We're All Damaged

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Apparently I’m that Creepy Guy in the Bookstore

This afternoon, I was wandering around Barnes & Noble by myself, which is something I do a lot now. When you don’t have a job, filling the hours can be daunting, and so surrounding yourself with books allows you to convince yourself that you’re doing something at least mildly constructive, even if you spend most of that time looking at pictures of actors from shows you don’t watch drinking lattes in US Weekly.

Celebrities really are just like US!

After a half hour or so, I happened to find myself up by the information desk. There was a middle-aged woman stationed there. She looked like the sort of person who’d work at the information desk at a bookstore, with glasses and such. I noticed another woman approaching, a customer, and she was flanked by two bored-looking children wearing Crocs.

“Hi,” she said. “I’m looking for one thousand white women.”

This immediately struck me as an odd thing for someone to say to someone else so casually, and so I quickly replayed it in my head. When everything came back clean, I turned around and said, “Well, come on. Who isn’t? Am I right ladies?”

Like a lot of people who mask insecurity and crippling neurosis with humor, I smiled and waited for the inevitable burst of laughter. However, what I got instead were two of the blankest stares in the history of human civilization.

“One thousand white women,” I said. But, this didn’t seem to clear things up at all. In fact, their stares, if possible, grew blanker. The two children, a boy and a girl, were staring at me now, too. My face grew hot, and I considered the logistics of inventing my own personal laugh-track. It would be the size of an iPod and I’d keep it in my pocket for situations like this.

“Well, OK then,” I said, finally, and walked away.

Thirty seconds later, as I hid behind a Twilight display, the help desk lady whispered, “We really do get all kinds in here.” Apparently, One Thousand White Women is the name of a book. Who knew? Sounds like quite a read though.

Ooooooooooo look! Jennifer Love Hewitt is surfing!


  1. Matt. this. was. AWESOME!

  2. LOLOL!! You know, you should go in there with a copy of the book and announce to the lady loudly that it was, indeed the name of a book and not the racist ramblings of a BNP obsessive. And that in fact, you had ordered a copy from Amazon because Amazon was not at all judgemental and would offer you helpful advice for pretty much any request that you had- book or otherwise.

    Inform her [insert glee... a little glee is always nice] that she had subsequently not only lost your business but also your respect because unlike Amazon, SHE did not seem to be aware of her product catalog, in fact SHE did not seem to be up on modern literature at all. Which made her a liar (you know, because of the glasses and acting like she was smart and helpful and all that) and that you would therefore have no other option than to report her to the Better Business Bureau (or whatever they have over there) for False Advertising and impersonating a sodding assistant when she clearly could not assist herself over to the new release rack. :-)

    Hey, waiting on the book and the subsequent blasting session would give you something to look forward to while you look for new work, right??

    Mr. Norman, thank you for making me laugh A. Lot. this morning. You poor love. I hope you find something soon. In the mean time, please keep the posts coming...


  3. man, how come creepy bookstore guys dont go out with creepy bookstore girls? I am that girl, and I can never find a guy to date! But I think that when I read comic books and sex books people think that I am a serial killer... it makes no sense!