Adventures in Marketing: Week 72

A Brief Encounter

“Are you ‘Bob’?”
The sign on the café table says “Buy Bob’s Books” and the books beside it are by “Bob” and I am the only person seated, yet I am asked this question more than you might think. Each time, since it offers more than silence, I perk up.
“And you are…?”
“X,” she says (Not really).
“Wanna buy a book?” I say.
“Can I look at one?”
“You can look at both.”
She is young, cute. I am far from cute – perhaps “interesting” – at least, from available evidence, “non-threatening” – and, outside observers might think, her grandfather. I decide, playing my next question, to err on the side of complimentary. “Do you go to UC?” I ask, rather than “…Berkeley High?”
She is in graduate school. In engineering.
That is the first surprise.
The second is that it is the back cover blurb from R. Crumb that leads her to buy “The Schiz.”
When she notes that his treatment of women makes appreciation of his artistry and importance difficult, I issue a warning about Chapter 1 – and expose Shary Flenniken’s illustration. “A woman,” I point out in my defense. We agree “My Favorite Thing is Monsters,” which I have just begun, is wonderful.
Between vestigial reflective flirtation, minimalistic enlightenment, urbane cafe banter, and humoring the old codger, humanity has shown how well it can behave.
And I made $15.
A Briefer Encounter
The high-powered, how-to-publish consultant to which “Heart” had been recommended (See “Adventures” Week 71) set a date and time to speak on the phone or meet at her office.
We said we preferred to speak in person and requested her address.
That was that.
Of course we followed up.
No e-mail, no phone in return.
“Maybe she sent a text,” Adele said the morning after the date and time had passed.
No text.
“Maybe she has been kidnapped and is being held hostage,” I said.
“I hope it is by someone who will publish ‘Heart,’” Adele said.