"How to Do Something in the Woods?" I repeated.
"Well, no, it's not Do Something, it's… a word I don't like to say. A four-letter word."
"I understand," I assured her, and turned to the computer to try to find the book. I typed in the title and received hits on several different books, but none with that exact title. I did an exact phrase search on the title, and got no results at all. I tried an out-of-print search, and a search on the author's name. "I'm not finding anything with that title or that author," I said, "but let me try a couple other things."
Meanwhile, I was listening to the customer talk to E. It was her husband who wanted the book, she explained, for a camping trip this weekend. E said that it wasn't going to be a good weekend for camping, since it was supposed to be cold and rainy; she agreed, and it was a shame, since this would be her son's first camping trip since moving up from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. My eyes went wide, and I struggled to keep from turning toward her and gaping in open astonishment.
As I listened and tried to keep my expression neutral, I was performing an exact phrase search on "in the woods." Finding nothing on the first page of results, I clicked through to the second. About halfway down the page, I found the book she wanted: How to Shit in the Woods. "Oh," I exclaimed, relieved and a little too loudly, "that four letter word!"
Anyway, we didn't have it, but they had one at the Reston store, so happy endings all around. The moral of the story: don't be so prudish when you're shopping for books, damn it.