At customer service yesterday I answered the phone. A woman wanted to get the book, The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life. Originally published in 1870, it is still being published. We didn't have any in the store, so she wanted to order one. There were many different versions to choose from. I was describing some of the versions to her so she could choose. Someone came up to the information desk wanting some help. The woman on the phone chose which version she wanted. After that all I needed to do was to get her contact information so we could contact her when the book came in. Someone else was coming up for help too. Should I call for more help at the desk? I thought I'd be okay, I got her name, phone number, I was almost done. Then she said, "Can you tell me if this book is available in Hungarian? I'd like to get it for my mother, who is older. Hungary is a country in Europe..." I called for backup.
An older man, in his 70's or 80's came up to the desk. He was wheezing and breathing heavily, almost gasping for air. His skin looked grey-ish. He used a cane, and leaned heavily on it as he walked and heavily onto the counter when he got there.
"Taliban and War is the title," he said. "I want that book."
"Do you know the author?", I asked?
"Mosley," he said.
I searched, both as an exact title and just with Taliban and war as keywords, with the author's name and without...
"I could end that damn war tomorrow if they'd just let me go over there," he said. "I could do it. It's been going on too long. Are you finding it? I also want Marley and Me. Damn war. Damn government."
"Marley and Me we have," I said. "I'm still not finding a book with that title either with or without that author..."
"If they'd let me go, I'd go right now. I could stop that war." (gasp, wheeze) "It's not going to be stopped by atheists though. Too many damn atheists in the government. Damn atheists. Damn government. Damn Obama. Do you have that book?"
"I'll go get Marley and Me," I said, thinking it might be better for him if I went and got the book for him. He followed me.
"Got any more dog books?," he asked.
"We sure do, here's the section right here. James Herriot has one...," I handed him James Herriot's Dog Stories.
"This is good?," he asked.
"He is good," I said.
"All right, if you say so. I'll take it."
A woman stopped me in one of the aisles.
"Can you show me the 'Teenagers are driving you crazy' section?"
I laughed. "We sure do, right over here," leading her to the parenting and childcare section.
"Maybe there's a book called Teenagers Suck," she mused. "And I mean that in the most loving way possible."
She was having struggles communicating with and dealing with the two teenagers she had at home. She'd already read Get Out of My Life, But First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall?. We perused the section, and found a few...the Everything Guide to Teenagers, Parenting with Love and Logic.
"It's like they are totally different people. My son who used to be so sweet now isn't," she said.
"Yeah, they do that. Mine did that." "Oh, you have teenagers?," she asked intently.
"Well, they are in their 20's now."
"Ah. You survived.," she said wistfully.
"I did. You'll survive too." I left her looking at several books.
A dark haired woman with bright red lipstick came up to the register. She was wearing a bright blue tank top and her fingernails were long and polished with glittery polish and there were stars on the fingernails as well. She had a big Wonder Woman tattoo on her arm, and a Wonder Woman figurine on her keychain. I'm pretty sure she is Wonder Woman. She might want be a little more discreet, so others don't find out.