The joy of constantly breaking up impromptu lightsaber battles having finally worn thin, I gathered together all of the shop’s impact items (paddles, riding crops, etc.) and hung them from hooks along the back wall, well out of arm’s reach. I figured the more gremlinesque tourists would still try to jump for them, so imagine my surprise when, miracle of miracles, everyone started ignoring them, the notable exception being people who actually wanted to (wait for it) purchase them.
I congratulated myself on successfully culling the herd and was still wallowing in a pleasant false sense of security when a customer wandered in and stood under the display, carefully examining the inventory.
“Could you get that one down for me, please?” he asked, pointing to a deerskin flogger.
“Of course!” I replied, happy to be of service to such discriminating clientele. I handed him the flogger and went back to the counter as he ran a finger along the stitching and took a couple of affable practice swings.
“I’ll take it,” he said. I rang it up, placed it in a bag and thanked him for his patronage, wishing him an excellent evening in the process. And a few minutes later, Robert came in and was all, “Man, it’s a weird crowd tonight. Some guy is running around the bar hitting strangers with a flogger.”
Me: “What?! Shit.”
Robert: “You… just sold it to him, didn’t you?”
Me: “If I say yes, does that make this my fault?”
Robert shrugged, so I poked my head into the bar to see if maybe it was somebody else BDSMing inappropriately. Alas, there was my customer, cackling with glee and windmilling about, the flogger’s tresses flying around him like a tiny, kinky tornado. Fortunately for everyone present, he ran out of steam before drawing blood or lacerating an eyeball or anything, but as you all are my witnesses, I will never again underestimate a customer’s potential for pandemonium. And in the meantime, I’m gluing any stock that’s even vaguely weapon-related to the ceiling.