Parodies Will Take Their Tolstoy On You

| North Bay, ON, Canada | Working | June 6, 2013

Employee: “Can I help you find anything?”

Me: “Nope, I’m good.” *holds up “Anna Karenina”* “Thanks, though.”

Employee: “Are you sure you don’t want this?” *points to “Android Karenina”* “It’s supposed to be much better.”

Me: “Uh, no, thanks… I’ll stick to the original.”

Employee: “What about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies?”

Me: “No, thank you. I came in to pick up Anna Karenina, I now have Anna Karenina in my hand, so I’m all set.”

Employee:Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter?”

Me: “No…”

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Reading Too Much Into It

| Boston, MA, USA | Learning | June 6, 2013

(At an event for a popular but literary author, I take a seat behind two women who appear to be in their early 20s; they are discussing how their professor is giving extra credit to students who attend this event. In the Q&A part, one of them raises her hand.)

College Student: “Our professor told us that [character]’s room being blue is a symbol of his loneliness and isolation. Is that what you meant?”

Author: “No. I just like blue. You can tell your professor they’re full of s***.”

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Not A Hobbitual Reader

| Mount Pleasant, MI, USA | Right | June 4, 2013

Customer: “Hi, I’m looking for Tolkien’s books.”

Me: “Alright, which ones?”

Customer: “The four he wrote.”

Me: “Well, ma’am, he wrote more than just four books.”

Customer:The Lord of the Rings.”

Me: “Ma’am, not to be rude, but The Lord of the Rings is only three books.”

Customer: “The first one of that trilogy then! The Hobbit!”

Me: “I’m afraid we don’t have any copies of that at the moment.”

Customer: “Oh. Well, do you have anything else by Tolkien?”

Me: “Well, we do have The Silmarillion—”

Customer: “I don’t speak Spanish. I guess I’ll try at one of the other stores, thanks.”

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We’re Not Clownin’ Around

, , | Fremont, CA, USA | Working | May 29, 2013

(This happens while I am working for a bookstore on Halloween. As a result, several coworkers are dressed up. Two cops enter the store as if searching for something and come up to my counter.)

Cop #1: “Hello, miss. We were called here with a report about an altercation, and that a witness with details was working here?”

(Note: 10 minutes before the cops came, my coworker had told me to direct any cops to her.)

Me: “Oh, yes, sir! You’ll just need to talk to the clown down there.”

(I point down the line of registers.)

Cop #2: “Look, miss, you may not like your coworker, but there is no need to call them names.”

Me: “I think [Coworker] is a very nice person, sir, but seriously, if you want your answers, you really will have to talk to the clown down there.

(Again, I point down the line of registers.)

Cop #1: “Look, miss, your attitude towards your co—”

(At this point, the cops are interrupted but a series of loud squeaky honks. They turn to look the way I’ve been pointing all this time and see my coworker (who is dressed up as an old-fashioned, rainbow-colored, poofy-wigged, and squeaky-nosed clown) waving her arms frantically and honking her nose to get their attention.)

Me: “As I’ve been saying gentlemen, if you want to talk to the witness, you’re really going to have to talk to the clown down there.”

([Cop #1] sees my coworker and is struggling to keep his laughter contained. [Cop #2] gets a resigned look on his face.)

Cop #2: “I really hate Halloween.”

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Stared To Death

| Tolna, Hungary | Right | May 29, 2013

(I’m a regular at a small bookstore that a kindly old lady opened some years ago. We’ve been friends for as long as I’ve known her, and chat when there are no customers around. I walk up to the counter and see her talking to a woman in her late fifties. I’m an Emo, though uncharacteristically cheerful at the moment. I wear black, causal clothes most of the time.)

Me: “Good day, how’s it going?”

(She notices me, smiles, but motions me to move. Realizing I butted into their conversation, I sheepishly back away so they can continue. The customer is staring at me with her mouth wide open.)

Me: “Umm…”

(My friend and I exchange looks. I don’t believe she understands what’s going on either.)

Me: “I’m sorry; is something wrong?”

(The customer doesn’t answer or react in any way, and just keeps staring for what feels like minutes.)

Me: “…is there something on me?”

Customer: “…”

Me: “Lady?”

Customer: “…”

(My friend seems worried as she observes our rather one-sided conversation. I’m starting to get annoyed, and a little scared.)

Me: “It’s impolite to stare at others, you know.”

Customer: “…”

(At this point it occurs to me she could have issues with my hairstyle. I pull my bang aside, but nothing changes.)

Me: “Okay, what?”

Customer: “…”

Me: “What is it?!”

My Friend: “Ah, I know! It’s because you’re wearing black! She thinks you’re attending a funeral, and since you were so happy—”

(The customer immediately snaps out of it and confirms this. She actually thinks I am happy because someone died. After five years, we still talk about the woman whom my fashion statement sent into catatonia, and my friend, the store owner, who’s apparently psychic.)

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