The Curious Incident Of The Customer In The Bookstore

, , , , , | Right | December 13, 2019

(I’m working at the customer service desk at a big chain bookstore. A man approaches the desk.)

Me: “Hi! How can I help you?”

Customer: “I’m looking for a book. I’m really sorry, but I don’t remember the title. It’s really long and complicated. But I think the cover of the book is blue, and it has a picture of a horse on the front.”

Me: “Actually, it’s red, and it has an upside-down picture of a dog on the front. It’s called The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime.

(I hand him a copy of the book.)

Customer: “Oh, wow, that’s exactly the book I was looking for! How did you figure it out?”

Me: “I’m magical.”

(I didn’t have the heart to tell him it had been on the bestseller list for about a month and he was only the hundredth person that week to ask me for it!)

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Slithering Into The Wrong House

, , , , , , , , | Related | November 8, 2019

(At a holiday get-together, my family and I are taking a “Harry Potter” house sorting quiz.)

Me: “I got Hufflepuff!”

Niece: “I got Hufflepuff, too!”

Other Family Members: “We’re all Hufflepuffs.”

(Everyone except my mother is a Hufflepuff. My mother gets assigned to Slytherin.) 

Mom: “I need to retake the quiz and change my answers, so I get to be a Hufflepuff.”

Niece: “That’s a Slytherin move right there, Grandma.”


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This Tale Is Maud-lin

, , , , , , | Learning | October 31, 2019

(At Halloween, my seventh-grade social studies teacher is reading us scary stories from a book he apparently hasn’t read himself. This story deals with a woman who shows up for church, but something seems wrong.)

Teacher: “’Christy slipped into a back pew. She didn’t recognize anyone else in the congregation. Finally, she noticed kindly old Maud Flemming. She smiled at her. “Wait,” thought Christy. “Maud died last month.” Christy began to feel a little nervous…’”

(The teacher pauses.)

Teacher: “REALLY, CHRISTY?”

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Ankh-Morpork: City Of Love

, , , , , , | Friendly | October 15, 2019

(I’m waiting for my train, reading a book and giggle-snorting about it. An old lady is sitting on the other end of the bench.)

Old Lady: “Excuse me, dear, but what are you reading?”

(I hold up the book so she can see the cover, which says, “TERRY PRATCHETT – FEET OF CLAY,” and has cover art featuring a spooky bat and an angry-looking, red-eyed golem holding a giant cleaver striding out of an inferno toward a dwarf, a swordswoman, and a troll hand-wielding a siege weapon.)

Old Lady: *triumphantly* “Ah! A romance novel!”

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When Romance Becomes Horror

, , , , , , , | Related | October 7, 2019

(When I am 19 or so, my taste in books is a bit, well, trashy. I read “bodice-rippers” pretty much exclusively. My mother hates this and nags me constantly to “stop reading that garbage and read something good, instead.” I tell her to leave me alone; I enjoy those books and I am not harming anyone. One day, my dad approaches me:)

Dad: “My coworker is in the hospital, and she phoned yesterday to say that she could really use something to read. Do you think you could lend her some of your books?”

Me: “Really? Sure! What do you think she’d like?”

Dad: “How about those?” *points to my pile of romance novels* “I bet she’d like them.”

Me: “Well, I don’t mind, so long as she knows they’re just on loan.”

Dad: “Don’t worry about it. She’ll return them once she’s done.”

(I pack up all my trashy novels and give them to Dad. Weeks later:)

Me: “Dad, is your coworker done with my books yet?”

Dad: “Hmm? Oh. No, not yet.”

Me: “Really? It’s been ages. Surely she’s not still in the hospital?”

Dad: “No, she’s out now, but she’s still reading them.”

Me: “She does know that I want them back, right?”

Dad: “Yes, of course.”

Me: “Well, okay.”

(A few weeks later…)

Me: “Dad, can I have your coworker’s phone number?”

Dad: “What on earth for?”

Me: “I’d like to ask for my books back.”

Dad: *getting angry* “For Pete’s sake! I told you she’ll return them when she’s done.”

Me: “But–”

Dad: *loses temper* “ENOUGH!”

(This went on for months. I’d ask Dad to bug his coworker for my books, he’d make some excuse, I’d persist, he’d lose his temper and yell at me, and the cycle would repeat. I finally gave up when it had been more than a year. In hindsight, I can’t believe I was so naïve; there was obviously no coworker. This was a scheme cooked up by my parents to rid me of that “garbage” for once and for all. Joke’s on them, though; I now read Stephen King constantly, which disgusts my mother even more. Oh, well. I’m 55 now, and I’ll read whatever I darned well please.)

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