Big Bubbles (no troubles)

What sucks, who sucks and you suck

At Waterstone's Enquiry Desk

“Yes sir, how can I possibly help you?”
“Hello, yes, I was wondering if you had any books on a British prime minister…?”
“Ooh, we’ve got lots of books on prime ministers, sir!”
“Yeeesss, doubtless you have but I’m having a little trouble locating this particular one. Perhaps you can help me out: Victorian politician, Liberal, begins with ‘G’…?”

“Gladstone, sir?”
“Yes, that’s the chap! Good grief, you have heard of him! Splendid, what an incredible coincidence! He was only prime minister four times, you know.”
“Really, sir? I’m afraid I don’t know that much about him.”
“Yes well, I expect you won’t have read many books on him. Not round here anyway. Still, I don’t suppose you might have a biography of the man tucked away somewhere, perchance? Such as Roy Jenkins’ renowned and not-negligible work?”
“I do believe we had a copy of that popular tome once, sir … but as I regretfully recall we sold it back in April.”
“Damn! Why am I always so tardy in these matters? Dashed bad luck, missing out on the only extant copy like that. Would you have any similar titles?”
“Have you looked in our extensive Biography section, sir?”
“Capital suggestion! Indeed, indeed I did: no luck, I’m afraid. Lots of other fascinating chaps, but no Gladstone. Still, perceptive thinking!”
“What about Politics?”
“You think? Actually, I believe I’ve looked there too.”
“Yes, I even hiked over there as well. I’m not having much luck, you see, despite boundless curiosity, limitless energy, aeons of time and a fertile imagination.”
“Sorry, sir. It’s just that sometimes we don’t put the books in the right places.”
“I see. Tell me, have you ever thought of cataloging them and opening a bookshop? You’d have to fill a few gaps in your collection, of course.”
“Sir is too droll. Might I venture to suggest a biography of a different prime minister, as an alternative? I believe we have a book on Disraeli. It might even mention Mr Gladstone in places.”
“Wouldn’t that be rather like trying to learn how to cook through a book on parsnip? I think I’ll pass, if it wouldn’t cause too much offence.”
“None taken. Pitt the Younger? Palmerston? Lloyd George? Mrs Thatcher?”
“Where are those?”
“Either side of the Winston Churchill section, sir - yes, those three large racks over there. Mrs Thatcher’s government abolished the net pricing agreement for books, you know, allowing vibrant stores like Waterstone’s to bring increased choice and lower prices to the bookbuying public.”
“Really, how fortunate. No, I’m not sure that’s going to assist my research into Welsh Liberalism and the achievements of Gladstone, seeing as how Mrs Thatcher wasn’t a) Welsh; b) Liberal; or c) Gladstone. If you see my point.”
“Just barely, sir. We have lots of books about George Bush. They’re rather popular at the moment, and some of them are quite amusing!”
“You really are most helpful, aren’t you? Have you thought of renaming this desk, ‘So help me’?”
“How about Bill Clinton’s new biography? There’s a stack of copies on the stairs, so you could even buy one for a friend.”
“Oh dear. I’m afraid I’m going to have to punch you very hard now. It’s for your own good. No, no, please don’t try to dissuade me or offer any further alternatives; I am resolved upon’t.”
“Very well, sir. If you could just mind the face…”


“Terribly sorry, did you say mind the face?”