Thursday, 5 March 2015

EWBD, or (The Unexpected Virtue of the Passage of Time)

It was a cold Sunday in early January and there was a lull in the bookshop as we were prepping to open up in the morning. Due to an oversight on the part of management, there was nobody manning the ground floor, with the exception of myself and H, so this consisted mostly of laughing and dancing around to Peaches by Presidents of the USA.

11am rolled around and we stood at the till in the full knowledge that in a few minutes the middle shift would turn up and ruin all our fun, insofar as standing at a till could be "fun". We had expected there to be a low number of customers, even for Oxford Street - in a cold, blustery January so soon after Christmas. Even if our bookshop was nicely heated.

The doors came open with a rumble and the massive hordes failed to arrive. H and I stood in the spot, calmly awaiting our first customer and glad of the moments of peace.

A grubby old man in a trenchcoat plodded over and made his way to our desk.

"Excuse me," he said sotto voce, leaning in so we could hear him (we leaned in too, mostly just to join in), "but I wondered if you could tell me where to find... er... erotica."
"Excuse me?" I replied. I'd heard him the first time, but I felt as if I needed to check.

"Erotica," he replied, with something between an embarrassed smile and a leer.
"Oh... it's over there," I said, with a gesticulation. "There's a shelf with the self-published books and Harry Potter in Latin... it's on the other side of that."
"Thanks," he said, and shuffled off down through General Fiction.

H and I exchanged a grin. We both conceded that he was brave to actually ask a bookseller where the erotica section was. I was perfectly adamant that I was never going to read any of that stuff.

Eight years later, and the sex blogger whose girlfriend edits erotica anthologies types: Happy Erotic World Book Day, everyone!

Oh my.

No comments: