Saturday, 9 June 2012

Laughter is the best medicine ~ Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

Son number one had an operation on his ear this week. When he woke up he was deaf in the ear they'd operated on. Eventually the doctors worked out why, fixed it and he was allowed to come home. But later, in the middle of the night, he appeared in my bedroom, his face and neck covered in blood, looking like an extra from a Zombie movie. We had a go at compression and homemade dressings but he continued to drip blood like a leaky tap so I took him to A&E and fortunately they managed to stop the bleeding. Afterwards he said, 'This has been the worst day of my life.' I resisted the urge to laugh or to remind him that his head circumference at birth was on the 91st percentile - I bought him a treat and tried to cheer him up.

He feels much better today, so much better that he is, right at this moment, lying on my bed with a book as I sit at my desk trying to get on with some writing. And he's not lying there quietly (which is why I've given up working on the novel and started writing this instead). He's laughing. And in between loud bursts of laughter he keeps saying, 'Mum, Mum, stop writing and listen to this one.'

He's laughing because he's reading Jen Campbell's hilarious Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops. The book has been on my wish list for a little while and when I saw it in a little shop in the Lake District and read the quote on the back cover I realised that I had to have it. The quote on the back reads:
'Do you have this children's book I've heard about? It's supposed to be very good. It's called "Lionel Richie and the Wardrobe."
How could any book-lover resist?

The front cover quote from Neil Gaiman reads: 'So funny. So sad... Read it and sigh.' It's certainly true that several of the interactions between bookseller and customer(s) induce disbelieving sighs, but other exchanges are wonderfully surprising and funny and, although I'm supposed to be doing other things, every time son number one interrupts me I stop, and listen, and laugh.

I love laughing and I especially love listening to my children laugh (it's one of my favourite sounds). So thanks to Jen and Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops for cheering son number one up - the book is just what the doctor ordered (I'll steal it back later).

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