A new novel chock full of never-before heard customer humour to hit the stores next Monday
By Rebecca Peterson, Humour Editor
“I like to think of myself as a comedian first, and a customer second,” said author Ivan Jackash, in an exclusive interview with the Other Press this past weekend. His new book, a compilation of jokes to tell minimum-wage workers while paying for goods, is set to be published next week. “I’ve just been perfecting my humour at clothing and grocery stores over the years, as well as a few cafés. I never dreamed it would get me this far.”
Jackash is self-described as “easily likable, extremely affable, and considerate.” His favourite hobby is going into stores of all kinds during their busiest hours, and whiling away the time with the cashiers by exchanging puns.
“You can tell they love it, and that’s my favourite part,” said Jackash. “You know, there’ll be this huge line, only one kid on duty, and you can tell it’s really stressing them out. So I like to give them a little break from the madness. Man, sometimes I’ll be there for up to 10 minutes, telling them jokes they’ve never heard before. Like I’ll say to a grocery clerk packing my groceries, ‘Hey, it’s like Tetris!’ Or sometimes I’ll get baristas with a little, ‘Thanks a latte!’ Which, by the way, pro-tip! Baristas always love it when you order something off the Secret Menu. It’s like a little adventure for them, an extra challenge.”
“We don’t love it,” said barista Chev Dutchman, a dead-eyed young woman featured in Jackash’s book. “Don’t do that. We also don’t love how long the line gets when someone’s standing at the till telling bad jokes instead of paying for his shit and moving along. Good customer service means we have to laugh, but I don’t feel like laughing. Not anymore. Not after getting yelled at by angry customers and angry managers for the delay while that guy walks off feeling so proud of his clever knock-knock jokes. And now he’s set to make thousands of dollars off my misery. When does it end?”
“It’s never gonna end,” concluded Jackash cheerily, when asked by the Other Press. “I’ve got way more jokes up my sleeve, just you wait. Expect to see me in a Starbucks or Mark’s Work Warehouse near you! I’ll be the one at the front of a long, long line.”