Took an emergency early AM bike ride over to the grocery store today and ran into this guy. If you’re like me, if you’ve lived your whole life in the same town, he’s one of those guys you see now and again, guy you knew pretty well back in high school, guy you see coming out of the dry cleaners maybe, pumping gas next to you.
Nice day, so we stood on the verge of the parking lot for a minute catching up. Usual shit, bragging on our kids and such. His kid just graduated, too, and is looking for work. I got to puff out my chest a bit, tell him how the Daja hopped a plane for Florida Monday afternoon, the day after she snagged her diploma, how she was down pow-wowing with her new employer, hitting the ground running, helping them set up their PR push around some major swimwear industry deal in Miami that’s coming up in July. Jesus, two days out of college and my kid is getting ready to go to Miami to hang out with international designers and swimsuit models. I’m on the wrong side of fifty and getting ready to crank out an article on Treasury’s new tangible asset depreciation regs. One of us played our cards wrong.
Then he asked, “What’s with the hat?”
I’m usually wearing a cap of some sort – keeps the sun out of my eyes and protects my scalp, seeing as how the SPF afforded by my current hairline is best expressed with negative integers. But this one features a reversed question mark centered in an orange circle – the irony merit badge. It’s a book promo Kevin Fenton sent me a couple years back when his marvelous debut novel, Merit Badges, was published. (I recently opined on both Kevin and his book at length, if you want to take a gander.)
So I gave him the elevator speech about the book, about Kevin.
“Good book?” he asked. “I’m always looking for something to read.”
That surprised me a little because back when I actually knew the guy, back in high school, he wasn’t what you’d call the literary type. One of my jock friends.
“Excellent book,” I said. “Best thing I’ve read the last few years.”
He had me text him the title so he’d remember to look it up.
The moral of the story? These book promos, pick the right one, I guess they can work. That, and send Dan free shit.
Oh, the bike ride? Before you get too carried away imagining my virtues, the emergeny was this. I was out of Pop Tarts.