November 28, 2011
Weird interactions with customers, part two
by Melville House
Emily Cleaver worked at Quinto Bookshop in London for four years, and wrote to us with a link to her website, Small Plays About My Day. In it, she details some interactions with customers that are humorous, bizarre, and disconcerting, and give our first weird interactions post a run for its money. We can’t stop reading them, so we decided to give you a few samples below. In the words of George Orwell: “In a town like London there are always plenty of not quite certifiable lunatics walking the streets, and they tend to gravitate towards bookshops, because a bookshop is one of the few places where you can hang about for a long time without spending any money.”
From November 28th, 2010:
Man in fur hat: Do you have a copy of the Rituale Romanum?
Emily: I’m not sure … what is that exactly?
Man in fur hat: They use it for exorcisms and house clearances.
Neil: Have you got a ghost?
Man in fur hat: Well, yes, we have.
Man in fur hat: I’m a Catholic, see. Well, lapsed. But this book has been scientifically tested, and it works for anyone.
Emily: That’s good.
Man in fur hat: Don’t laugh about it, because it works. If you’ve got a copy, hold onto it. You never know.
Emily: We haven’t got a copy, I’m sorry.
Man in fur hat: You’re sure you’re not tucking one away?
Emily: I’m sure.
Man in fur hat: Oh well.
Neil: Good luck with the ghost.
From June 19, 2010:
Muscular man with tattoos: Could I have a look at the book ‘Dens of Depravity, Boys In Jail’ that you’ve got in the window?
Zoe: Sure. (Gets book out of window)
Muscular man with tattoos: Thanks. (Flicks through book)
Zoe: We’ve got quite a lot more of that kind of erotica downstairs, if you’re interested.
Muscular man with tattoos: Er, no thanks. (Hands back book) I thought it was about prisons.
From April 4, 2010:
Man in glasses: This is my hat.
Emily: Is it? We wondered who left it.
Man in glasses: I’d know it anywhere.
Emily: That’s fine, you can take it.
Man in glasses: They can get you into trouble, hats.
Emily: Oh yes?
Man in glasses: You don’t get into clubs wearing them.
Man in glasses: But I shouldn’t get angry about it. My rage is devastating.
Emily: Oh dear.
Man in glasses: It’s like I’m possessed. Do you want to see?
Man in glasses: (Screaming) GRRRRRR! ARRRRRRGH! RAAAAGH!
Zoë: Shall I start putting your books through the till?
Man in glasses: It’s a demon, but I know its name, so I can control it.
Zoë: That’s thirteen pounds please.
Man in glasses: (Hands over cash) And I’m gone. (Runs out of shop and across street.)