Climbing Out Of This One

| Right | May 10, 2017

(I work in a garden centre in the plants section. My job is, among other things, to give technical advice.)

Customer: “Excuse me, do you have any climbing Chlamydia?”

(Where I work is a place people go for a nice day out, so we get relaxed customers making jokes, so I get ready to make a humorous reply, but I realise that they’re entirely serious. I force my face straight.)

Me: “Umm, could you describe it to me?”

Customer: “Yes, it’s pink and climbs up, really fast.”

(Ouch! Nasty mental image right there!)

Me: “Ah, I think you might mean Clematis. Follow me and let’s see if this is what you want.”

Customer: “I’m certain I want Chlamydia!”

(I’m very certain you don’t, ma’am.)

Me: “I think you might mean this plant, Clematis montana.”

Customer: “Oh, yes, you’re right. That’s the one! Can you pick me out a good one, please?”

Me: “Sure thing!”

(I choose a nice healthy one, and we walk back towards the till. She looks thoughtful.)

Customer: “So… what’s Chlamydia then?”

Me: “Well… truth is, it’s a sexually transmitted disease.”

Customer: “…I beg your pardon?”

Me: “It’s a sexually transmitted disease, and I’m happy to say we don’t stock it here!”

Customer: “Oh, God, I’m so sorry! My son told me to come in here and ask for climbing Chlamydia. I’m going to KILL him!”

Me: *laughs* “Don’t worry about it. I’ve been asked for worst things. I had a gentlemen the other day who came in wanting a dwarf Pinus. He got that name badly wrong, and I had difficulty keeping my face straight!”

Customer: *grins in relief* “Did you tell him that size didn’t matter?”

Me: “You know, I wish I’d thought of that…”

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