Of course, I’ve never hidden the fact that I’m a geek of the first order, maybe other kids wouldn’t respond so well. As I was reminded of yesterday when an enraged father walked into my store you might also have a problem with subject matter. The guy had just bought a Spiderwick book the day before, but now wanted a refund because “the subject matter was just not appropriate for children. Who thought this was worth printing?”
My mind was spinning. Rape? Murder? Self-mutilation? Oh, sweet Jesus, patricide?
Nope. Apparently he’d gotten to page nine in the book where it was revealed that the father had left and the kid was having trouble in school. He found the exact page and read the passage to me in a huff before going off on his diatribe. He didn’t want this book sold and he didn’t want to give out his information so he could get his cash back. Given the awful nature of that book I should just give him his money. How could someone give this filth an award?
I had to do some fast talking involving the words auditor and fired as well as promise that the information would be shredded at the end of the year just to get him to fill out the refund form.
Now I understand that we all have different beliefs when it comes to what is and isn’t appropriate for kids to read, and yay for dad for taking the time to read to his son. I happen to come from a household that believes that reading about any subject is fine as long as you talk about it with your kid, but I wasn’t about to say that to dad. What I had to bite my tongue about was his absolute black or white issue when it came to this character’s life. What are you saying, Dad, that there aren’t kids out there whose fathers leave them? That they don’t experience emotional turmoil because of this and almost flunk out of school?
I think some recent statistics on single parents might disagree with you.
Maybe a book about this subject might appeal to kids in the same situation. Maybe it doesn’t matter that all this happened because in reality this is a series about how this boy recovers from this and finds magic in his life and self worth. Maybe it is just a plot device.
Would you have cared as much if the mother had up and left the kid? Or what if she’d died a la every Disney story known to humankind?
I think what bothered me about the whole situation was that he wanted to blame us. We were the evil monsters that put it on the shelves. We were the evil monsters actively selling it to the innocent customers. And since I was the one who’d rung him up the day before, I was at fault specifically for not warning him. Let’s not factor in that I was trapped behind my counter ringing up customers while he was making his selections and that I could not control the fact that he didn’t flip through the books before buying.
Damn me for not doing my job. I’m a blight on society and should be punished for my sins.
Thankfully a customer “saved” me an hour or two later. I am once again pure of spirit and forgiven for my sins. I kid you not; it's the third or fourth time this year. I can't tell if it's because I look like a big time sinner or a poor waif, led astray by the den of sin I work in. Probably the latter since the Boss often tells me I look like I'm twelve.
I apologize for the lack of regular posting these last few days; it’s been a busy week even without the diatribes and religious experiences thrown in. Posting will continue to be sporadic throughout the weekend (if it will happen at all) because I plan to use this holiday to zone out and do some reading.
Coffee and a good book? My kind of heaven.*
*Photo by Emo Guy who is very