Tragic Moments in Retail History

The following conversation took place tonight at Ben’s place of employment. The customer was on the phone.

CUSTOMER: Yes, I was wondering if there might be a new book by Tony Hillerman coming out sometime soon.

BEN: Uh, I don’t think so but let me just double check on that…

CUSTOMER: My son-in-law likes to read Tony Hillerman. His birthday is coming up. I thought maybe I’d get lucky and get him something he hasn’t read yet.

BEN: Well ma’am, I don’t see anything new from Tony Hillerman. You — you do know that he passed away, don’t you?

CUSTOMER: Oh my! No I didn’t. When did he die?

BEN: According to Wikipedia, 2008.

CUSTOMER: Oh dear.

BEN: I’m very sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

CUSTOMER: I had no idea.

BEN: Yeah. I’m sorry.

[Awkward silence.]

CUSTOMER: Well! This is shocking.

BEN: Yes it is.

CUSTOMER: I suppose I won’t be getting my son-in-law any new Tony Hillerman books then.

BEN: Probably not any new ones, no. Perhaps one he hasn’t read yet?

CUSTOMER: Oh I’m rather sure he’s read them all.

BEN: I see.

CUSTOMER: Well then. Thank you, anyway.

BEN: I’m very sorry.

CUSTOMER: Yes indeed.


4 thoughts on “Tragic Moments in Retail History

  1. I see where things went wrong. You used the term “ma’am”. If you would have used the title “miss”, then she would have bought the new Hillerman book. Wait, what? Passed away? No, I stopped reading after ma’am. I bore easily. (Silence.) Well, this changes everything then. I should stop waiting for his new book then.

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