Category: History

Customers who don’t remember history are not only doomed to repeat it, but in some of these stories, to completely rewrite it!

Doesn’t Even Know Where To Start(er)

| OH, USA | Extra Stupid, History, Top, Transportation

(I work at an auto parts store in a small town in the Appalachian foothills. I am talking to an elderly customer.)

Customer: “I need a starter for my 1990 Plymouth Acclaim.”

Me: “Alright. There were two different starters used on that car. One was made by Bosch, and the other was made by Mitsubishi. Do you know which one your car has?”

Customer: “No. I don’t. I’ll have to find out.”

Me: “Well, it’s okay. They will both work interchangeably. Just be aware that they do look completely different from each other, The one I sell you might look different, but it will still fit and work fine. It looks like the Mitsubishi starter is less expensive, so I’ll grab that one for you. Okay?”

Customer: “Now hold on a second. I don’t want no Mitsubishi anything! Don’t you know? Japan was against us in World War II!”

Me: “Alright, sir. I’ll get you the German-made Bosch starter.”

Customer: “Now, that’s better!”

We Wish You A Merry Saturnalia

| Cleveland, OH, USA | History, Holidays, Religion, Theme Of The Month

(I worked in a local retail store while in high school and college. A week before Halloween, I notice a regular customer riding in one of our electric carts, staring at the Halloween costumes and props. She is there for some time. I decide to ask if she needs help.)

Customer: “St. Michael the Archangel defend us in battle—”

(As a Catholic, I recognize she is praying.)

Me: “Ma’am, can I help you?”

Customer: “Only if you can replace all this evil with Christmas stuff.”

Me: “Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. One more week!”

(The customer then goes into a rant about what Halloween means to Wiccans and pagans. Then she gives a thorough lesson in Tartarus and other mythologies. She invites me to help her host a Bible study for her good Christian neighbors, which is her alternative to dressing up and ‘worshipping demons.’ By this time, my manager thinks I’m just goofing around and is coming towards me to say something. The customer stands up, grabs my arm and raises it into the air while using her other arm to throw costumes, props, and wigs out into the aisle. My manager seems to understand what is happening. After getting her to stop protesting, he turns to me.)

Manager: “Thank you for not telling her about the origins of gift giving on Christmas.”

Feeding The Baby And The Trolls

| KS, USA | Health & Body, History, Top, Wild & Unruly

(I work at a renaissance festival every year for the past 11 years. My son is about 6 months old. As there is no spot designated for breastfeeding, I just find somewhere quiet and out of the way. Two patrons notice me.)

Patron #1: “Oh, my God. What are you doing!?”

Me: “Beg your pardon? Are you talking to me?”

Patron #1: “Yes, of course! That is so nasty. You should be ashamed. That is absolutely disgusting, and sinful, and child abuse.”

Me: “Oh, please. I do not want to hear it. I’m feeding my son. There is nothing wrong with it and it’s my right to do it wherever I want.”

Patron #2: “He’s right. You can’t do that here. Take that nasty s*** where it belongs. Get a f****** bottle.”

Me: “Leave me alone, please. I have a right by Kansas law to feed my son anywhere I want.”

Patron #1: “Feed him with a bottle. That’s nasty and unsanitary. You’re abusing him by making him do that. Why you feminist b****es want to do that is beyond me. You’re so gross.”

Me: “Okay. I’m not going to defend myself to you. So, just keep moving guys.”

(One of my fellow festival participants comes along.)

Participant: “Excuse me, gentlemen. Is there something I can do to help you?”

Patron #2: “Yeah. You can make her leave. No one wants to see that!”

Patron #1: “You guys shouldn’t allow that in your festival. You’re promoting child abuse.”

Participant: “She actually has every right to be here as she’s a member of the faire, as is her baby. She has to feed him, gentlemen. If it bothers you, please feel free to look away from her.”

Patron #1: “No. I want to sit on that bench right there and watch the gypsy’s dance. She needs to move.”

Me: “I’m not moving. If you want to watch the show and don’t want to sit by me, go sit somewhere else.”

(All the participants carry a walkie-talkie to contact security. This participant calls them.)

Patron #1: “That’s right. You get someone here to make her leave.”

(I move my son to burp him and switch sides. One of the patrons grabs my arm and attempts to remove me himself. I have my hands full with my son. I spot a group of yeomen (royal guards) walking by and immediately start yelling for them.)

Me: “Insuth! Insuth!”

(This is a way to alert other performers that I am NOT acting, and that I am in actual danger. The yeomen run over and one of them draws his sword, which is very real.)

Yeoman: “I’d suggest you let the lady go. It appears she does not wish to accompany you.”

Patron #2: “This little b**** needs to get the f*** out and we’re going to help show her the way.”

(The other three yeomen draw their swords as well.)

Yeoman: “I’m really thinking that is not going to happen. As it is, you gentlemen will be the ones leaving the grounds.”

Patron #1: *sarcastically* “Oh, yeah. You and your fake weapons are gonna make us, right?”

(One of the yeomen steps up to the tree that is next to him and takes a swing at it. The sword embeds several inches before he pulls it back out to show it is very real and sharp.)

Yeoman: “Is that demonstration enough for you, sir? Would you like another?”

(Finally, security arrives and holds the patrons until two state troopers come and arrest them. The yeoman who helped me was given a pin of achievement, as he had not broken character during the entire ordeal. I made them muffins every morning for the rest of the festival and have done so every year since.)