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!

Ukraizy

| NY, USA | Geography, History

(I am buying a newspaper, in addition to other things, which has an article about the Ukraine on the front.)

Customer: “You know, you kids should really be worrying more.”

Me: “Oh? Why is that?”

Customer: “Because World War Three is coming.”

Me: *laughing* “Well, I’m not so much the military type. I suppose I’ll just go hide in Canada.”

Customer: “Oh, you think that! But Canada is voting soon to leave the Commonwealth! They want to be part of Russia!”

Me: *thoroughly confused* “Really? I suppose that puts Alaska in an awkward position.”

Customer: “You don’t even know!”

(After this, she went on for several minutes about assorted crackpot political theories. I felt bad for the people waiting.)

Gone With The Memory

| Austin, TX, USA | History, Movies & TV, Popular

(From the time of its initial home video release in the early 1980s, Gone With The Wind was only available as a deluxe package costing roughly $100 or more. This changed in 1998 when, in preparation for its 60th anniversary the following year, the film was finally released at the “sell through” price of $19.99. The video sold like hotcakes; we could hardly keep it in stock. One customer was very excited when her reserved copy came in:)

Customer: “I am sooooo happy they’re finally putting this out at a decent price!”

Me: “Yeah, it took ’em long enough.”

Customer: “I know, and it’s just soooo goooood!”

Me: “One of the greats.”

Customer: “It is. Man, I remember when it first came out.”

(I should’ve left well enough alone, but seeing that this woman couldn’t have been more than 30 years of age, my inner movie nerd just couldn’t stay quiet.)

Me: “You remember when it came out?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “You?”

Customer: “Yes, it was a very big deal.”

Me: “I know… but it came out in 1939.”

Customer: “It did?”

Me: “Yes, you can look at the date on the back of the package.”

Customer: *looking at the back of the box* “Huh… Well, I wasn’t alive then.”

Me: “Few of us were.”

Customer: *with an “a-ha!” smile* “I remember when they put it to color.”

Me: “It was shot in color.”

Customer: *red in the face* “Well… I REMEMBER SOMETHIN’!”

Declaration Of Independently Sourced

| CT, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, History

(I’m upstairs at the reference desk, fielding calls and helping patrons.)

Me: “Hello, this is [Library] Reference. Can I help you?”

Patron: “Where can I find the Declaration of Independence?”

Me: “Like the text?”

Patron: “No, like the real thing.”

Me: “Um, we don’t have the real thing, but we have a few copies of the text if that’s something you’re interested in getting? It’s all the same words, I promise.”

Patron: “But, like, do you have the actual paper?”

Me: “No, we don’t have the actual paper.”

Patron: “Where would I get that?”

Me: “In Washington.”

Patron: “Oh.” *hangs up*

Tobaccosaurus

| 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.”

From Flappers To Flares

| USA | Crazy Requests, History

Customer: “Hi, I need a dress for a show I’m singing in.”

Me: “Okay, no problem. What time period are you looking for?”

Customer: “Just a dress from ‘back then.'”

Me: “When exactly?”

Customer: “Like, between the ’20s and the ’60s.”

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