Monday, March 05, 2007

Overalls, Books, and Garage Doors that Actually Work

I have actually gotten out of the house quite a bit, recently. I worked a trade show over the weekend for my company, and not just any show, but an RV show! I'm sorry, but if you RV? You are a hick. I saw more mullets and feathered bangs this weekend than I have since 1988. There were a few deceptively normal-looking families walking around, but the majority of the folks there had a beer in one hand, and a bottle for their screaming, unruly child in the other. It was fun to people-watch, even when old geezers would make feeble attempts at flirting, by winking and flashing toothless smiles.

I looo-oooved working with Bar-B. She owns her feminine wiles like you only read about in bad chick lit. The makeup and long, blond extensions were still there, as were the tight-fighting clothes, but instead of juicy couture, she wore tight jeans, and a bedazzled denim jacket, fitting right in with the locals. Except she makes bedazzled look good.

But she would laugh and bat her very mascara-y eyes at all the men with faux-trout attached to their baseball caps, and they would be drawn in like moths to a flame, and pick up a book, all, “Is this what yer sellin', lil' lady?” and Bab-B would bend over, the top button on her jacket magically unsnapping, and say, “Yes, and they'll fire me if I don't sell these books!”

(Which is funny, since she helped start the company, and now dates the guy who bought it, I don't think she could get out of this job, even if she wanted to.)

And inevitably a geezer from southeastern Colorado would throw some money at her for a book about ATVing in Nevada, despite the fact that he's not sure where Nevada is, (that's a state, right?) and she'd say, “Thanks so much, sweetie,” as she was turning to place a hand on her next victim's arm.

It was brilliant, I could only watch, and make change for her, as I held back my applause.

Meanwhile Old Coot came around, and while his bulky frame and chaotic facial hair does not attract people the way Bar-B does, we have a comfortable rapport at this point, and we had fun catching up, while taking minimal orders for our books. I had brought the latest book I've been reading, for the slow times, but didn't get much progress made, as we swapped Herr MWOTH stories. (Really, we should have moved on by now. But we're kind of petty, like that.)

When my shift was over, I went home, and it wasn't until Sunday afternoon that I realized I had left my book at the show! I knew they were in the process of breaking down, so I called Old Coot to see how I could retrieve my book. He instructed me to come back down, and meet him a little beyond the convention hall, so that I wouldn't have to pay for parking.

I drove down in a hurry, forgetting my coat, and drove past the convention hall, into a worn-out ghetto. I stopped in a crumbling parking lot, outside of what appeared to be a motel, although there was no sign of life therein. I called Old Coot to say I was parked under a very large billboard advertising storage rental, so that he could find me. He arrived about five minutes later, and pulled up his large van next to my dirty car. We both left our engines running, as he handed me some paperwork to take care of, along with my book. We chatted for a bit, and decided I should have some inventory on-hand, for sending to publicists. So we went over to his van, where Old Coot busted out his pocket knife to open a box of books.

At this point, I realized we must look rather suspicious to any passerbys. We're two vehicles pulled up next to each other in a vacant, run-down lot, me, a young woman shivering (see: forgot jacket above) next to this large man brandishing a knife next to his unmarked van. It felt fabulously scandalous, and I wondered, happily, what someone would think if they were to have seen us, as I gathered my books and paperwork and drove home to a burrito dinner with The Funasaurus. (Who, by the way, spent the afternoon installing a garage door opener with my dad, while I talked weddings with my mom, and getting kicks out of running around chasing down historical fiction books on ancient India from a man in a van with a knife in a sketchy 'hood. Love you, baby.)

4 comments:

v said...

Glad to hear work is going well. And that book seems very interesting. Would be great to read your review of it once finished. Take care and have a good one.

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna get in trouble for sitting around reading your stories all day instead of working.

Murphy said...

You are just about the only person I know in the whole world who could make an RV convention THAT glamorous....You "bedazzled" this one beautifully. Two Pocket Knives UP!!!!

scott said...

ok so i just saw you had this blog and i would like to say that in general it is so much more fabulous than anything i'd ever write... it's amazing. kudos.