Every bookseller fields this sort of question every day. Yesterday, I had this statement five times. Yes, five times. Often these requests come when I’m not ready for them, like first thing in the morning when I have finished neither my coffee nor my breakfast. (Why I don’t just eat at home is something I’ve never figured out.) This got me to thinking about all the things we’ve been asked.
Below are some of the requests we’ve gotten over the years:
- A gentleman called early one morning and asked if we sold pornography. I told him, without judgment, that we didn’t. He then asked if I knew where he could buy porn. I said I didn’t know and he asked if I had a phone book. At this point, I politely suggested he find his own phone book.
- Sometimes, in small towns, the local bookstore is where things get dropped off. While it’s nothing to hold an envelope or two, once someone asked if we could hold onto her kittens until Christmas morning. We were assured the kittens would be fine for the three days to their big reveal under the tree as long we kept them in their own room away from our dogs, fed them, cleaned a tiny litter box and played with them. Really? Wow.
- Someone came in and said,”I’m looking for that book that was on that show and is about a girl.” Once we deciphered the sentence we realized the customer was talking about a book she heard on the radio six months ago, and it was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
- Can you mail this book, along with this little package, to someone in prison? Um, not so much.
What are some of the crazy requests you’ve gotten?