Sunday, March 23, 2003

conversation at my mother's bookshop yesterday.

my dad notices that the customer he is serving is wearing a posh-looking "no war in iraq" button on his label.

dad: "oh, i just noticed your button. neat.- where did you get it from?"
customer: "i got it from my union. - i work at thyssen, our union organised protest against the war during our lunch break on thursday."
dad: "you work at thyssen? you own thyssen stocks then, too, don't you?"
customer: "yes."
dad: "now did I get it right: there were peace protests at thyssen? you're aware that thyssen's steel is used for tanks and bombs, that thyssen has supported iraq for decades (just a few tidbits of their activies: companies of the thyssen group headed a consortium which in 1980 built a plant south of Baghdad at which poison gas and biological weapons were developed, supplied turbopumps for the engines of SCUD missiles and apparently assisted in bunker building, too. and that's just iraq. they have super good relations involving tanks and technology in iran, lybia, all the good places.), are you? you're aware that your stocks make you profit from this was then, yup? don't you think protest against this war is rather hypocritical in your position then?"
customer: -silent-

i tell you, he's turning into an obnoxious, argumentative old man. and i love him.

post script: apparently though, my dear dad later on eased this little discussion, by getting all catholic, talking about his experiences in wwii and talking about peace with the customer, so maybe this customer wasn't lost, after all.