Colloquial greeting of ‘how are you’ reaped unexpected and alarming results
By Rebecca Peterson, Humour Editor
A dollar store employee received a bit of a shock on Sunday when one of her customers confessed to multiple counts of murder at her till.
“It was unreal,” said 19-year-old cashier Pheobe Wright in a phone interview with the Other Press. “Just totally unreal.”
The incident occurred just after 2:00 p.m., half an hour after Wright returned from her lunch break. The customer cannot be named at this time, but is described as being an “impeccably-dressed man in his early thirties, with small glasses and jaw-length brown hair.”
“All I said was ‘how are you,’” said Wright. “I mean, I say that to every customer. At most, I was expecting a mild ‘eh, not bad, how are you’ in response. I don’t actually want to hear anyone’s life story, you know? But this guy clearly had something he wanted to get off his chest.”
According to Wright and various witnesses, the customer began by saying “not bad,” then added “not great though,” and continued with “actually, I might have killed a guy, do you have some time to talk about it?”
“I figured I should probably keep him talking, so I was like, ‘yeah, sure,’” said Wright. “I mean, that and it was a really slow day in the store. Like, terminally boring. And then bam! Murderer! Right at my till! Really helped speed things up a bit, even if I was kind of terrified.”
“It’s strangely not an uncommon occurrence,” said Officer Simone Blackwell, of the New Westminster Police Department. “I think there’s an irresistible urge inside every criminal, a yearning to confess to their crimes. Unfortunately, retail workers seem to get the brunt of spur-of-the-moment confessions. Less and less people are going to actual churchy confession these days, after all, so retail workers have kind of become the new priests of the world, and the till has become the new confessional. Just two weeks ago I had a case where a grocery store clerk asked a customer if they were finding everything okay, and the customer broke down and admitted to embezzling large amounts of charitable funds from a local orphanage. It’s really quite remarkable, the power of a single question.”
When asked how this might affect Wright’s work going forward, she just laughed.
“Honestly, I wish I could say that’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to me at this job,” said Wright. “The fact of the matter is, retail is just not for the faint of heart. Humans are complete and total unpredictable whack jobs, the whole lot of us. If anything, I just wish retail workers were paid more and given a little more credit for all the wild bullshit we put up with on the front lines of humanity.”