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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen

An anecdote from the bloglines has reminded me of my own trouble in finding the right book. From a librarian:

Patron: Do you have a copy of Jane EEEEEE-RAY?
ME: Excuse me?
Patron: Jane EEEEEE-RAY by Emily Bronte?
ME: Oh, you mean Jane EYRE (pronounced AIR) by CHARLOTTE Bronte.
Patron: Yes.
ME: Why yes! Let me go get it! (and I wander into the stack to get the book) I have it right here!
Patron: Is it PINK?
ME:Excuse me?
Patron: Is it PINK? I only want the one that is pink.
ME: Well, this copy is a light beige, I guess you could call it pink.
Patron: OK.

I guess if you cannot tell the difference between Charlotte and Emily Bronte, you really can't tell the difference between beige and pink.

It works both ways. I don't bother buying books from Chapters anymore but when I called to see if they had The Eyre Affair in stock, I believe only the fact that the book was in stock saved them from thinking I was making a crank call:

Me: J- I mean, The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde. Spelt-
Clerk: (obviously insulted) I know how to spell 'air'! A-I-
Me: No, Eyre as in Jane Eyre. That's why I almost said Jane before. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte... E-Y-R-E...
Clerk: Hmn. (pause)
Me: Oh, and that's Fforde with two Fs... and an E.
Clerk: ...
Me: ... I think it's Welsh (laughing nervously for it is getting very tense on the other line. And of course it's Welsh).
Clerk: ... (dryly) I guess so.

And, yes, it was very like the Bookshop skit from Monty Python. ("That's David Coperfield with one P, I want David Copperfield with two Ps by Edmond Welles." or "Grete Expectations by Charles Dikkens, the well-known Dutch author").

2 comments:

Erin said...

Lol, that is too funny! :D

Mandy Joy said...

Jane Air-Head Strikes Again!