrinth. I heard it was very good.”

    Me: “Yes, it was very good.”

    Customer: “Do you think the girls would like it?”

    Me: “I don’t know, how old are they?”

    Customer: “Nine.”

    Me: “Uh, ma’am, Pan’s Labyrinth isn’t really a kids movie. It’s about the Spanish Civil War.”

    Customer: “The what?”

    Me: “The Spanish Civil War. General Franco. There’s a scene where a man gets his face beaten in.”

    Customer: “But in the previews it looks like a kid’s movie, like that other movie with puppets.”

    Me: “Do you mean Labyrinth?”

    Customer:“Yes!”

    Me: “That may be a better choice, trust me.”

    Customer: *leaves*

    Coworker: “I don’t know if David Bowie’s giant crotch is really safe for kids either…”

    The Internet: Damaging Self-Esteem, One User At A Time

    | Winona, MN, USA |

    Patron: “I was trying to go to a website, and a message popped up that said, ‘This website may be trying to harm your computer. Do you want
    to continue?’”

    Me: “That’s just a warning message. If you know the website, you can just click ‘OK’.”

    Patron: “Yes, I know the website. My friend made it. I don’t think that message is very nice.”

    Me: “I assure you it’s nothing personal. That message just appears on websites the computer doesn’t recognize.”

    Patron: “Well, it’s not nice. That message scared me about my own friend’s website. Do you know somebody you can talk to about that?”

    Me: “The system’s warning message?”

    Patron: “Yes.”

    Me: “Of course. I’ll send them an e-mail about it right now.”

    (I pretend to type on my laptop until she leaves.)

    At Least He Can Tell Time

    | Ithaca, NY, USA |

    College student: “Do you have any stamps?”

    Me: “No, I’m sorry. This is a library.”

    College student: “But I need to buy some stamps.”

    Me: “I can’t help you. We don’t sell stamps in the library. You should try the post office in [college building] tomorrow.”

    College student: “But I need the stamps now. Can’t I just have some stamps?”

    Me: “Listen, libraries don’t sell stamps. The post office will sell you stamps tomorrow morning when it opens. But right now, in this building, I can not sell you stamps.”

    College student: “So you’ll sell me stamps tomorrow?”

    Me: “Listen, you can’t even mail anything on a Sunday evening. Why don’t you come back later?”

    (Not surprisingly, he came back at 8 the next morning demanding stamps.)

    You Say Vacation, I Say D**nation

    | Louisville, KY, USA |

    Me: “Do you need some help?”

    Young Teen: “Yes, I’m looking for a book on a country.”

    Me: “Do you want a travel guide, or a book about the history of the country?

    Teen: “A travel guide, I guess. It’s for school.”

    Me: “OK, then. Where would you like a travel guide to?”

    Teen: “Hades.”

    Me:“…you mean, Haiti?”

    Teen: “Yeah, I guess that’s the way we say it here.”

    When Library Virgins Attack

    | Melbourne, Australia |

    Library patron: *hands me a DVD* “Why don’t you have the first season of this?”

    Me: “We probably do, let me check…” *looks it up* “…yes, we do have it. It’s out on loan right now but I can reserve it for you.”

    Library patron: “On loan? What do you mean?”

    Me: “Someone borrowed it.”

    Library patron: “Borrowed it? I don’t understand.”

    Me: “They took it home.”

    Library patron: “Oh. Why?”

    Me: “They wanted to watch it?”

    Library patron: “When are they bringing it back?”

    Me: “Well, it’s due back on the 20th.”

    Library patron: “Yes, but when are they bringing it back?”

    Me: “I… don’t know.”

    Library patron: “DVDs are overnight. They should bring it back tomorrow.”

    Me: “No, DVDs are loaned for three weeks, same as books.”

    Library patron: “Three weeks?! I’ve been watching them the day I take them and returning them the next day! No one told me it wasn’t an overnight loan!”

    Me: “So… shall I put a reserve on this?”

    Library patron: “Yes, I’ll pick it up tomorrow.”

    Me: “…”

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