The Case Of The Choo-Choo Charlatans

, | Right | December 7, 2009

(I work as a photographer at a railroad station where people can dress up in old-time clothes and sit in a prop made to look like a train.)

Customer: “Excuse me, does the train still function?”

Me: “Yes, if you go right outside you can buy tickets for the trains.”

Customer: “No, no. I meant that one.” *points to our fake train prop*

Me: “That’s just our background for the photos.”

Customer: “Yes, but does it still function? Can I ride it?”

Me: “Ma’am, it’s a prop. It’s fake.”

Customer: “But is it functional?”

Me: “No, it’s fake. It’s connected to the wall.”

Customer: “Well, that’s just dumb. I don’t know why you have it in here, then!”

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The Wicked Witch Of The Pacific Northwest

, , , | Right | August 14, 2009

(I work at a very popular authentic garden in Portland. Even though it is August, it has been raining hard lately.)

Customer: “Hi, I would like two adults, two kids.”

Me: “That will be $[amount].”

Customer: “So what happens if it rains?”

Me: “How do you mean?”

Customer: “What happens if it rains? Do you refund everyone’s money or something?”

Me: “Not really. This is Portland, after all. We’re famous for heavy rains.”

Customer: “Yes, but what do you do? There’s no tent or anything that you set up?”

Me: “Well, no, ma’am. This is a garden. We’re still outside, even though you’re paying to get in. And most of the time the rain doesn’t bother anyone… People still walk in the rain.”

Customer: “They what?! They walk in the rain?! Don’t they get wet?”

Me: “Well, yes, but this is Portland. We’re used to the rain, and besides, the garden is very lovely in the rain.”

Customer: “Oh, my! Oh, my! This cannot do. This is my vacation! Why does it have to rain? Don’t we get a rain discount or something?”

Me: “No, sorry. If we gave discounts for every time it rained here, we would be well out of business. And this is a garden, so it needs rain.”

Customer: “Oh, God! Oh, God! The rain… it hurts!”

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A Nation Of Size Queens

, , , , , | Right | October 27, 2008

(I work at a tourist information booth set up along the path by Niagara Falls.)

Tourist: “Excuse me, ma’am. How do I get to the falls from here?”

Me: “The Falls? They’re just behind me. That one is the Canadian Falls, also known as the Horseshoe Falls, and that other one’s the American Falls. ”

Tourist: “Why is the Cay-nay-dian Falls bigger than ours?”

Me: “Geography, I suppose.”

Tourist: “I think you have it wrong. The big one MUST be the American one.”

Me: “No, that one is the Canadian Falls.”

Tourist: “This is insane! I’m going to write my congressman and demand that that-there big falls should be ours! You Cay-Nay-Dians shouldn’t have the big one!”

Me: “You’re going to annex our Falls? Really?”

Tourist: “H*** yes I am! I have more of a right to it than you do!”

Me: “But… it’s in my country.”

Tourist: “Well, we’ll just see about that!” *storms off*


This story is part of our Canada Day roundup!

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Natural Selection In Action, Part 3

, , , , | Right | September 11, 2008

(I work at a historic fort and am dressed as soldier from the 1800s. I help tourists find their way around.)

Tourist: “Oooh, is that a real gun?”

Me: “Yes, it is; it was made in 1865.”

Tourist: “Oooh, does it still work?”

Me: “Yes, it does!”

Tourist: “Can I get a picture of you pointing it at me?”

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