Disorderly conduct

Working from home means never having to say rush hour, which I tend to translate as “there’s no rush.” If I put as much thought into promotions as I do procrastination, I’d probably be a best-selling author right now.

This can easily be applied to every aspect of my life. I’ve vowed to get more exercise, as soon as I find the time to root around for my deflated exercise ball buried somewhere in the garage. I haven’t used it since I discovered that balls roll. As I lay on my back in the yogic inverted sourdough pretzel position (don’t forget to breathe) I pondered whether cherry is softer than oak.

But I digress.

For the first time in my writing career, I’ve run up against the bane of 9 to 5 employment: deadlines. Working with the funny and talented contributors for our Valentine’s Day humor anthology was a joy, and the book was released ahead of schedule to rave reviews. The problem is that it’s not going to sell on St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, or Armistice Day (which, as we all know, is the first Monday after Purim, except during an election year).

My answer to promotion was obvious: talk about strategy for three weeks, then spend three hours in the office supply store. One notebook, a box of business cards, a pre-inked return address stamp, a sales order booklet, a map, a large print calendar, a clipboard, and a book of angry birds stickers later, I was finally ready for the serious business of talking about strategy.

Damn! I forgot the rubber bands. How can I promote a book without rubber bands?

Today is our first road trip to talk to vendors, so uppermost on my mind is, “If gerbils don’t drink water, do they pee?” Don’t tell me you’ve never wondered. I’m actually thinking, “If I could just get organized, I could __________________” (e.g. take a vacation, afford the 97% lean ground beef, become a lifetime member of the 700 club, stop snoring … and selling some books would be nice too).

So I’m off to polish my boots and find the right pen to take with me (blue ink, medium point) so I can have all my ducks in a row before hitting the road. I’m a mature, responsible adult, so I can handle rejection and crushing disappointment. Now I just need to figure out where to put my angry birds stickers.

Fatal distraction

Ripped from the headlines: A woman allegedly charges up her ex-boyfriend’s credit card to send a shipment of dead fish and caviar to his office. We’re talking a lot of fish! I thought this was a rather interesting way to protest his marrying a Russian woman. Points for creativity.

Obviously, the question on everyone’s mind is, “How does this affect me?” I may have just become an accomplice to further acts of stalkery mayhem. Just slap the cuffs on me now.

I’m the first to admit that if you tell me you’re a millionaire, bikini model, Supreme Court judge, I’m likely to believe you. (You know they’re all wearing bikinis and speedos under their robes.) In my defense, I come from a time when deals were sealed with a handshake, and a man’s word was his bond.

So when this woman said she wanted to review our Valentine’s book for her magazine, we blindly sent her a ticking time bomb with stories of romance gone awry. While it doesn’t specifically address ways to stab the one you love in the back with a screwdriver, in the wrong hands, it could serve as inspiration for unspeakable acts of ridiculous revenge. For instance:

Send his wife naked pictures of Justin Bieber.

Carpet bomb his house with fire ants.

Break into his house and teach his parrot to sing the theme song from The Brady Bunch, over and over.

Any one of these heinous acts could buy me a one-way ticket to the big house, where I’ll be forced to eat Spam, and will permanently scar the minds of other inmates who have to see me naked in the communal shower.

I’m begging you, when you inevitably buy our Valentine humor anthology, do not commit acts of aggression against your ex-lover. I don’t know the first thing about making a shiv.