I was introduced to this blog site about 30 minutes ago and I felt compelled to share it with everyone. Her entries about what customers said to her at the bookstore where she works are hilariously funny. The best part is the comments are non-fiction but sounds like fiction.
The blogger is Jen Campbell. A 24-year-old writer living in London and working at Ripping Yarns, a secondhand bookshop in North London specialising in collectable children's and illustrated books.
In her blog, she talks about the writing process and the book industry. However, what I love is the series on "Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops". It is a good read for a great laugh especially when you are feeling down, angry or moody.
Here are some of my favourite excerpts.
Customer: Excuse me, do you have any signed copies of Shakespeare plays?
Me: Er... do you mean signed by the people who performed the play?
Customer: No, I mean signed by William Shakespeare.
Customer: Hi, I'd like to return this book, please.
Me: Do you have the receipt?
Me: Erm, you bought this book at Waterstone's.
Me:.... we're not Waterstone's.
Customer: But, you're a bookshop.
Me: Yes, but we're not Waterstone's.
Customer: You're all part of the same chain.
Me: No, sorry, we're an independent bookshop.
Me: Put it this way, you wouldn't buy clothes in H&M and take them back to Zara, would you?
Customer: Well, no, because they're different shops.
Customer:... I'd like to speak to your manager.
Customer: I'm just going to nip to Tesco to do the weekly shop. I'm just going to leave my sons here, is that ok? They're three and five. They're no bother.
Customer poking his head through the door: Hi, can I bring my dog inside?
Me: Sure, there's a sign on the door that says that friendly dogs are allowed.
Customer: Hmmm. Well, she's not that friendly; she might bite people.
Me: .... well then please leave her outside
Customer: I don't suppose I could have a cup of tea, could I?
Customer: Thanks, I'm parched.
Me: Have you seen anything you'd like *indicates bookshelves*
Customer: Oh, I'm not buying. I'm just waiting for my bus.
Customer: My dear, there's a long queue in the post office, and I only want a first class stamp. Do you have one I could buy from you?
Me: No, I'm sorry, I don't.
Customer: Well then, perhaps you could go and stand in the queue for me - you're a lot younger than myself; your legs can handle it.
Me: I'm afraid not - I'm running this bookshop by myself.
Customer: I'll keep an eye on it for you.
Me: No, I'm sorry, I'm afraid I can't do that; I'd get in a lot of trouble.
Customer: Well, you've been extremely unhelpful *storms out*
Customer: Do you have brown eyes? *peers over at me*
Me: Yes, I do.
Customer: My mother told me never to trust anyone with brown eyes.
Me: You have brown eyes.
Customer: You have maps?
Me: Yes, we do. Road maps?
Me: We have old ones - Ordnance Survey maps, and road maps, here.
Customer: I need a map to Dover.
Me: *looks around.* I'm not sure we have a specific South-East map. We have a road map of the UK.
Customer: No. I walk.
Me: You're walking?
Me: To Dover?
Me: That's very very far.
Customer: It's five miles, yes?
Me: No. It's about eighty miles.
Customer: You point me in the right direction?
Me: I don't know which way it is from here.
Customer: Ok. I follow the smell of the sea.
Customer: These books are really stupid, aren't they?
Me: Which ones?
Customer: You know, the ones where cats and mice are best friends.
Me: I suppose they're not very realistic, but then that's fiction.
Customer: It's really stupid.
Me: Well, they use that kind of thing to teach kids about accepting people different to you, you know?
Customer: Yeah, well, books shouldn't pretend that different people get on like that and everything is la de da and wonderful, should they? Kids should learn that life's a bitch, and the sooner the better.
Man: *enters bookshop smoking a cigarette*
Me: Excuse me?
Me: Could you put that cigarette out, please?
Me: Because it's illegal to smoke in a public place.
Man: This isn't a public place; there's only you and me here.
Me: Yes, but it's still a public place. And apart from anything else: I'm allergic to cigarette smoke, and this shop is rather flammable.
Me: … because it's filled with paper.
Man: Is it?
Customer: *poking her head around the door, glancing at our six by six metre bookshop*: Do you have a cafe in here?
Me: No, I'm afraid we don't.
Me: No, I'm afraid we don't.
Customer: Oh, I was looking for a bookshop with a cafe.
Me: If you want a cup of tea, there's a cafe four doors down.
Customer: Could I take some books there with me to look through and browse? And then bring them back?
For more, please visit Jen's blog at http://jen-campbell.blogspot.com/2011/05/weird-things-customers-say-in-bookshops.html