[Author’s Note: For new readers – or old readers with spotty recall – let me explain. Every morning, I sit in a café with a selection of my work spread around a sign of The Checkered Demon saying “Buy Bob’s Books.” Then I issue regular reports.
Think of it as performance art.
It sure ain’t a recommended business model.]
Sunday, the city closed Shattuck to traffic and parking for a street fair. I figured I’d sit at an outside table and take advantage of the hordes. Unfortunately, my hours preceded the fair’s by a couple, so the only horde I attracted was a fellow who felt compelled to tell me about the time – it was in ‘63 or ‘67 – when he ran into Buffalo Bob at the Chicken Delight on Harmon in Richmond, where Bob had gone for chicken nugget fritters and a Nehi, after escaping from Napa State Mental Hospital. This story, with its side tracks and circumambulations took about 20 minutes and included a request for a couple dollars (I obliged), which made the day a net loss.
The week’s only actual sale was Adele’s, who made her café (a different one) debut. I’m hoping for a “Guest Adventurer” report from her, so I won’t “appropriate” (as we artists say) her material – but if you run into her, ask about the fireman.
I swapped two “I Will Keep You Alive”s, one to a basketball buddy for his latest poetry collection and one to mountain biker for a tube of super-powered sore muscle relief she smuggles in from Germany.
` In other news…
1.) I squeezed out of the distributor the number of copies of IWKYA and “Cheesesteak,” which have been ordered (not “sold”). Dauntingly minimal. On the positive side, a second library has acquired one of the former. In Wellington, New Zealand. (Don’t ask. We haven’t a clue.)
2.) Faithful readers will recall my college buddy who’d called IWK the best book he’d read this year, leading me to wonder in print how many that was exactly. Well, he’s checked and said “At least ten” – though, he adds, “It’s a good thing I finished ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ in December, or you’d be Number Two.”
3.) Words-of-Mouth. From a lawyer-pal, on “The Schiz.” “It’s like reading a cross between Mickey Spillane and Ismael Reed, with a little flavoring from Bukowski, just to kick up the language.”