Twenty rubber chickens

Yesterday I joined a regional booksellers’ organization and attended their trade show. Conversation with the exhibitors went something like this:

Exhibitor: “What store are you with?”

Me: “Um, I’m not a bookseller. I’m a publisher.”

Exhibitor: “How long have you been in business?”

I look at my watch.

While the ink was still drying on my articles of incorporation, I found myself in a room with the likes of Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, and Random House. They had tables groaning with free copies of their latest or soon to be released books. I felt a little out of place, carrying a bag full of freshly printed business cards, three books, and 20 rubber chickens. Long story.

My daughter can read a novel in the time it takes me to shave one leg. I read three paragraphs and my eyes start to go numb. Naturally, I took her with me to help me pimp my books and fledgling company. She didn’t get the memo. She filled two shopping bags to the brim with free books, then turned to me, her eye’s brimming with tears. “Thank you, Mom for being a publisher,” she whispered in awe.

Well, at least somebody was impressed. I can’t believe I put on mascara for this.

You see, I’ve kind of taken up the cause of bringing more good bathroom reading to humanity. In all the thousands of books at the trade show, I only found one humor book. This left me with many questions. Is it not fine literature unless it’s riveting, poignant, or filled with the bloodsucking undead? Are people too jaded to enjoy fine humor anymore? Will my husband be offended that I picked up a free Grilling for Dummies apron for him?

The Lone Ranger had really good PR in an age without telephones and instant messaging. When someone asked, “Who was that masked man?” there was always someone in the crowd to say, “Why, that was the Lone Ranger.” Where he would leave his signature silver bullet when he rode out of town, I left people holding a rubber chicken. “Who was that weirdo?”

One day, when people are on the crapper with their pants around their ankles, they will read one of my books and say, “God bless the Mascaraed Marauder.”

Think on these things

The Bible says, “Whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever doesn’t involve an emergency room visit, think on these things.” (NIV). My mind doesn’t really know the meaning of discipline, (Training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character) so the things I’m thinking on don’t really make the biblical cut.

Recently my mind has been occupied with trying to find three-inch rubber chickens, and an upcoming podcast. Will I be able to figure out the camera thingy? Should I have a bookcase behind me? Should I remove my Cootie bug and Gumby and Pokey from said bookcase and stock it with leather bound editions of National Geographic? If the camera only sees me from the waist up, do I really need pants?

I haven’t heard a recording of my voice in years. Is it still going to sound dorky, or will it now just be old and dorky? Can you edit out any loud farts during the podcast? These are important considerations, people.

My son decided that I needed help preparing for the interview, so he made up some sample questions:

How many nuns can you fit in a phone booth … and why?

If you were a lamp, what kind of lamp would you be … and why?

Have you ever been in a Turkish prison … and why?

Eight, gooseneck, and it was actually a Finnish bathhouse, where I had to watch my grandma scrub out her belly button. Close enough.

Thus, properly prepared for my interview, I can move on to other considerations, like a cover story for my daughter, who slipped in a puddle of dog urine while getting out of the shower Saturday, and knocked herself out cold. We’re thinking of going with bathroom ninjas. Now if I can just come up with a cover story for the UPS man, as to why I’m getting a box full of mini-rubber chickens, I’ll be golden.