LITERARY ROAD TRIP – PART 6
It shouldn’t take this long to write a damn account of a trip to a book signing. I don’t have writer’s block. What I have is a job and an inability to get more than four hours sleep at a time. When I mentioned how tired I am in a writers’ forum, another writer spread the word that I’m Madeline Kahn tired. You’ll either get that joke or you won’t. I’m not going to bother explaining it, but I wish it was my joke because it’s damn funny. If you don’t believe me, click on the following link.
Now where was I? Oh, yeah. Christopher Moore’s book signing. I have the slightest relationship with Chris in that I’m a book store manager and he’s replied to the few emails I’ve sent him. I expressed concern to him about being allowed to get my book signed because I didn’t buy it at the bookstore in Austin. Apparently a receipt from that store was required. While I won’t reveal exactly what he said to me about that, it was such a nice gesture I told him I’d have to revise my plans to be an arrogant bitch when I’m a rich and famous author.
I also told him I won a writing contest with a story about Millard Fillmore, the 13th President of the United States. He told me to remind him at the signing because he had some questions. I told him the code word would be Fillmore.
Chris came out and talked for thirty minutes. He’s at least twice as funny in person, which I would have sworn to be an impossibility. I laughed non-stop the entire time, even though this caused waves of rotten potato fumes emitting from the woman next to me to be sucked into my mouth and forever embedded in my memory right next to the grudge-holding cells dealing with my ex-husband. The woman didn’t once crack a smile, an act as blasphemous to me as my not kissing the Nazi Pope’s ring would be to a Catholic. If given the opportunity, I’d pretend to kiss Herr Pope’s ring and instead suck it off his finger and sell it on eBay. Jewelry on men is so gay. Ooops! Did I just mention homosexuality and a former priest in the same sentence?
Chris finished speaking and sat down to sign the books. I called Richard on his cell phone so he could take our picture.
In addition to Rotten Potato Breath Woman, there were at least 300 people waiting to have their books signed. I was in the first group. A woman I assumed to be his assistant marked with a Post It which books we wanted personalized. She played a key role during the next few moments – the moments when I made a total ass of myself in front of Christopher Moore. When it was my turn I blurted out, “Millard Fillmore!”
He gave me a blank look. I asked, “Do you know what I’m talking about?”
“Well, Millard Fillmore was a President.”
While I could pretend I didn’t make an ass out of myself in front of one of my writing heroes, I deserve all the disdain the lone reader of this blog can heap on me for what I said next.
“I knew it! You’re not the one who answers your emails!”
Chris sat there, no doubt wondering about the location of any security personnel. Right before I saw the lightbulb go off above his perfect and attractive head, his assistant said, “Well, I’ll lie for him.”
He turned in her direction and said, “This is the one who told me when she became a famous author she’s going to reconsider being a bitch.”
He turned back to me and said, “Do you want a cap?”
Do you want a cap? is the euphemism for Please get this bitch away from me – stat!
Having no shame about forcing Chris to give me a really cool baseball cap advertising Fool, I prolonged everyone’s agony by asking if I could get a photo taken with him. He graciously agreed and then I turned on Richard.
“Hurry! There are people waiting!”
I decided to embarrass myself once more by asking Chris if he minded if I showed cleavage. I was leaning over and really – I had no choice.
Chris said, “I’m all about the cleavage.”
I had one more opportunity to stop the madness, but fuck no. I had to say, “Even really old cleavage?”
If only Richard’s praying mantis god would have appeared to bite my head off at that moment, perhaps the sight of blood spurting out of my neck and my stupid, stupid head bouncing down the stairs might have eased the pain for Chris. It didn’t and I have to live with my own painful memories. But at least none of those other fuckers standing in line got a cap.
Now I want anyone reading this to rush to your local bookstore or go to Amazon and buy all of Christopher Moore’s books. And I don’t mean one of each. I mean buy every one of them currently in circulation. Take out a second mortgage on your house or sell secrets to the Polish if you have to. In particular, pick up a copy of Fool. I’d love to see it hit #1 on the New York Times list.
Thanks for all the good times, Chris. Call me?