A reading from the Book of Complaining, Chapter 10, verses 7-298.
“And lo, it came to pass in those days that there was a Merchant. And the Merchant welcomed shoppers unto his shop and bid them good day:
‘What do you want?’ quoth the Merchant.
‘We wish to view your wares, Good Merchant,’ sayeth the shoppers.
‘What wares do you wish to view?’
‘Verily,’ replyeth the shoppers, ‘we know not. We have come to browse.’
And the Merchant looked upon the shoppers and was enraged. How dare come shoppers into the sanctity of his Place of Business without an express intention to purchase his wares? By what right, thought he, do they interrupt his performance of the Crossword?
‘We have none,’ sayeth the Merchant.
‘None of what, pray?’
‘Nothing of which you should like to browse lies herein.’
And the shoppers were sore afraid. And they looked upon the Merchant in trepidation, asking him thus: ‘Good Merchant, how can you know that which we wish to view? Surely you wish us to view and take pleasure in the viewing. That we might be so moved as to make purchases. Do you not, Good Merchant?’
‘O Shoppers! I am not a museum,’ barketh the Merchant. ‘Return when you know better your minds.’
And the shoppers turned and exited the shop. And the Merchant watched them as they went. And he looked about his Place of Business. And he spoke unto himself:
‘Business is bad today…’