They Know Much Ado About Nothing

, | Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, UK | Right | March 30, 2015

(I work in the gift shop at one of William Shakespeare’s houses, and we get a lot of very silly questions from customers.)

Customer: “Excuse me, did Shakespeare write The Wind in the Willows?”

Me: “…No, they didn’t have motor cars in the 17th century, I’m afraid. They weren’t invented until the last 1800s.”

Customer: *considers it for a second* “Hmm… Yeah, I’m not sure about that. Can you look it up for me?”

Me: *Googles it*The Wind in the Willows was written by Kenneth Grahame in 1908.”

Customer: “Oh. Well, it’s not too far in the future from Shakespeare’s stuff, is it?”

Me: “Madam, Shakespeare died in 1616.”

Trying To Encourage Independent Thought

| Paradise Island, The Bahamas | Right | November 6, 2014

(I’m decorating our storefront for Independence Day, which is July 10th. In 1973 we gained independence from Britain, though we are still part of the British Commonwealth. The glass doors are decorated with American colours for July 4th and the whole front of the store is decorated with Bahamian colours for July 10th. An American tourist walks up with her husband.)

Tourist: “Miss! You’ve got the date wrong, and why are you using those colours?”

Me: “Oh, yes, ma’am. Bahamian Independence Day is the 10th. These are the colours of the Bahamian flag. I’ve decorated the front door with red, white, and blue for Americans like yourself!”

Tourist: *looks puzzled for a moment* “But Independence Day is on the 4th…”

Me: “Yes ma’am, in the US it is, but here it’s the 10th.”

Tourist: “But it’s July…”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. A strange coincidence that they are both in July, isn’t it?”

Tourist: *finally looking resolved* “No! This isn’t right; you should have the right date and colours like every other state, even if you’re on an island!”

Me: “But we aren’t a state… We aren’t even part of your countr—”

Tourist: “State, member, province, whatever, that is no excuse to act un-American! Darn islanders…” *she walks off as her husband glares at me over his shoulder*

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Birds And Bees Blowing In The Wind

, | Seattle, WA, USA | Related | June 10, 2014

(My parents have taken my sister and me to visit our aunt, uncle, and cousin in Seattle. They’ve been taking us around to interesting places all day. My cousin is about four, and I’m 12, when this takes place.)

Cousin: *waves an inflatable shark in my uncle’s face* “Daddy! Daddy! Make it big!”

Uncle: “I don’t give blow-jobs to sharks.

(My uncle puts the toy on top of the highest shelf he can find, then suddenly realizes what he said.)

Cousin: “What’s a ‘blow-job’? Daddy! Daddy! I want the shark! It needs a ‘blow-job’!”

(My dad is desperately trying not to bust out laughing at this point. We all hastily leave without buying anything.)

Me: *whispering* “Dad, what’s a blow-job?”

Mommy Money

| NC, USA | Right | June 4, 2014

(A family comes into the gift shop where I work. A small boy starts tugging on his father’s sleeve.)

Boy: “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!”

Dad: “I’m not buying you anything.”

(The boy pauses, and then rushes over to his mother.)

Boy: “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!”

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All That Glitters Is Not Gold

| Whitehorse, YT, Canada | Right | May 16, 2014

Customer: “Excuse me, what are these earrings?”

Me: “Those are an amethyst stone set in rose gold.”

Customer: “Rose gold? What is that, some cheap, fake gold? Gold is expensive!”

Me: “No, no, it is gold. Gold comes in different hues – like white gold, classic yellow gold, and rose gold.”

Customer: “Oh. Well, it’s too cheap to be pure gold.”

Me: “Well, gold has to be set as an alloy. It is too soft to be in pure elemental form, so they use another metal to keep it solid.”

Customer: “What other metal is it? That’s too expensive if it’s not gold.”

Me: “It’s set over sterling silver.”

Customer: “Oh. Well, never mind then…”

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