Hogwarts: The Continuing Education Years

| | Right | April 3, 2008

(It’s the Harry Potter Midnight party. Customers are dressed as characters from the book. Most are children, but there are also some overly enthusiastic/creepy adults wandering around.)

Lone Witch Lady: “This is so exciting! What are you doing with the boxes that the books came in? Can I have one?”

Me: “I don’t see why not, but I’ll have to ask my manager.” *asks manager* “I’m sorry, we have to keep them for inventory.”

Lone Witch Lady: “Are you sure? My cats would love one. ”

Me: “Your…cats? Would they seriously love a Harry Potter cardboard box more than a plain cardboard box?”

Lone Witch Lady: “Oh, yes!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, we can’t give them away. Um, have you tried the Bertie Bots Bean Counting Contest?”

Lone Witch Lady: “Ooh!” *scampers off*

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  • Jessica B

    You know, just because an adult likes something meant for a younger audience doesn’t make them creepy. Juvenile? Naive? Immature? Innocent-minded? Easily entertained? Gaining enjoyment out of the simple things? Or maybe even just really into a really good book series? Perhaps. But having a childish hobby isn’t, in and of itself, creepy.

    Reserve “creepy” for those who converse with the younger kids in character while their parents have stepped away or those trying to convince other patrons to let them come over to their houses because “We’d be in the same house, which makes us best friends now!” A woman who wants a Harry Potter logo-clad box for her cats is borderline normal.

    • Dsru Bin

      Wanting the box for her cats is not out of the range of normal. Insisting that the cats would know the difference between an HP box and a normal box is strange. OP may have called her creepy based on other actions that night, or OP may have grouped her in the “overly enthusiastic” category.

      • Odd Duck 42

        Where do you get the notion she was serious? We banter like this at work, no fan party needed. We’re all aware that we’re just role playing a character and joking around about our cats or rats or ferrets having fandom preferences, however convincing we make ourselves sound. Half the fun is in sounding dead serious about such things and seeing how long we can stay in character without cracking up.

        • Dsru Bin

          If a customer wants to play a joke in such a deadpan manner that the unsuspecting victim is never aware that it is a joke, then they have to expect that they will be taken seriously. In this case, all we have to work with is the OP’s description, which includes words such as “overly enthusiastic” and “creepy”, so it’s not my notion that she was serious, but the OP’s notion that she was serious.

          • Odd Duck 42

            Far enough, and for the second part of your post you were consistent with that, but you did seem to assume that the woman was serious about her cat with your phrasing.

            Personally I think the OP is bizarre in his or her assumptions since what she described as creepy is frankly mild compared to the norms of my workplace, with people ranging from 18 to their early 70s perfectly fine with joking about their fandoms.

          • Dsru Bin

            I did (and do) assume that the woman was serious, because the OP implies that she was serious.

            It’s one thing to joke around with coworkers who already know you. But to do the same thing with a total stranger is very different. As is the case in many of these stories, context is king, and the presented context makes the lady look like she’s a couple knuts short of a sickle.

  • Jason

    The only thing which is anything other than “adorably enthusiastic” in this story, in my opinion, is the customer actually thinking the cats would care about the cardboard box. The rest of it is nice, in my opinion. People finding things that make them happy is a nice thing.

  • Odd Duck 42

    Working in a university library I can say half the faculty and staff employees (who range from their late 20s to mid 70s) and three fourths of the student employees (18 to mid 20s) would be delighted to come to such an event in costume and would joke about their cats in the same way as this woman did.

    OP is bizarre for finding such behavior creepy. It’s normal. We’re constantly all bantering our fandoms at work.