Had a local book signing yesterday and in the vast stretches between selling three books over a two hour period, I took advantage of the time to people watch. This is undoubtedly a writer's favorite occupation when out in public. So, here are the details.
Dazed and Confused
1. Two young women brought their dogs into the drugstore. Now, there's no sign against it, but common sense - what am I thinking here. Common sense isn't all that common. Anyhow, puppy shihtzu (I may not be spelling that correctly) got nervous when Gerard, the poodle, started snarling and growling at him. A puddle ensued. Much chatter from the witless wonders about how this was just what "little what's his name" needed - meeting all kinds of interesting friends. I think the FRIEND would have cheerfully eaten "little what's his name" for appetizers, if he'd been permitted. Meanwhile "little what's his name" is racing all about the drugstore, leaving little shihtzu puddles everywhere. His owner ran for paper towels and dabbed here and there, chattering loudly all the time about the great socialization aspects.
Finally they left, without having made a purchase. I bet the proprietor was furiously creating a NO PETS except for Guide Dogs sign in the back room. I would have offered to tack it to the witless wonders' backs for free.
Out of the West
2. A cowboy. A real cowboy. This dude was straight out of Lonesome Dove. Ma'am, Honey, and Good Lord Almighty. He bought a book. He was a talker and asked about my politics. I responded "God Bless John Wayne" which went over splendidly. I might add that it wasn't a stretch on my part. Lord I miss The Duke.
Hiccupping through Lit
3. The Serious Non Fiction Browser
This woman took every volume from the Current Best Sellers in Non Fiction shelves and read the covers, the back covers, the first pages, and then leafed through to the last page, which she read before replacing the book. Spent about an hour completing this task before leaving without making a purchase.
What I Learned
To be an Indie Book Store Owner you must have:
1. The patience of Job's wife
2. Excedrin Super Strength
3. Much stock in Pet Deodorizer companies
4. A really, really, really long fuse
5. A relative who has connections with organized crime that will allow you to create a hit list anonymously and give you an alibi when revenge for all you have endured finally comes to pass.
My hat is off - literally, actually, since I wore the 1940s black cloche I got in a heckofa deal on eBay - to these guardians of literature.
Blessings on them all.