We deal with many questions. Patients want to know about their diagnosis, their treatment, where to find batteries, what their rash is, etc. It's no surprise we have to answer so many, what we consider to be, "weird ones" with the ordinary. I impress upon my students that to the inquirer, their question is important to them...
...unless, of course, the asker prefaces it with "I know this is stupid, but..." then it is okay to mock them later.
CP: Allo? CP's Emporium of Drugs.
Overly Dramatic Dame: I know this is stupid, but I have a question for you.
CP: It's not stupid to have a question. Lots of people have questions.
ODD: Good point. Let me try again. I have, what I perceive to be, a stupid question.
CP: There are no stupid questions, only stupid people.
ODD: Right. Um...
CP: That's why I like working retail. You never know what you're going to hear on the other end of the phone.
ODD: Good way to look at it.
CP: Ask away!
ODD: Oh. Right. So I was just there buying ice cream.
CP: Oxygen Potassium...
ODD: And the lady in front of me was buying stuff for lice.
CP: Uh-huh. So you two bought L-ICE Cream together? How Cute.
ODD: Well, she told the cashier she had head lice. "Did I get it?"
CP: Did you hug her?
CP: Did you have a sleepover with her?
ODD: Odd question, but, no.
CP: Did you slow dance together in line? Cheek to cheek? Put your head on my shoulder kind of 60's groove?
ODD: Um. No.
CP: Okay. Then you should be in the clear.
ODD: Really? I wasn't sure.
CP: Which is why you asked. I appreciate that. Note that I used levity to ease your mind, not make you feel too stupid about your question, and still answer in a way that left you wanting more from me.
ODD: That's great. I feel so smart now.
CP: Want another simile?
ODD: Sure! Your writing and true, daily conversations are so invigorating and honest. I can't get enough.
CP: Thinking you can get lice by standing in line behind someone at the grocer is like thinking you may have become pregnant by standing in line behind the guy buying condoms because, to your knowledge, he wasn't wearing one at the time.
ODD: You have a rather warped brain.
CP: I know. My staff tell me that all the time.