November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

His Guilt Is Like An Open Book

, | Washington, DC, USA | Bad Behavior, Books & Reading

(I work in a museum bookstore where we sell a lot of expensive, hardcover art books. A customer brings up an unwrapped exhibition catalog and shows me his receipt and the damage to the top edge of the pages.)

Customer: “Can I exchange this for another?”

(I look at the damage. It’s not bad, but when a customer pays eighty dollars for a book they want it to be perfect.)

Me: “Certainly. There are others right here.”

(I pick one up from the stack and glance at the edges before I hand it to him. They’re perfect.)

Customer: “Thanks. I’d just like to check the new one before I leave the store.”

Me: “Let me unwrap that for you—”

(I hold my hand out to take the new book back and do it for him, but it’s too late. The gentleman has very helpfully whipped out his credit card and used the edge to slit the shrink wrap like a paper knife. He did so very vigorously. So vigorously that the credit card tore into and through the page edges, damaging the pages in a different spot from, but identical to, the way the pages on the original book were damaged.)

Me: “That wasn’t like that when I handed it to you. Did you open the first one that way?”

Customer: *sheepish look spreads over his face*

Me: “Would you like to keep the first book you damaged or the second one?”

Customer: “The… second one.”

(I hand it to him, and he slinks off. For all I know he went to another shop to exchange the second book for another new one…but I bet he didn’t tear into it with his credit card like that again.)


| St. Louis, MO, USA | Family & Kids, History, Pets & Animals, Religion

(I work as an educator in a science museum in St. Louis. One of the activities in my section of the museum involved putting together the cast of a Dromaeosaurus skeleton.)

Eight-Year-Old Boy: “I know why this dinosaur died.”

Me: “You do?”

Eight-Year-Old Boy: “He was a smoker.”

(Later that day, a middle school group is passing by…)

Seventh-Grade Girl: *addressing her peers* “This dinosaur died because he didn’t believe in Jesus.”

A Titanic Lie

| Albuquerque, NM, USA | History, Movies & TV, Tourists/Travel

(In 2012, I am working at the end of the Titanic exhibit next to the wall of names of those who lost their lives. Next to the wall, is a sign saying that Jack and Rose from the movie are fictional characters, and were not actually present on the ship.)

Patron #1: “Did you know that Jack and Rose were real live people?”

Patron #2: “Oh, wow! I didn’t know they actually existed!”

Patron #1: “Oh, yeah! But the only reason they’re not on any lists is because Jack won his ticket and Rose changed her name!”

Me: “Ladies, if you’ll notice the sign next to the wall of the lost, you’ll see that they were actually fictional characters that never existed.”

Patron #1: “What? You lie! THEIR LOVE WAS REAL AND SO WERE THEY!” *storms out of the exhibit*

Physically Hilarious

| PA, USA | Health & Body, Math & Science

(I work at a science museum, running interactive exhibits that demonstrate scientific principles, although mostly it’s just fun and games. I’m currently running an exhibit that consists of a unicycle on a track 20 feet in the air; it’s held steady by a 300-pound weight underneath it, and rides simply like a bike with an elaborate seat belt. The bike does wobble, and we’re told to warn people of that.)

Me: “Once you put your feet on those peddles, you will feel the bike sway. That’s alright; it’s supposed to happen. With the weight underneath you, there’s no possible way you’ll fall.”

Guests: “Are you sure?”

Me: “I’m sure. If you fall, I’m going to be way more concerned about the laws of physics breaking.”

(Surprisingly, not many guests think I’m funny.)

Banana Drama

| Austria | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

(My colleague is a highly educated man about twice my age and works as a guide/educator in several prestigious museums, including a family-friendly house dedicated to nature and natural sciences, where the following occurs. Two young mothers let their toddlers run around wildly in an exhibition space while chatting. One of the mothers starts handing out bananas to the kids.)

Colleague: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but eating is not permitted here.”

Visitor: “I thought you were supposed to be a family-friendly museum. Am I supposed to let the poor kids go hungry?”

Colleague: “Of course not, ma’am. We have a nice, large picnic area where you’ll surely be much more comfortable. There you can also warm up milk or food, if necessary. Let me show you where it is.”

Visitor: “Why can’t you just let them finish their bananas here?”

(My colleague points to a very small child holding a half-eaten banana like a pen, smearing it all over a white wall.)

Colleague: “That’s why.”

(Instead of leaving the area, the very same lady grabs her kid, takes out a blanket and a diaper.)

Colleague: *in a much sterner tone* “If you wish to diaper your baby, I must insist on you using the specially designated room, ma’am, JUST OVER THERE.” *points to the other end of the hall* “There is such a thing as odour nuisance.”

(This time she yields and begrudgingly takes her stuff and the kid to the baby care room. After a few minutes she comes out and ostentatiously chucks the dirty diaper in a waste basket just outside the washrooms. The place, of course, starts to reek.)

Colleague: *in a perfectly calm tone* “What kind of pigsty did YOU escape from, madam?!”

(Whereupon they stormed off, never to be seen again…)

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