Would you like an honest opinion with that?

My head was giving off some amount of heat when I was in work this evening. You could have had a fry-up on it! I had spent a lot of time in the sun earlier on in the day so I reckon it absorbed a lot of heat from walking around; kinda like those solar panel bins that are all around the city centre.

Most of my shift involved me sitting on a chair. While there, I was approached by a mother and her daughter.

The daughter asked me a question that had nothing to do with books.

Doris: “Why is there tape all on the floor?”

Me: “That’s to keep it together.”

She looks slightly disappointed by my answer.

Me: “You were hoping for a more magical answer, weren’t you?”

She says nothing.
Her mother is also silent until I process the sale and give her the change.

Madeline: “Oh! Look at the new fiver. I was utterly shocked when I got a new one. Did they not tell anyone they were bringing them in?”

Me: “They mentioned it on the news and I’m sure they went on about it in the papers.”

Madeline: “I wouldn’t know anything about the papers. I don’t read them.”

She turns to her daughter.

Madeline: “Did Tony—I can only assume the Tony is the husband—mention anything about the new fivers?”

Doris: “I don’t know, he doesn’t talk to me.”

Madeline: “Waste of time the papers.”

She laughs and walks off.

Not long after her a girl approaches me buying a classic book.

Liz: “Is this book any good?”

Me: “Do you want my opinion or the opinion of someone trying to sell a book?”

Liz: “Eh, yours.”

Me: “I hated it! You could figure out what was going happen fairly early on.”

Liz: “What was that?”

Me: “It would only ruin it if you plan on reading it.”

Liz: “No, please, go on.”

Me: “Well, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy hate each other, then they resolve their differences and get married.”

Liz: “Oh, that doesn’t sound that interesting at all.”

Me: “Oh, it doesn’t, no.”

She goes on her way without buying anything.

I can only imagine how Madeline keeps up with current affairs; if she does at all. What kind of father was Tony? They kind that ignores his child I suppose. As for Liz…maybe I shouldn’t have been too honest about her choice of book. She did ask though. And when people ask me for my honest opinion I tend to be very forthcoming with it. I wonder if that’s why she didn’t buy the book? #BaldManProblems.

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It only works if you’re outside. It’s the rules, so it is.

It was a glorious day out, today. I could have spent it skipping, eating ice cream, and holding hands with anyone willing. But sadly, no, it was not meant to be. Instead I was stuck in the bowels of a building with no ice cream, bereft of hand holding, and a bottle of tepid water to keep myself hydrated. Not the most ideal way to spend a sunny Sunday, unless you’re allergic to UV rays, lactose intolerant, and are against hand holding; then it’s utter bliss.

It was fairly quiet. You could hear people inhale and exhale down the other end of the shop. My day had been going fine, no one had anything weird to say or swore at me. A guy did yesterday. I’m not sure I really deserved it, I was trying to have a laugh with him.

Bald Man flash back

He placed his book down.

Me: “Do you have a loyalty card?”

Sid Michael: “No, I don’t come often.”

Me: “Going through a dry spell, eh? Ha, Ha.”

Sid Michael: “You’re a dirty fucker!”

I didn’t think there was any need for that…

Bald Man Present.

So, there I was on the till. It was about an hour and a half before closing time.
Ah fella, who was definitely dressed for the sun and a little too fond of ice cream, approached me.

Sun Stroke Sam: “Hello.”

Me: “Howiya!”

Sun Stroke Sam: “Lovely day, today.”

Me: ” I wouldn’t really know. I’m stuck down here.”

Sun Stroke Sam: “Ah, that’s shame. Tell me, would you have an audio version of the bible.”

Me: “Eh,no. But there is one coming out soon that’s read by Richard Dawkins.”

Sun Stroke Sam: “Oh, when will that be in?”

Me: “Ha, sorry I was only joking, he’s the last person who would do that. There’s nothing like that available.”

Sun Stroke Sam: “You got my hopes up. You shouldn’t lie about the bible, it’s a sin and you’ll pay for it. Mark my words.”

Me: “I highly doubt that.”

He goes off in a huff.

You think someone who was fond of ice cream would have a sense of humor…I always thought the sun brought out the best in people. That all differences could be put aside under the sun and everyone would be happy, share a joke, and share ice cream together. I guess you have to be outside for the jokes to work. #BaldManProblems.

If you’re going to offer me advice, please refrain from swearing beforehand.

A lady from the country approached me while I was on the till. I couldn’t be certain what part of the bog she was from, but I’m sure it was fairly deep down. She was buying a book for her grandchild. I knew this because she told me a number of times.

She places the book down in front of me. She has a twinkle in her eye. It was either pixie bog dust or the early onsets of cataracts.

Lady Montgomery: “I looked through all the books and settled on this one.”

Me: “Not a bad choice, now.”

Lady Montgomery: “I’m up for day. I wanted to bring something back down for my grandchild.”

Me: “That’s decent of you.”

I finish the sale. She moves off to the side and starts looking at a stand that contains a selection of art stuff for young girls. She spots a plastic purse that contains markers.

Lady Montgomery: “Oh, this is lovely! Is it any good?”

Me: “You’d really be better off buying something else.”

Lady Montgomery: “Why is that?”

Me: “Well, the presentation is nice but the contents are pretty dismal.”

Lady Montgomery: “You’re not a very good salesman.”

Me: “I’m honest. I’m not going to try and sell something to someone knowing that it’s not good quality.”

Lady Montgomery: “Oh, I’d like to have an honest man like you to go shopping with me.”

Me: “Ha, yeah…I’ll have to pass for the moment.”

She leaves quite happy with herself.

Not long after her I get a phone call from a fairly angry man.

Pragmatic Paddy: “Hello, I’m looking to see if you stock a book.”

Me: “Sure, what are looking for?”

He gives me the title.
I check it out for him.

Me: “No, sorry we don’t have it. If you come in we could order it for you.”

Pragmatic Paddy: “Feck sake! This is all because I left my book on the train; then some git came along and took it! I hope the bastards hand’s fall off.”

Me: “Ha, ha! That’s a bit harsh, now.”

Pragmatic Paddy: “It kind of was. Right, I’ll leave you with some advice: don’t trust anyone!”

Me: “I’ll try to remember that.”

It was nice of the bog one to think I was an honest man. I just don’t know whether I should feel flattered or put off about the bog woman wanting me as a shopping buddy. As for the gentleman on the phone…well, I generally only take advice off people who don’t wish ill-will towards others. He had so much promise, but he made an arse of it all when he went off on his rant. #BaldManProblems.

Sometimes I wish I could dive over the counter.

I was hopping between the till and the floor, today. I felt like a rabbit hopping between his rabbit burrow and the green pasture where he made his little burrow. So, while I was at the burrow, I mean at the till, I served a woman buying sports magazines and a kids magazine that came with cheap little rings that would probably turn your finger green.

I start scanning the stuff through.

Loose Looking Linda: “So what do you think about ol’ Fergie retiring?”

Me: “I’ve absolute zero interest in sport.”

Loose Looking Linda: “What are you, gay?”

Me: “My lack of interest in sport does not define my sexual orientation.”

Loose Looking Linda: “Yeah, whatever. So what do you for fun?”

Me: “I crochet.”

She’s says nothing and leaves the shop.

That’s one of the most ignorant responses from someone when I inform them that I’ve no interest in sport. #BaldManProblems.

I wish people had more manners.

So there I was, stuck on the till and face to face with a man who was taller than Tom Cruise, but not by much.

Marcel: “Do you have anything on the reproductive cycle of cows?”

This question caught me off guard.

Me: “What?”

Marcel: “Do you have anything on the reproductive cycle of cows?”

Me: “Ha, no. We just have books for parents who want to teach their children about the birds and the bees.”

He’s quiet for a moment. The cogs are slowly turning.

Marcel: “What about ducks?”

Me: “What about ducks?”

Marcel: “Duck sex!”

Me: “Ha, ha! No! These books sound a bit too specialized for this shop.”

He doesn’t seem too pleased about this.

Marcel: “Yeah…OK.”

I can only imagine what kind of abominations he would try to breed if he got his hands on those books…The git didn’t even say thanks! I wish people had more manners. #BaldManProblems.

Please, just arse off!

There was an author event on in work this evening. Mr. Michael Grant, who looked a lot like a very old me-it was like looking into the future- had come in to talk about himself and sign his books for all his fans. I couldn’t really hear him because of the sound system the shop had kept cutting in and out; but he seemed to be funny because he read out a bit of an erotic novel himself and his wife wrote together, years ago.

The event ended and I helped pack away the stuff and put tables back in place. That was grand, no problem doing that. What bothered me was dealing with a daughter and mother. I was on the desk with Mulligan. He had just sold them ‘Crime and Punishment’ by Dostoevsky. The Mother was talking to the daughter about how great he was.

Mother Marple: “Now, this is a great book to read to get you into classics.” She looks at Mulligan, then me. “What do you think?”

I didn’t want to say anything. I really wasn’t in the mood, but I ended up talking to her.

Me: “Dostoevsky is the worst person to start off with if you’re planning on getting into the classic authors.”

Mother Marple: “Well, what would you recommend?”

Me: “I’d give Gaston Leroux’s ‘The Phantom Of The Opera’ a shot. It’s like reading a modern novel and the story is fantastic.”

She looks to her daughter.

Mother Marple: “What do you think about that?”

Daisy: “I don’t know. I can spell onomatopoeia, though.”

Mother Marple: “I think we will get that. Is it down where I got this book?”

Me: “Yeah, I’ll come down with you and get it for you.”

I go down and give her the book.

Mother Marple: “This is great! Now, young man, what can you recommend for me?”

I rattle off a few titles to her.

Me: “You could always try ‘The Wizard of Oz’? or ‘Peter Pan’?”

Mother Marple: “No, I couldn’t read them.”

Me: “Ok, how about ‘Alice in Wonderland?”

Mother Marple: “Is that not a kids book? I heard Lewis Carroll was a paedophile.”

Me: “He was not a paedophile. He wrote the story for children, that doesn’t make him a paedophile. They said the same thing about J.M Barrie because he wrote children’s literature. It’s not true.”

Mother Marple: “I think I should know what I’m talking about, like, I did a night course over in Germany, a few years ago, about literature.”

Me: “Well done. Would you like to buy the books, now?”

Mother Marple: “Yes please.”

I take her back up to the tills and sell her the books. I don’t know what was worse: her daughter telling me she could spell onomatopoeia and contributing nothing more to the conversation, or her mother taking on a pompous tone when telling me about a course she did, in Germany, a few years ago. Feckin’ self-proclaimed intellect! #BaldManProblems.