Working in a bookstore during a blizzard, it turns out, is bizarrely entertaining.
And while my store always manages to produce nearly as many stories of its own as we sell, I knew today was going to be particularly interesting when I picked up the phone, and this happened:
“[Bookstore] at [location]; how may I help you?”
“…is this the [bookstore] at [location]?”
He then asked me if we had a specific title; I looked it up and had to tell him no.
There was a pause.
And then, in all seriousness, not at all snarkily:
“Do you sell books?”
I informed him that, yes, not only is the bookstore at this specific location at this specific location — it does, in fact, also sell books.
A few minutes later, the phone rang again.
This time, the man on the other end of the line started off the conversation by informing me that he was going on a walk.
Mind you: We are in the middle of a blizzard.
But okay. I know better than to ask questions, by this point.
I waited, and he went on.
He wanted to know if we sell audiobooks. And whether or not we sell anything that he could play them on.
Like a Walkman.
When I told him that, while we do sell audiobooks, we do not have Walkmen, he asked where exactly he could buy one.
He was amenable enough when I said I had absolutely no idea where he could buy a Walkman these days, and thoughtfully inquired as to whether or not our audiobooks were on cassette.
Yet again, I had to tell him no, and so instead he just moved on to asking me how big CDs are.
And once he found out that bit of information, he hung up, sounding happy enough and presumably off to begin that walk of his.
In the blizzard.
To look for a Walkman.
Later, I mentioned all this to one of my managers, and she walked away laughing and shaking her head, insisting that these things couldn’t really have happened.
I reminded her of the time I found a miscarriage in our bathroom*.
And then she had to concede the point that this store really is that strange.
(And quite possibly caught in the middle of a timewarp heralded by a Nor’easter?)
[*Yes, this really happened. And yes, it was every bit as disturbing as you’d imagine.]