...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

what are words for?

Thursday afternoon, I took my stellar customer service skills on the road, and helped operate a booth for my bookstore at an off-site conference.

During a particularly busy point in the afternoon, as my cohort and I tallied sales with the most rudimentary of tools - pencils, paper, and the keen ability to calculate sales tax in my head (I laugh in your face, technology, with your fancy bells and immediate ability to tell me the proper change to give a customer. No one likes a show off. Pfft!), I helped several people with their books while also keeping an ear tuned into a shopper I'd soon be helping. In her hand was a children's book titled Miss Alaineus.

Miss Alaineus. Take a few moments and say it to yourself.

OK. Ready?

So I'm making change from a $20 on a $13.47 purchase (Quick! What is it? If you said $6.53 really fast, yeah for you!) and listening to the woman as she tried to tell her friend the title.

"Miss-a-linus?"

"Miss-a-lane-us?"

"Miss-a-lean-yous?"

"It's sounds just like 'miscellaneous,'" I said as she approached me to pay for the book.

"Miscellaneous. Miscellaneous. OH! Miss Alaineus! I get it now! You're not going to tell anyone about this, are you?" she asked with a laugh. Handing her the carbon copy of her credit card receipt (totally old school!), I assured the woman her secret was safe with me, but in my head, was thanking her for the blog fodder to fuel my riddled brain.

Why is this cute little story blog fodder?

The woman is a teacher, and I was selling her Miss Alaineus at a booth the store had set up at a reading and literacy conference.

Labels:

17 Comments:

Blogger Bee said...

Ha ha AWESOME!! And then they wonder I 3rd graders try to kill 'em!

Oops! Was that mean? ;op

Thursday, April 03, 2008 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger Backpacking Dad said...

You're a viper.

You kill quickly. You kill softly. You kill before your victim knows they've been bitten. And you're funny.

Vipers are funny. What? You've never been to Open Maw Nite down at the Serpentine Lounge? Some of the comedians are a little slimy, but...

Ok. I'm done.

Thursday, April 03, 2008 11:03:00 PM  
Blogger Melody said...

I think I may be overtired - It took me a minute to get it, too...

Thursday, April 03, 2008 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger katie said...

Oh, different gal!! you too funny!! However, seeing that i am 100% Polish and not a smidgen of anything else it took some time for me to get it too like Melody above. hehe. But once it clicked! man, you too much. Have a great weekend, my fave different kinda gal!

Friday, April 04, 2008 6:24:00 AM  
Blogger Recovering Soul said...

See? You can never tell who is going to take something stupid you say and put it on the internet. One can't be too careful these days.

Friday, April 04, 2008 8:00:00 AM  
Blogger cat said...

*snicker* *snicker*

You make me long for my bookselling days. *wistful sigh*

If only they would pay me more so I can afford to keep my house and car...

Enjoyable blog fodder! Huzzah!

Friday, April 04, 2008 8:02:00 AM  
Blogger Phyllis RenĂ©e said...

Miss Alaineus . . . she put out that album called Jagged Little Pill, right?

Friday, April 04, 2008 9:01:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Wait a minute. . .

Miss Elaine Eeyus was my 3rd-grade teacher. . .

Friday, April 04, 2008 9:30:00 AM  
Blogger Bogart in P Towne said...

Ah yes, I love me a good teacher with a pronounciation problem...

Friday, April 04, 2008 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Sailor said...

Too much fun- and she'll never need to know that not only did you tell someone... you told the world via blogger :)

Friday, April 04, 2008 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Mandy Lou said...

Her secret is totally safe, except for the 10 people I'm going to tell that story to, but I'll tell them not to tell anyone else - I swear!

Friday, April 04, 2008 11:44:00 AM  
Anonymous MadWoman said...

That little story right there makes me want to pull my kid out of school and homeschool them. Only not.

What an idiot!

Ahhh. Funny story. Now I wish I worked in a book store.

Found you from DGM and this story made me laugh.

Friday, April 04, 2008 4:03:00 PM  
Blogger Biscuit said...

The first time I read it I got "Miss All Anus."

It made my cheeks squinch up a bit.

Friday, April 04, 2008 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Thank you for protecting this woman's dignity by keeping her secret between you two...

and the entire World Wide Web audience.

And yes, it is a very cute story.

Saturday, April 05, 2008 1:15:00 AM  
Blogger Nanette said...

More than likely an english teacher. Heehee! (Did you get reimbursed for the gas/parking?)

my real word verification
ftnsh

Hear that numby? The word verification told you to shhhh! ;)

Saturday, April 05, 2008 1:24:00 AM  
Blogger kimmyk said...

ahhh she not only was a teacher but a student as well.

she didnt even know what hit her...your teachings are stealthlike gwasshoppa.

Saturday, April 05, 2008 7:58:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Bee - It's that very reason that I decided to change my education major!

Backpacking Dad - I've totally be walking around this weekend telling people I'm a vipor. Then, ok, I've also been making a hissing noise, so that might be marring my impact a bit.

Melody - It's ok, hun. You've had a tough few days!

Katie - You can get this book and read it to those preschoolers next year when you're busting the letter lessons!

RS - I tried to get her to give me her SS# so I could totally take advantage of her, but she wasn't having any of that. This was the best I could do!

Cat - I'd willingly never blog about another random customer's quirks if they paid me enough to sustain life. Alas, I'll cash my paltry checks and forever be on the lookout for new blog fodder.

Phyllis - There was some song about irony that I dug on that album...

Des - I'm sure she'd be thrilled to know she left enough of an impression on you that you remember her name!

Bogart - If nothing else, they help make the day a bit brighter.

Sailor - That or she went home that night and blogged about the smart mouth chick who helped her buy books at a literacy convention. If such were the case, I'd smile knowingly and be delighted!

Mandy - The world is small, so it would be nice and ironic of one of the people you tell tells another person and that person ends up telling this teacher. She'll have to pretend it's not her, and laugh accordingly, but inside, she'll be all "Curses!"

Madwoman - I'd not have the patience for the home schooling. I also lack overall organization. Essentially, my kids would be screwed! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

Biscuit - Somewhere is a person who would think "dream teacher!" with such a name!

LLB - I like to spread the joy however possible! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I appreciate it!

Nan - I "amended" my hours to be properly compensated, and have my parking receipts to reward me for my sacrifice!

kimmy - I like to teach with a subtle hand, ninja like, so you don't even know you've picked up on the learnin'. Sneaky, isn't it?

Sunday, April 06, 2008 10:10:00 PM  

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