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    The Great Emancipator Died Sooner Than Later

    | Washington, DC, USA | Family & Kids

    (I work at a historic site from the American Civil War. I am talking to a 7-year old child.)

    Small Child: “Who shot President Lincoln?”

    Me: “He was shot by a Southern sympathizer named John Wilkes Booth.”

    Small Child: “But why did he want to kill the president?”

    Me: “Well, the North and the South were at war, and Booth thought that if he killed President Lincoln, it might help the South win.”

    Small Child: “Oh…so were you here when it happened?”

    Nature Abhors A Vacuum-Head

    | Chicago, IL, USA | Math & Science, Pets & Animals

    (I overhear this conversation between two girls who look to be around fourteen or fifteen, lining up for an exhibit.)

    Girl #1: “Those flowers are pretty.”

    Girl #2: *while texting* “Yeah I guess.”

    Girl #1: “Oh my god! Don’t move! There’s a fly on you!”

    Girl #2: *in a horrified voice* “N-N-Nature!”

    Tricky Customers Are Just Killer

    | Vancouver Island, Canada |

    (I am taking tourists on a boat to see wild killer whales.)

    Me: “If anyone has any questions during the charter, I would be happy to answer them.”

    Customer: “So, when does the show start?”

    Me: “Pardon?”

    Customer: “The show. You know, like Shamu and stuff?”

    Me: “You do know that these are wild animals, right?”

    Customer: “I don’t understand.”

    Me: “These are wild animals. They don’t do tricks like you would see in an aquarium.”

    Customer: “They don’t?”

    Me: “No. They do not.”

    Customer: “Oh, I see.” *pause* “So, when do you feed them?”

    Me: “We don’t feed these animals. They are wild. They feed themselves.”

    Customer: “I thought you said they didn’t do tricks?”

    The Wicked Witch Of The Pacific Northwest

    | Portland, OR |

    (I work at a very popular authentic garden in Portland. Even though it is August, it has been raining hard lately.)

    Customer: “Hi, I would like two adults, two kids.”

    Me: “That will be $$$.”

    Customer: “So what happens if it rains?”

    Me: “How do you mean?”

    Customer: “What happens if it rains? Do you refund everyone’s money or something?”

    Me: “Not really. This is Portland after all. We’re famous for heavy rains.”

    Customer: “Yes, but what do you do? There‚Äôs no tent or anything that you set up?”

    Me: “Well no, ma’am. This is a garden. We‚Äôre still outside, even though you’re paying to get in. And most of the time the rain doesn‚Äôt bother anyone…people still walk in the rain.”

    Customer: “They what?! They walk in the rain?! Don‚Äôt they get wet?”

    Me: “Well yes, but this is Portland. We’re used to the rain, and besides, the garden is very lovely in the rain.”

    Customer: “Oh my! Oh my! This cannot do. This is my vacation! Why does it have to rain? Don‚Äôt we get a rain discount or something?”

    Me: “No, sorry. If we gave discounts for every time it rained here, we would be well out of business. And this is a garden, so it needs rain.”

    Customer: “Oh God, oh God! The rain…it hurts!”


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