Yesterday KidThree and I went to Group, where we met two new men (both T-3's), both still hospitalized but due to be discharged in the next couple of weeks. One man was injured in an ATV accident, the other was shot while smoking a cigarette outside his home (he hadn't wanted his kids to breathe the secondhand smoke) when two hoodlums in the area had a shootout. Both men were interested in resources and adjustments to coming home and received lots of good information from all present. It felt good to be useful to them.
Then we got in the car and headed out to Corte Madera for the book-signing. The drive was relatively uneventful and took about two hours. We arrived fifteen or twenty minutes prior to the start time and went to buy the book.
Huh. Talk about not impressed. There was a woman at the counter already, buying one copy of Christopher Moore's book. The saleswoman finished the transaction, then handed the woman a slip of paper to go tape to a chair, as purchasing that book got her priority seating. How Nice! I was purchasing two books (with the help of laundry quarters, I decided I could get one for KidThree, as well as KidTwo). Maybe we would get priority seating, too.
I had with me a gift Visa card that still had about sixteen dollars on it, so I asked the woman if that could be applied to the purchase. She wasn't sure it would work, as their machines did things by totals, not parts, but agreed to try. It didn't work. Okay, not a big deal, that was why I had brought the quarters. Right there on the counter, though, was another book--Obama's Inaugural Address, along with Lincoln's two Inaugural Addresses and the Gettysburg Address, for twelve dollars. What a deal--I could use the gift Visa on that, and said so to the saleswoman, who was having difficulty counting the cash I had given her. I mean, she was really having trouble. She kept making two twenties and a ten into forty dollars, then adding the ones to come to forty-something, and having to start over. Then I made things worse by putting up the quarters to make the rest of the total ($3.25 of them, carefully set down in three piles of four quarters each and then one quarter by itself, so as to make the counting easier for her).
After several re-starts to the counting process, the saleswoman got it all figured out, but when I asked to buy the Obama Inaugural Address book separately with my gift Visa, she got agitated and asked if I could come back and do that later, so she could take care of the other customers.
HUH? There were two people in line behind me. Did she think they were going to riot if I did a second transaction? A saleswoman in a bookstore, presented with an actual customer with actual funds wishing to purchase an actual book, not wanting to sell it to her? Because somehow it might inconvenience someone else? I admit it, I was so discombobulated by her reaction that I went away and didn't buy the book, but as I kept turning it over and over in my mind, I got madder and madder. How could she tell me selling me that book was inconvenient? (That wasn't her wording, but it was the gist of it.) Was I not as important as the two people behind me? Were they local celebrities and I didn't know it? Was my use of cash so very down-market that she didn't want to deal with me anymore? It wasn't as if Moore were already at the podium, starting to talk.
And no, there was no mention of priority seating.
I found an empty seat one in from the aisle and asked the woman sitting in the aisle seat if she would move over to the empty one so I could sit on the aisle next to KidThree. She thought that was a reasonable request and obligingly moved over. We were in the back, but still had a good view. I was a little concerned, though, by the narrowness of the aisle up to the podium. No Way could KidThree negotiate that aisle in her chair. Oh well, we could deal with that later.
Christopher Moore gave an enjoyable talk. He didn't read from his book, saying he was leaving that to the readers. That was fine with me, as I've always believed that authors could read and never felt the need for a demonstration. I'd rather hear about experiences and how things were done and researched and what was coming up, and that is what we got, plus a good dose of seriously liberal political venting (which all present, yours truly included, appeared to thoroughly enjoy). He told about traveling to England for research and made gentle fun of the English (who seem to exist just for Americans to make gentle fun of--I mean, it's so easy). The audience questions were all good, except for the one man in the North Bay who appeared to not know who Emperor Norton was (and Moore twitted him a bit for that, to the enjoyment of all who did know of the emperor).
I was interested in the answer to a question about whether a sequel to "Fluke" would be coming out. Moore said he's been wanting to write one for several years but that the folks in New York kept wanting other things. What is wrong with the people in New York? I want to read more about the Whaley Boys and the Goo. New York people, please stop being so regional-centric and let Moore write more about water and whales and Goo. Christopher Moore, a new species of dolphin has just been discovered off the coast of Australia--Give the Goo a Go at them!
Moore also explained that for Obvious Reasons, there didn't seem to be a way to do a sequel to "Lamb." Well, of course, Jesus dies at the end. (But Wait, I thought, the Mormons brought him back! Moore could write a book about Jesus's adventures in America, courtesy of The Book of Mormon. No, on second thought, that wouldn't work. Not enough people would have the necessary background to get the jokes, and besides, I don't think Mormons have a sense of humor. At least not about Mormonism. Purple socks, yes, but not Mormonism. So I didn't mention my brilliant idea.)
A third Vampire book will be coming out. Good. And (I hope I have this part right), Chris Columbus has optioned the film rights to "Dirty Jobs," and Moore is waiting to see what Columbus will do with the movie before writing a sequel to the book. He used the example of "The Lost World" not being a sequel to the book "Jurassic Park," but instead a sequel to the movie "Jurassic Park." Understandable, and I think Chris Columbus is a good choice to make a movie from a Chris Moore book. What a nice treat to have in our future.
Then it was time for the signing. As people stood up, a store employee moved a couple of chairs out of KidThree's way, but it was still apparent that there was no way she was going to be able to get up to the table where Moore was signing books. Hmmm. What to do. Hmmm again. It seemed there was nothing to do except to wait until the very end, by which time Moore would undoubtedly have a whopping case of carpal tunnel syndrome and be unable to do more than wave a pen around. Blast. At least KidThree is used to situations like this now. A year ago, she would have been devastated, started to cry, and left the store, feeling that the world had no use for her anymore.
***I think I'm going to just start calling places ahead of time to say that we will be attending and that KidThree will need to have complete access to all aspects of whatever event. Maybe The Book Passage personnel thought Christopher Moore's fans were all younger and so not mobility-impaired. WRONG.
Then Charlie the Angel fixed it. Charlie, Moore's partner, was standing near us; she introduced herself to KidThree and offered to have Moore take a little break from signing at the table to come back and sign KidThree's book. KidThree was thrilled, and I was in love. Charlie, and Christopher Moore, thank you! He did come back and he did personalize KidThree's book. During the few minutes we were waiting for him to take his 'break,' KidThree asked what she should have him write in her book. I asked what she wanted him to write and she responded, "to the best-dressed paraplegic in Davis!"
***You see, back when KidThree was still in the hospital, about two months after she was shot and while she was still working on resigning herself to spending the rest of her life in a wheelchair, she had decided that if she had to be a paraplegic in Davis, by golly she was going to be the best-dressed paraplegic in Davis. Over the past two years, I've worked mightily to make sure she was exactly that.
Christopher Moore came back and wrote "To [KidThree], the best-dressed paraplegic in Davis!" in KidThree's book and "[KidTwo], your mama loves you!" in KidTwo's book. (Okay, not subtle, but when I'm an old woman and even more irritating to my daughters than I am now, I need them to remember things like two-hour drives to get them a signed book from a favorite author.) Then he posed for a picture with KidTwo's book (KidThree also wanted instant Good Sister credit, and so wanted to send a picture of Moore with KidTwo's book immediately to KidTwo via their fancy phones) and we left.
When we got out to the car, I noticed that Moore had left the 'a' off the end of KidTwo's name, effectively turning it into a boy's name. Uh oh. Did I dare go back in? After Charlie and Christopher had been so nice? Talk about pushing it. Then I thought about KidTwo having a book by her favorite author, signed by her favorite author, but with her name misspelled.
KidThree got in the car to wait and I did go back inside, Charlie did take the book back up to Christopher Moore, and he did add the all-important 'a' to turn KidTwo back into a girl; then I went back to the car and we left.
An hour and a half home (Group was half an hour in the other direction, that was why the trip there took longer) and then to bed. Today I get to read KidTwo's copy of "Fool" before I crack open her box that is waiting to be mailed to put the book inside.
It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon/evening. Christopher Moore gets an A, Charlie gets an A+, and The Book Passage gets a C-.
I'm still puzzled as to why it was too much trouble for that saleswoman in that bookstore to sell me that book.
p.s. Of course the talk was funny!