I had promised to take you behind the shrouded mysteries of employers and employees of Christian Bookstores. But the the comments after my last post, made me realize that I had some more to say about it’s customers.
Biblereader is the one that asked about a very special breed of Christian Bookstore customer…..
The King James Only Customer
The KJV Customer usually will head straight to the Bible counter and begin to ask numerous questions about why you don’t carry a better selection of the King James Version. When you inform Mr. or Mrs. KJV Customer that most people prefer to read an English translation that doesn’t require a Masters in Shakespearean English, they will launch into numerous arguments to prove that the KJV is really the only Bible Translation that one should ever read.
One milder KJV Customer told me that they had done a study (not sure who the they was she was referring to) and they found that the King James Version of the Bible was actually easier to read than any other Bibles. Uhhhhh-no way Jose! I grew up reading the King James and if there is one thing it is not, is an easy read.
Sometimes, I would cite some of the verses from the King James that I never understood, until I had read them in a modern translation. Here’s a few of my favorites:
Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want”
What the heck, why didn’t the Psalmist want the Lord as his Shepherd? One customer accused me of being uneducated for not understanding what being “in want” meant. I told this customer that a friend, who grew up in Great Britain , had told me that they had misunderstood the same verse in the same way. Sheesh-if the English can’t understand proper English, than how can I?
1 Corinthians 5:7 “Purge out the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump”
I wonder why that wasn’t on any t-shirts or bumper stickers in the store? Maybe we could have named our store New Lump Christian Books. What is a new lump anyway? On second thought…..
Some of the verses just cracked me up, because of ye old English phrasing. Who can forget this one?
John 11:39 “Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.”
Ah yes….he stinketh Lord. As did the King James Version, as far as I was concerned. It’s just a translation people! Sorry, but once I got my High School fingers on the newly completed NIV, there was no going back.
“Creepy Guy Who Hits on You” Customer
Ok…so being a guy myself, I actually didn’t have any guys hitting on me ( at least, none that I know of). But I had many younger female employees, ages 16-25, that would often have Creepy Guy linger around the store, and vie for their attention. Creepy Guy would ask one too many questions, or start asking a female employee whether they were married or not. Some of the girls would get invites to Creepy Guy’s church volleyball game or he’d ask them if they were going to the next big Christian concert. There was something a little awkward and well, creepy, in the way they would always seem to be avoiding the male employees and be sharking the younger females.
My wife even got hit on by one of our regulars when she was 6 months pregnant and showing. When she got over the shock and pointed to her belly, the guy laughed nervously and then asked out the girl standing next to my wife…..I think she chased him out of the store with a King James Bible or threatened to tie him up and play Carmen’s “The Champion” if he didn’t exit the store. Anyway, I think many times, Creepy Guy, was just a lonely guy who was socially awkward and had run out of options at their church singles group.
Last but not least, was the shoplifter.
This had to be the worst part of my job. Dealing with a shoplifter always left me with a pit in my stomach and the shakes. It got so bad, that we had to install a whole anti-theft machine at the entrance to the store.
One time, I caught an elderly woman trying to leave the store with a couple Amy Grant CD’s and the novel Joshua-by Girzone. She started yelling at me and telling me that she was in a Bible study with my boss. I called the police and she was arrested (never fun). It turns out she had warrants out in multiple States for shoplifting.
Then there was my Vineyard thief. Back in the day, when Vineyard music was pumping out the best-selling worship CD’s. Our little Vineyard thief would come into the store on release day, and we’d be missing a copy within an hour of the CD hitting the shelf. We never did catch our Vineyard worship thief, and the irony of someone stealing a worship CD always miffed me.
Lastly, there was the shoplifter who stole us blind, but their conscience had caught up with them. One time, it was a couple in marriage counseling . They confessed to their pastor, that they had stolen over $10,000 worth of merchandise from our store. He made them call the owner and work out a payment plan. That ended up being one expensive counseling session!
Many time we’d get an anonymous letter, confessing their crimes and promising to send money for all the items they stole. And if you want to know one of the most popular items stolen from our store….the Bible. And it was almost always an expensive leather-bound Bible that would be swindled.
Nothing like feeding your faith, with a copy of God’s Word that you obtained while breaking the commandments.