FRIDAY NIGHT FOR ME AND THE MISSUS
Vinyl Fever, 6:00pm
Nothing terrible happens. I turn in my CDs for cash under the imperious gaze of my stepdaughter-manager Erin Kennedy and receive $50. I buy a This American Life CD and a copy of Spin with their Best of the Year section. Nothing weird happens. Everyone is cool. Employee Matt-with-the-Hat chats with us…wearing his hat.
Ruby Tuesdays, 6:15pm
2 crown-and-diets with a lime
2 beam-and-diets with a lime
Danger Point: As Ann tells me about her day driving to St. Augustine and back, Yahoo #1 in the booth behind her puts his arm across the divider, his elbow dangerously close to Ann’s head. I am trying to concentrate on her story, but I am more worried about the elbow and the possibility of Ann hitting the back of her head on Yahoo #1’s elbow. Should I tell Yahoo to put his damn arm back inside the invisible dotted line delineating our booth from his or should I concentrate on Ann’s story? I am concerned about Ann’s head in concert with said elbow. I’m about to go over and let Elbow Lad know just how rude it is to put your arm across into another group’s space when Elbow Lad and company move to a table instead. Crisis averted.
Shall we go to the movies? No. Borders. To find Cinefantastique with the listing of Veniss Underground in the top 10 books of the year.
-No Cinefantastique. Bummer.
-Two bright, pig-tailed girls are wrapping books for people, for donations to their cause. “Do you need a present wrapped?” they ask cheerily. “No thanks,” most people say, except for the Weirdo.
Weirdo approaches them as I watch from the magazine section. He is wearing all denim—denim jacket, shirt, pants. Brown blocky shoes. Huge belt bucket. Pants shoved up above his belly button.
“What is your thing here?” he asks.
“We’re wrapping presents to raise money for ---- .” ---- being some conference/convention/band event.
“I might have things I need wrapped,” says Weirdo, “although nothing I’m getting here. But I have wrapping…needs.”
“Oh—great,” say bright, chipper girls, obviously trying to hide their distaste for Weirdo.
“Yes, I have many wrapping needs. But I will start with magazines. I will buy magazine for you to wrap. I will give you money to wrap me.”
“That’s great!!” the girls say, ignoring the odd syntax.
“I think it’s great you’re going to try to go to ------ in -----. I went to ----- on scholarship and it was a great honor.”
“Oh, that’s great,” the girls says, preserving chipper attitude in spite of odd conversation.
“It is simply too nice, what you are trying to do. I hope lots of people decide to wrap with you. To have you wrap for them.”
“Thanks!” they say.
I walk up and resist urge to say “I have things I need wrapped.” Instead, I say, “You’re basically looking for donations, right?”
“Yes!” they say, and I put $4.00 in their jar and walk off. Hopefully Weirdo will not return. Regardless, it’s the risk they run for pro-actively asking people if they need presents wrapped. This is 2005, after all.
-Lines read in books in the SF/F section of Borders, by just randomly picking up bright, shiny books and turning to a page…
“You are not so cruel as to wish me harm though you are the man who broke my heart.” – A Secret Atlas, Michael Stackpole.
“Kill that woman, Jane. She is part of the problem, she is a stinking, sweaty, rutting, spreading sack of scum, she’s mold with a mind.” – The Strange Adventures of Ranger Girl, Tim Pratt
“It was after getting into a drinking contest with a gang of Napoleon-era British sailors on shore leave in a dingy Burmese dive…that things began to get a bit hazy.” – Here, There, and Everywhere, Chris Roberson
“Donna beams at them enthusiastically. ‘Fascinating,’ she enthuses. ‘Tell me, what are these lobsters you think are important?’” – Accelerando, Charles Stross
“Now even the tugger woman seemed reluctant but she ordered Miguel to comply with a curt jab of her chin.” – Counting Heads, David Marusek
“Jenn sighed then rolled her head toward me. Which pretty much clued me in to what she thought of the whole demon story.” – Confessions of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom, Julie Kenner
“ ‘Mind the bog sand,’ said Captain Raevsky. ‘I will shoot.’ Miranda stood up, yanked up her pants.” – A Princess of Roumania, Paul Park
Gill’s Tavern, Our Local Haunt, 8:45pm
1 shot of bailey’s
1 jager and red bull (disgusting)
6 glasses of water
Inappropriate, possibly fungal, facial hair (male)
Woman wearing all black vinyl, with no chance of breathing, but not here for Karaoke, just dinner.
-Overheard (one quote I said, but I’m not telling which)
“There’s nothing a sander can do that a weightlifter can’t.”
“Whatever happens has to be third person. So this guy within five seconds was throwing up chunks. And that made her mad.”
“I’m sure you have children to live with your dog in Sopchoppy.”
“At least I own what I am.”
“I’ve already had enough everything shiny to last a lifetime.”
“I get my marriage annulled today. The Pope’s representative said it wasn’t in the Catholic Church so it’s as if it didn’t exist in the eyes of the Lord.”
“Why are we still talking about this, lobster boy?”
“Red Lobster. I love red. I love lobsters. But tell the Catholics I said hello. It doesn’t mean we don’t make some good shrimp.”
“That’s kind of like a fishing pole with a bee’s nest.”
“My daddy represented Big Corn.”
“One day we will all be as famous as a fish sandwich.”
“If you’re bad, you need to be punished…I think that has possibilities, don’t you?”
“Are you directing a plane or blowing your nose?”
“They have a silencer on that Guinness draft.”
“And then the girl does this thing where she puts in the fake fern…but, wait—it was actually all real.”
“No mistake. He’s your child. But if that changes, I’d understand.”
“Is that seat taken, sexy?”
“That’s some sparkly looking cleavage on the semi-good poet…and some unbelievably foul and strong perfume.”
“Jagermisster and Red Bull tastes like cough medicine.”
“That’s a pretty exciting football playoff game.”
“I really wish Jeff Ford didn’t have a Bowl Chicken.”
-Notes for Fairy Tale Essay
“First Bear: I’ve been that bear—the one that doesn’t pick up after itself, the one that has trouble using English to communicate with others. My wife has never been the helpless girl, but she has, to my chagrin, been the one who picked up after the bear.”
“Second Bear: This second bear is not any more tidy than the first. It’s not that he’s messy—it’s that he carries his mess in his context. The solution to the problem is a problem in and of itself.”
“Third Bear: The third bear is problematic. It doesn’t want to be a bear. It doesn’t want to be in this essay. The third bear is waiting to be written. He lives in the deep forest. He has no truck with folktales per se. He lives rough and is all bear. No taint of human. He exists at the edges of the folktales about other bears.
…And back by 11pm.
All in all, a good night for me and the missus. Goodnight. Racquetball in the morning....