What A Bunch Of Oxy-Morons

| Right | December 7, 2015

(A woman and her husband come up to the customer service counter.)

Woman: “Where is your non-fiction section?”

(Since ‘non-fiction’ ranges from cookbooks to field guides to history and beyond, I have no idea how to respond, so I stare at her for a moment before answering.)

Me: “Well, most of the store is non-fiction. What kind of book are you looking for?”

Woman: “It’s a non-fiction book about some people.”

Me: “Yes. What kind? Is it a biography or maybe true crime?”

Woman: “No, it’s just a non-fiction book about some people. My friend told me it was good. I’m in a book club.”

Husband: “Don’t you just have a non-fiction section?”

Woman: “It’s a non-fiction novel about some people!”

(‘Non-fiction novel’ is an oxymoron. I have to explain what nonfiction is, and she continues to insist that she just needs me to point her to the non-fiction section. She doesn’t have a title, author, or even a general description beyond it being about some people. She is convinced that if I take her to the ‘non-fiction section,’ she’ll find it. Finally, I try to politely end the conversation, because this is pointless.)

Me: “Well, I’m really not sure where to point you, since we’re already standing in a non-fiction section. Do you have any idea what or who the book is about?”

Husband: *looking confused and defeated* “It’s just a non-fiction book… it’s about people.”

Woman: “Maybe I should go get more information from my friend.”

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