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Sadly You Have To Listen To His Snake Oil

| CA, USA | Liars & Scammers, Pets & Animals

(I work in the back room of a pet shop where we keep the live pets. We have a large display case at the front entrance with several full and well-lit reptile cages, with a sign in the middle that says “more reptiles are located inside.” A man walks up to the cages, examines the reptiles inside them closely, then looks at the sign for a good minute or two. He then walks into the room, past the other reptile and amphibian cages without even noticing them, and approaches me while I am helping another customer with a snake.)

Customer #1: *standing directly in front of a chameleon cage, and cutting me off mid-sentence* “Where are your reptiles?”

Me: “Um…” *gesturing to the wall of tanks* “Well, we have these here, and three rows of cages at the front entrance.”

Customer #1: “BUT WHAT IS IN THEM?!”

Me: “If you look at the bottom left, each habitat is clearly labeled with its resident. See, this one is a tarantula and this here is a milk snake. In the front are various geckos, and here we have turtles and frogs…”

Customer #1: *clearly ignoring me, staring into a cage* “What is this?!”

Me: *gesturing to large tag on the bottom left* “This is an adult male Jackson Chameleon.”

Customer #1: “Well, how big will it get?”

Me: “He’s already an adult. This is his full size.”

Customer #1: “But I want him to get bigger!”

Me: *at this point I am seriously losing patience, and so is my other customer* “They just don’t.”

Customer #1: “I used to have a snake once. I put him in a tank bigger than all those, but because the tank was so big he got too big and I had to give him his own room.”

(He gestures to row of four 55-gallon tanks, implying the tank was over 200 gallons. Considering he seems to have no common sense, seems to know nothing about reptiles, and no beginner snakes would outgrow that tank, I strongly believe he is lying, but I say nothing,)

Customer #1: “He ended up getting so big he ate my cousin’s Labrador! I warned him not to bring the dog over but he didn’t listen. He thought it would be safe but it wasn’t.”

Customer #2: “What kind of snake was it?”

Customer #1: “A ball python!”

(At this point Customer #2 and I were trying really hard to not laugh, because ball pythons are the most common snake in the reptile trade, and barely reach 5 feet long. They could probably eat a rabbit, but DEFINITELY not a large or even medium size dog. The man was a bad liar, because he didn’t even look upset while telling this story. Just excited. And when he finished the tall tale, he just said he would be back for “that lizard,” meaning the chameleon, and walked away. He thankfully never came back.)

Not Just The Puppies You Want To Shut Up

| London, England, UK | Pets & Animals

(A customer who has recently bought a puppy comes in, complaining that she isn’t getting any sleep. At this stage I’ve talked her through a number of problems offering advice at every stage. Another customer has just come in.)

Me: “So, do you go to the puppy whenever it cries?”

Customer #1: “Well, the puppy sleeps in my bedroom so it’s difficult not to; it’s my partner’s fault.”

Me: “It’s actually better for you and the puppy if the puppy sleeps in a different room. The kitchen would be a great place and you might want to think about crate training.”

(This is where the puppy sleeps in a largish cage which is useful in toilet training and helps keep the puppy safe at night and being less destructive.)

Customer #2: *interrupting* “Excuse me, but crate training is a waste of time! I never used the crate for my puppy and had to give the crate away to charity when my puppy was six months old! It’s cruel and the puppy views it as a prison!”

(She then turns away to answer the phone but poor Customer #1 is now horrified and clearly questioning everything I’ve told her in the past 15 minutes.)

Me: *trying to save the situation* “Crate training doesn’t work for everyone but it can be a useful tool in helping you train your dog! Here’s the number of a good trainer and she can help you decide if it’s the right option for you.”

(Customer #1 leaves a little happier and Customer #2 comes up to the counter to pay. She’s still on the phone but as she’s about to leave she drops this gem:)

Customer #2: “Oh, I hope I wasn’t interfering!”

Glad They Nipped That One In The Bud

| NJ, USA | Extra Stupid, Health & Body, Pets & Animals

(A male customer comes up to me and shows me a male dog’s belly. Note that I am a rather young woman.)

Customer: “What are those bumps on his belly?”

Me: “Those are nipples.”

Customer: “But I thought you said it was a boy.”

Me: “He is a boy.”

Customer: *horrified* “So why does he have nipples?”

Me: “All mammals have nipples, sir. Don’t you?”

Customer: “I… I guess you’re right.”

(The customer turns six shades of red and walks away. This is not the first time that exact exchange has transpired.)