This request from Christmas Eve pretty much took the cake:
A very smart-looking, well-appointed lady (chic overcoat, lots of jewelry, conservative haircut, good handbag) asked:
Can you recommend a book for an aging, leftist hippie who likes Carl Hiaassen? Oh, and he's really smart. He's a genius.
Aside from the fact that on Christmas Eve I was extremely limited in what I could recommend since I couldn't order anything and get it from the warehouse by the time we closed (which was in about 3 hours), what does one recommend in this instance. Is Carl Hiaassen a hippie? He doesn't look like a hippie. Is it the mystery what he likes? The only things I could come up with that were hippie-ish and genius-ish were John Irving and WP Kinsella. Would those be good for Carl Hiaassen fans? Especially aging ones? What about geniuses?
I was torn between recommending something really snobbish like Naked Lunch (which an aging, leftist, genius, hippie has likely already read), laughing because everyone is a genius (I mean everyone - if granny asks for a book for her 11 year old grandchild, he/she is always an advanced reader, always, and therefore needs Dickens even if the poor kid is trying to suture the Wimpy Kid box set to his/her arm), and just grabbing a whole load of thrillers in the let's-throw-some-things-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks philosophy.