She held up a book on hand reflexology and asked, "do you have any books on foot reflexology?"
"Um, I'm not sure. I'll take a look." I walked out from around the desk and started toward the health section; she blocked my path, saying:
"And I'm also looking for a book called Heal Yourself From Within. And one called...I think it's Move Your Stuff. And I think it's by someone called Carter - like, Karen Carter. I think."
"Okay." I walked back to the computer and ran a search for the titles. "Hm, I don't see either one."
"I'm not sure of the title for the second one. Something like Move Your Stuff, Move Your Life...I don't know."
Well maybe you should have figured that out before asking me.
"Well, I don't see anything with a title like that, and I checked for books by people named Carter as well. What kind of book is it?"
"Okay, well, I can show you the section where -"
"What about Healing Yourself From Within?"
Yeah, it's not like I just told you we didn't have it or anything.
"We didn't have that one, no."
"And books on foot reflexology?"
Are you freaking serious?
"Well, I'll have to take a look - over in health -"
"Where is health?"
"Right this way."
I walked her over to the health section and started scanning for reflexology books.
"Where would stuff on feng shui be?"
"Probably in self -"
"Self help? Really?"
Yes, really, although I don't know how you could be so sure about what I was telling you since you didn't let me finish.
"Yeah. I'll check in -"
"Why wouldn't it be in decorating?"
"Well, it could be - I'm going to che -"
"And foot reflexology?"
Forget checking. Maybe I'll just shoot you.
"...Would be here, in health."
"And where is self-help?"
"Right there, where you're standing."
I continued looking for foot books; then she turned to me...
"Where is self-help again?"
"That shelf in front of you. And it doesn't look like we have any books on foot reflexology, sorry."
"I don't see any feng shui. Why isn't it in decorating?"
"I'm looking there now."
"Do you know what it is?"
"Do I know what what is? Feng shui?"
"Yes, I'm familiar with it. But we don't get very many books on it in, so..."
"Well that's surprising."
"I don't see any books on feng shui."
I am going to cry.
"Well, I'm looking over here, too - but again, it's not something that we tend to have a lot of."
"Ooh! Dr. Phil!"
She held up a copy of Love Matters. "I like him."
Yes, I'm sure you do.
"Ooh, you have a whole Dr. Phil section!" She pointed to a label on the shelf reading Dr. Phil.
"Are the books here in order?"
"Yes, somewhat - the labels tell you the sub-categories..."
"Like...Dr. Phil. Or relationship issues, here. Or parenting - it's all categorized."
"I can't remember the name of the feng shui book. Do you have internet access? You can find it on this website, called Amazon."
Oh my God. No way. There's a website called AMAZON? And I can look shit up on it? My whole. World. Has opened up.
"Yes, I've used Amazon. I'll check for you."
I abandoned my perusal of the decorating section, did a search for the book, found the correct title, and checked our database again. We didn't have it, which I told her, and then I enjoyed a few moments peace while she browsed.
Eventually, though, she walked up to the counter with a stack of books. And amazingly, she had a question.
"So, like, how does it work?"
"Um, how does what work?"
"Bringing books in."
Oh, Christ. Now I have to explain the credit policy to this woman?
I explained the policy in painstaking detail, and she listened with her head cocked so far to the side it was almost lying on her shoulder. When I finished she stared at me for a moment; then:
"Well, can you give me an example?"
So I did. I gave multiple examples, and after about five minutes or so she seemed to digest it. She asked me to set some books back for her so she could buy them later, which I did, and then she asked:
"So did you find any books on foot reflexology?"
And I killed her.