Sunday, December 11, 2005

This morning was great. McLaren preached, we were together, but man, was it cold or what?

I think it was wonderful that people who have read McLaren finally got to hear him speak. I wonder how many people were disappointed. The great thing about listening to him is that he doesn't dazzle, as you would expect the leader of a serious movement. He is not what you read about in leadership books. He is a pastor. I like that.

Well, I'm off to work when my pants finish drying. Holidays are in full force at Barnes and Noble.

Whoever made up the saying "There is no such thing as a stupid question," has never worked retail during the holidays. Here are some samplings of conversations me and my fellow booksellers have had over the past two weeks...

--Woman holding Ann Rice's "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt" walks up to bookseller and says "Do y'all have that new Ann Rice book about Jesus?"

-- Customer walks up to me holding a paperback copy of Alexandar McCall Smith's "Sunday Philosophy Club" and says "This isn't a paperback, what do you call it?"

-- Woman walks up to me with a copy of a book titled "The Polar Bear Mysteries" and says "Why is this titled this?" I say, "I've never read it, I'm not sure." She says "So you can't look in it and find out?" I read the first page and find out there is a cat named Polar Bear and tell her. She says "Why is the cat named Polar Bear?"

-- Lady: I want that Medical Terminology Book.
Me: Ma'am, we have a lot of Medical Terminology books.
Lady hands me a sheet of paper with a phone number on it and asks if I can call to find out which one she needs. I call, the lady on the other end says any Medical Dictionary will do. I take the customer to the section and show her Medical Dictionaries and she asks, "Which one is the best?" I say "Would you like for me to look through them all to find out?" I thought I said it sarcastically enough for her to get the hint, but evidently not. She says "Would you mind?" I grab two of them, look at them and say "Well, this one looks more general and this one looks more specific." She says "What do you mean 'general' and 'specific.'

And this lady will be working for my doctor someday.

-- Customer on the phone: Do you have the individual Chronicles of Narnia on CD?
Me: Yes, we have boxed sets of all of them as well as each indivudal.
Customer: How much do they run?
Me: Between 25 and 30 dollars, depending on the length.
Customer: What do you mean depending on the length?
Me (refraining from making a penis joke): Well, the shorter ones will be 25, the longer ones 30.
Customer: Oh, that's weird.

And my favorite:
-- Customer: Do you have the Bill O'Reilly for kids book?
Me: Yes sir, let me show you where it is.
I take the customer to the KIDS section, where "O'Reilly for KIDS" is located.
Customer: Why do y'all put his book all the way in the back. (The implication being that we are persecuting conservatives.)
Me: Because the book "O'Reilly for Kids" is located in the kids section, which just happens to be in the back.
Customer: Well, would it hurt you to put the kids section a little closer up?
Me: We could do that, but then we'd have to move current affairs to the back. All his other books are in Current Affairs, so they'd be in the back.
Customer: Well, that would be ok. I wouldn't mind walking back there if that's where the section is.

Oh, for a day when I can speak my mind.

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