December 24th, 2009

Ask Santa to bring you a brain

There is no question that I am becoming Scrooge in my old age. Christmas for me has now moved from the "merely stressful" category into the "actively dislike" column. I will be extraordinarily glad when tomorrow is finished.

There are many reasons for coming to despise this ridiculous holiday, and working with the public as a used bookseller certainly provides some of those reasons. And as curmudgeonly as this sounds, I swear it's true: People are getting dumber. This year I was asked some mind-numbingly retarded questions, often more than once, and for the most part I truly don't recall being asked these things at Christmas pasts:

"You get extra days off for Christmas, right?" (Both stupid AND downright mean.)

(After attempting to work through the obvious mob around the front counter to bring in four boxes of books for sale on the 23rd) "Why is today a bad day to bring in books?" (Heard this multiple times yesterday.)

"I'd like to get my boss a Jane Austen first edition for Christmas, so what do you have?" (You ARE taking out a second mortgage on your house, right?)

"I'd like to get him this book, but it's priced at $200 - could you go $50?" (We of course dicker on prices every day...but the expectations of how much we'll lower something are usually a tiny bit more realistic)

And this year's big winner in the Stupid Category:

"You should have a fireplace in here!" (This idiot at least had barely enough brains to figure it out on his own when I responded, "That would be a really, really bad idea...")

And you gotta figure that in a bookstore our clientele probably has a few more IQ points than the average American. We are a phenomenally stupid people.

Yeah, right. Merry F*#!in' Christmas. Kill me now.