Last week, I was out and about, having gone to one of the big box bookstores to see about doing a book signing in the fall. It was a strange experience because I hadn’t been in that particular bookstore since before covid, when I’d done a book signing for The Dome. The change was remarkable–there were very few actual books in the store and the vast majority were from ‘big’ corporate publishers, a lot of floor space was taken up by home décor, there was no local author section, and the terminals were all shut so if you wanted to look anything up you had to scan a QR code. I spoke to the manager—the earliest I could book anything was September, which actually suited me, but when she said, “People are just starting to come back—it’s been very slow,” I really wanted to say, “Maybe that’s because there isn’t much to come back FOR, unless you have a fetish for scented candles.” But I consoled myself because I was close to a large thrift store that I hadn’t visited for a while. I went in, not expecting much, but wouldn’t you know—they’d just had a huge donation of silver, and I scored a couple of beautiful silver candelabras for $5 each, as well as a few other great bargains, including a stained glass lamp for $15. I went to the check-out and the woman in front of me was trying to use her debit card but the machine was acting up. “Don’t worry,” the young cashier said, “it’s just being temperamental. Some days it works; some days it’s like an an immovable object meets an unstoppable force.” I laughed to myself and then called out, “You’ve got Schrodinger’s debit machine there, I think.”
The cashier’s eyes lit up and he said, “It’s simultaneously working and not working.”
I laughed again and felt like I’d finally met a kindred spirit. When I got to the counter, I put my items down and said, “You guys still have the 10% Senior’s Discount, right?
He nodded “We sure do.”
Me: Do you need to see ID with that?
Cashier: No. I just need you to say it.
Me: Say it?
Cashier: Say it out loud for me. Come on.
Me (rolls eyes): I’m a Senior.
Cashier: Hahahaha! I made you say it.
Now before you think I was offended or something, I WASN’T. Because a) it was actually super-funny and I laughed my *ss off, and b) I got 10% off all the stuff I got so when I sell it, my profit margin will be even better. He also told me that he didn’t always make people say it, just the ones who looked like they’d be cool about it and think it was funny. And I did.
In other news, I am so happy because I just accepted the position of Summer Writer-In-Residence for a local library system. Starting in July, I’ll be running programming, mentoring writers, and participating in writing groups. And as an extra bonus, as if this wasn’t already awesome, they’ll be hosting the official book launch for my new book, the sequel to The Seventh Devil, called The Devil You Know, which is supposed to be out late June/early July.