Adventures in Marketing — Week 405

Sold a “Cheesesteak” and three “Bob”s.
The former went to a “business system analyst,” which means he helps people do their jobs better. (NOT an efficiency expert. He insisted I get that straight.) He familiarizes his clients with their software “In preparation for the new world.”
“Richard,” who was in town from Dallas, was of average height, about 40, wore plastic-rimmed glasses, and dressed in unobtrusive blues and greys. He was fascinated by the different types of people who congregated in Berkeley’s cafes – and me, selling my books. (He took my picture. Then had a barrista take a picture of the two of us together to prove he had met me.) He was a tad unfamiliar with local history, not knowing people had been shot on Telegraph Ave. in the ‘60s, or that troop-bearing military vehicles had rolled down the very street we were on, or that tear gas had spiced our air.
He had wanted a book to read on his flight home, hence my recommendation – but I also gave him a copy of the café journal for his cultural enrichment.

The “Bob”s went to (a) a high school classmate; (b) a friend/semi-cousin of Adele’s, who’d lived here but, for decades, has been a psychiatric-social worker outside Philadelphia; and © a retired-from-Kaiser anaesthesiologist back from a Doctors-Without-Borders stint in India.

In other news…
1.) My top no-book-sold encounter was with Iris, a fifth-grader in a “Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Animal” sweatshirt. (From “Home Alone,” it was explained to me, the culturally unenlightened.) She lives in Virginia City with her mother, Jess, who joined us – and said I could use their real names. Jess, a digital designer/librarian, knew of Bob Crabbe but not Dan O’Neill, my primary Nevada-City-connected-names-to-be-dropped. The most significant thing about Iris is that, in a city with much home schooling, she insists on attending public school. She does not want to miss the experience of being around other children. Good for her.
2.) A Mystery Solved: My pal Fran picked up two copies of “Outlaws, Rebels…” from Moe’s for me, which I can mark-up and peddle. One is immaculate, but one is signed “Bob, Thanks” by one of the cartoonists profiled in it. “Why would he be signing a book by me to me?” I wondered. The answer came from another pal, Wes. “He was giving the book to another ‘Bob.’” That made perfect sense because the cartoonist was a magalomaniac and probably felt that since he was in the book, it was about him. Not only that, I thought I knew the “Bob” to whom he had signed it.
When I mentioned the name, Fran thought he knew him too.
3.) Finished the article I’d been working on for “Comic Book Creator” about the life and tragic end of the Chief Writer and Editor in Chief of “Penthouse Comix.” “Great piece,” the editor said, which was satisfying and exciting since I had never heard of him or it before the assignment before it was offered. I’d literally begun with nothing and ended up with 6000 words.
Now the editor has a bigger story for me.