When I was just starting out in hardware (mid ‘70s) many customers brought in a piece of copper tubing with the nuts flared on the end. It was not uncommon for them to want a new piece of copper, and they would reuse the old flare nuts. One day I looked at a man who was here for this purpose and said, “Alright sir, now if you’ll just step to the back, I’ll cut your nuts off.” I don’t know whose face was redder!
Vickery Do it Best Hardware
We sell Fisher & Paykel washers, often abbreviated as F and P. Our hardware employees, unfamiliar with the abbreviation, think customers are swearing at them when they say they need service on their F ‘n’ P washer. They probably wonder what a P washer is used for, too, but none have ever asked.
Page Hardware & Appliance Co.
My personal favorite is “hose (hoes),” preceded by “Do you have…” 50/50 chance of getting it right and I have had some pretty indignant looks when I didn’t guess right.
Ace Forest Grove
Forest Grove, Ore.
Had a lady ask if we had any paralyzed lime. Finally figured out she meant pelletized.
We frequently get calls for “womanized” wood. Wolmanized. Really. Thanks for the laugh!
Slavens True Value