Saturday, April 9, 2011
Nestor came into the store this morning and asked me to go the local post office and buy him some stamps. Now I get a lot of non-book requests, like, do you have a bathroom, can I have a Kleenex, where is the locksmith, is there a God? But this seemed a bit over the top so I said, Nestor, WTF. He said do this for me and I’ll stop stealing your books. I knew Nestor was stealing but since he has peculiar tastes and actually buys the occasional book, I never paid it any mind. But still. So I asked him, why not buy your own stamps and he said that Johnny, the Postal clerk, was mad at him. What the hell did you do to Johnny, I asked. Nestor looked at the floor and said, I stared at his teeth.
This was getting a little weird, even for my store. What, I said, do you mean you stared at his teeth. Nestor shuffled a bit and said, I was buying stamps and I must have been daydreaming at the counter because suddenly I woke up and realized that I’d been staring at his teeth. Really staring. Well, I said, that’s not so bad. But, Nestor continued, I think maybe he has very bad teeth. Nestor never says ‘I think maybe’ unless he’s sure of the thing. Nestor continued, then I got nervous and smiled and that’s when he started to look really pissed off. I tried to look innocent, but it only seemed to make things worse.
Wait a minute, I interrupted, show me your innocent face. Nestor pinched his lips together into a sphincter the size of a dime and opened his eyes so wide I thought they’d pop out of his head. Holy moly, I shouted, you looked at him like that?! My advice to you, Nestor, is avoid the Post Office for at least a week. Nestor didn’t look convinced but who cares. It’s not like they can withdraw my ‘Excellence In Customer Service Award’ again for giving bad advice.
The cartoon is from xkcd.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
When I discovered that one of my customers is a psychiatrist I told him that I was a defrocked priest but that he mustn’t tell anyone. I’m still not quite sure why I told him this, I suspect it was because I’ve always liked the sound of the word ‘defrocked’ but who cares, it churned the conversation up a bit and he soon wanted to know why I’d been defrocked. I said it was complicated and since I didn’t suffer the curse of complexity I was very confused. He didn’t buy it and said so by glaring at me. Well, I wasn’t intimidated in the least because his wife was in the other day complaining about him and when a man’s wife tells you things about him, he loses all power over you. Especially when she tells you that her husband is afraid of sunlight. I just couldn’t resist so I asked her, you think he’s a vampire? and she said don’t be stupid, he just thinks that every cell in his body is a suntan away from erupting into a spongy tumor.
So I just glared back at him and said that defrocking was a very private thing and I can’t even spell embezzlement so why would I do it and anyway I needed the money for my gambling habit. And speaking of gambling, I said, just to change the subject a bit while I rang up his purchase, don’t you think, I said, that we should prepare children for the unpredictability of life by teaching them to play poker, starting maybe in grade school. Poker would teach the little creatures about the nature of risk and how the house always wins in the end. It would be more instructive than the statistics and ethics courses they’ll eventually cheat their way through. The good doctor counted his change, with more care then necessary I thought, and as he left asked me if I was off my medication. Some people.