Customer: I can’t believe you’ve got all this Christmas stuff but no Nativity scenes!
Me: We’ve got Nativity scenes! See?
Her: No, I was looking for Christmas stocking designs. *pause* It’s all because the Jews and Arabs are taking over the world.
Me: Excuse me, this shop is run by a Jewish family…
Her: I bet it is!
Me: Look, we’ve got tons of Nativity scenes here. See? Whole books full of Christian iconography. There you go. We just don’t have any stockings right now!
And I left, fuming. How dare she? She looked like any other customer, like somebody’s Mom. Your typical middle class, middle-aged, white Australian Christian lady with boofy hair and big earrings. When she said it, my first response was to try to shame her by pointing out that the people who owned the shop she was in were part of the groups she was maligning. Instead, she took it as a friggin’ explanation. I’m still mad. I went downstairs and Albert asked me what I was so upset about. “Could you go upstairs?” I said. “There’s a blonde woman over by the fabric counter. Could you just stand near her for a while? Maybe mutter something about Palestine or leave a suspicious package next to her?” He laughed it off; he’s dealt with people like her before. I haven’t. I just still can’t believe how casually she said it, as if everybody knows about the big Jewish and Arab conspiracy to keep Fat Racist Cows from buying Baby Jesus Christmas Stockings. (And who puts the Nativity on a stocking anyway? Stockings are about Santa, woman! So blame the damn commercialization of Christmas, not a Zionist conspiracy.) Some of the other staff said that she made similar comments to them, so evidently she was just wandering all over the shop spouting this crap at anyone with ears. I’ve worked out what I should’ve done though, and what I’m going to do in the future: I’m going to say that I’m Jewish. And I am going to shame her. And then I’m going to ask her to leave the store. Not that she’ll probably come back anyway…