I still cringe when I think about this poor man and how unable I was to help him. And I still have no idea why I could not say the right words.
At the time, we were selling a book called Misquoting Jesus, by Bart D. Ehrman, so fast we could barely keep it on the shelves. And as with most unexpectedly popular books, our customers were asking for any number of variations on the title. It is our job as Booksellers to intuit what a customer may mean when they say, for instance: Mistaking Jesus, Miscalculating Jesus, or Miscreant Jesus. And most customers are happy when we can tactfully correct them, especially if it means putting the right book in their hand.
But every once in a while helping a customer find the right book becomes a power struggle instead of personal service. And then there was: The Mosquito Man.