“Uh, I’m looking for this book, I can’t really remember the title, but I think it had something to do with remembering words?” (the customer side of a conversation overheard in the Warwick’s book department this afternoon)
How do people who speak in inane jibberjabber like this manage to maintain basic life function? How did this woman manage to get out of her home, drive her Mercedes the five blocks to Warwick’s, get out with both high-heeled feet on the ground, walk into the bookstore, and form those words through her collagen-injected lips – without killing anyone, let alone realizing the utter inanity of what she was saying. There’s no possible way she realized that what she was saying was laced with such ironic humor. Wouldn’t a normal, self-respecting person have just stayed home, eaten a grilled cheese sandwich and Googled “word memory book”?
I realize that every bookseller has their own, very similar stories, but here are a couple of my all time favorites, omitting the several conversations with people trying to ask for the book, The Memory Bible, but who just can’t seem to remember any part of the title – I’ve lost count of those stories.
“What was the title of the book you ordered?”
“Uhhh, something about Alzheimer’s. I don’t remember.”
Seriously, you just said that? How can you expect me not to laugh? I mean no offense, but how am I to be expected to control myself?
Then there was the concerned mother who wanted to make absolutely sure that her 12-year old son would not stumble across any sexuality in Ender’s Game – a sci-fi novel about a six-year old boy who fights space aliens. Granted, the alien creatures in the book are called “buggers”, but I decided she didn’t need to know that. This was a hard enough conversation to have without telling her how much time her son was already spending just thinking about sex, let alone having it with someone else. Poor bastard. When her total purchase was calculated at $69.69, five minutes later, I received no reaction from this irony-free, humorless, somehow sexless mother. Hilarious. But I didn’t laugh.
PS: Just when I though I was done with this rambling rant, I stumbled on this great homeschooling website, where a book reviewing parent had this to say about Ender’s Game:
“…the story is overflowing with profanities and horrific descriptions that include the torture and deaths of animals, as well as several of the book’s characters. What parent really wants their child reading books that will certainly generate troubling images and thoughts? It’s been several days since I finished reading Ender’s Game and I still can’t get it out of my head. Publishers and reviewers might say that makes the book great. I say it makes it dangerous. Ender’s Game is not appropriate for children of any age.”