Sign, sign, every book Ill sign
You have to massage my feet, bring me breakfast and pick lint out of my belly button, Husband-Head ordered from the bed.Arent you forgetting the P word? I reminded him. Emily Post would think thats rude.Oh, yeah … Pronto, Husband-Head added.I pulled a handful of his hair.But I knew what he was doing. He was trying to manipulate me into doing things for him because I was making him go to a book signing that afternoon at a local book store for our new book, Skully Says Shut It!Id never done a book signing before most probably because Id never written a book before. But it was only going to be for two hours, so I didnt think it would be too bad.When we arrived, there was a table and chairs set up with copies of the book on display along with a large plate of cookies that the bookstore owner had kindly put out. I had brought a few things of my own green and yellow M&Ms that were custom engraved with Skully says… on one candy and Go Packers! on the other, reflecting the title and the cover of the book.I had also brought Skully, a porcelain Halloween skull decoration I bought for Husband-Head a couple of years ago and who was part of a Dateline NBC special last year.We got all settled in, although it took a little while before I realized that we were seated right in front of the adult magazines.But we had just barely set up and sat down at the bookstore when the first person arrived to buy the book and have us sign it.Can I also get a picture with the two of you? she asked enthusiastically. We stood on either side of her and I just know that there were still cookie crumbs in my teeth when I smiled. …People stopped by and Husband-Head was a good sport about signing the books with me. That was, until an old college buddy of his who lives several hours away and whom he hadnt seen in 15 years, stopped in.The two stood there and I think rehashed every college memory they had, completely oblivious to the fact that people were waiting at the table.Honey .. .get OVER here! I hissed to him under my breath. Your job is to help me sign books! Signing books is odd in that youre never quite sure what to write in someones copy.Hope your hernia heals well! does not seem appropriate.In the chapter that seems like Im talking about you, Im really not! isnt a good one, either.When I asked my editor, who has written a book himself, he suggested the standard Best Wishes.But my biggest fear in signing the books was that someone was going to come in that I knew, but embarrassingly enough, would not be able to remember their name.So I fell back on an old journalism rule, which is to ask everybody the spelling of their name. We do this because sometimes a common name like John can be spelled as Jon or Smith as Smyth. And nothing worse than having your name spelled wrong in a book you just bought.Your name? I asked the woman who had just given me her book to sign.Pam, she answered.How do you spell that?Husband-Head, who overheard the conversation, stopped and looked over at me in horror as if I was an imbecile. I believe that would be P-A-M, he advised.Other people wanted to pick up Skully, who was propped up on a bunch of books.Dont break him! I warned in a motherly voice. Hes the most famous $3.99 porcelain skull ever!Another woman wanted to know the recipe of the store-bought cookies. …After two hours, we ran out of books.Did you notice the guy trying to get to the adult magazine section and couldnt because we were blocking him with our table? Husband-Head asked on the way home with a laugh. And now you have to rub my feet, make me dinner and do other stuff.Skully says … if you think thats happening youre high.And we still have several more signings to do. …Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her website at http://www.heidirice.com to order her new book Skully Says Shut It Life, Love and Laughter with Husband-Head or order from http://www.barnesandnoble.com or http://www.amazon.com.
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Sticks in the mud. Overly cautious. Obstacles to progress.