Chapter One: The Customer As Hero
The sweet looking grandma, dripping in gold and pearls did not exactly measure up to type. She seemed placid enough at first, but my hero worship kicked in when she began a conversation about politics and managed to end it by yelling at the top of her voice "there are only two things, in my opinion, that men are interested in: SEX and WINNING".
Apologies to the mild mannered old man who happened to be in the shop at the time, quietly minding his own business. I presume the reason you left so quickly was because you realised it was a while since you had had sex or won anything.
Apologies also to anyone who has found this blog by googling "sex and winning". It probably isn't quite what you were looking for.
Chapter Two: The Customer As Dullard
The slightly frazzled looking middle aged woman practically flung herself at the counter. "There's a new book out... [pause to give me time to give her the answer, in case this was all the information she would need to provide me with]. It's called something like... Crime."
I looked at the reddish lacy corset she had on over her skivvy and under her jacket, which was bravely teamed with an akubra. I took a deep breath and allowed my brain to shrink to about the size that her's likely was. My eyes (probably) glazed over a bit and I pronounced - oracle like - "is it Truth by Peter Temple?"
"Yes! Yes that's it!!" Now. There's another book... [again, the pause]. It was recently made in to a movie [another pause]... it's got an animal in the title".
"Ummmm.... is it fiction or non-fiction?" I asked, mostly to play for time.
"Fiction, it's fiction It's definitely fiction. It's got an animal in the title.... a tortoise. It's something about a tortoise".
"Ohhh. Um well I'm not sure that I... (at this point I remembered to forget my brain again) ... Hedgehog! It's The Elegance Of The Hedgehog".
(Modesty prevents me from accurately recording all the fabulous things she said about at this point but please, let you imaginations run wild).
And that, folks, is why I get paid such an obscene amount of money*.
*poetic license may have been taken to the extreme.