Thursday, August 07, 2008

"I Read About You on the Internet!"

Or, Sixty Million Tween Girls Can't Be Wrong.

I spent last Friday night at an out-of-town book release party for Breaking Dawn. I was intrigued by the concept, mostly because the proprietress of the store, Miss Laura, had sent me an email specifically barring me from several of the activities.

She mentioned something about the innocence of the teens there, her good name in the small town, and (with a delicate sniff honed, no doubt, through generations of Southern Good Breeding) "my reputation".

*My* reputation, mind, when one of the survey answers to her question, "Name a mode of transportation mentioned in the series?" was a seventeen year old boy. Well, who wouldn't snigger at that? Especially considering some of the seventeen year old boys she's had in the bookstore...*

I was also informed of the negative consequences of introducing alcohol to the festivities. Actually, I wasn't. Those were sort of left up in the air to increase the general air of malignancy associated with them, but they were No Good Things. It was sort of a shame I nevertheless got a thin covering of Crown Royal that night.

I got there early so I could help set things up. She -- in defiance of years of knowing me -- asked me to set up a PlayStation 3. Which I pretty much did. I got all the wires and things plugged in where they were supposed to be. Then I got to blow up balloons. Lots of balloons. /Lots/ of balloons. With little fortunes in.

After that, I went to go get ice. At this point, I should mention that I had grabbed dinner at a local Long John Silver's. ("Oh," I thought, "that'll make a nice change," forgetting that "sea-food" and "quick-service"** go together a bit like "feminine charm" and "Amy Winehouse".) When I came back to my car, I saw the refuse from dinner. Without thinking, I grabbed it an tossed it into a nearby bin. Along with the car key.

I got to dig through the bin liner to get it back. Conveniently, someone left a bottle of Crown Royal somewhere in the middle of the bag, and I drenched myself up to the elbows before I figured out what it was.

There were several other fascinating things in the bag besides the whiskey, like an empty bag of Hershey's Miniatures, a box of sleeping pills and a used container of Depends (though, uhh, fortunately, no actual Depends). I can only assumed I missed a rockin' Seniors field trip downtown...

So I showed up almost 30 minutes later with the ice. The festivities soon began.

It was actually a lot of fun. There were a lot of people -- about 300 teen girls, it seemed, and one guy. Yeah. One of /those/. He was first in line to a get a copy of the book, too, apparently. We all talked about him after the shop closed. It was rather a pity he was so intensely creepy, since he was sort of cute. In a beady-eyed, "don't turn your back on him unless you want a bread knife stuck there" sort of way. Which really wouldn't be a problem as long as he was a bottom.

There were bingo games, and fortune-telling, and arm-wrestling, and make-overs, and raffles and quizzes and Pictionary ("It looks like a homeless man's last will and testament," Ben said, when we looked at it after), and everyone left ecstatic. And clutching their copy of the book.

Which was pretty good, considering that at the climax of the night, a 6-foot ex-marine girl climbed the counter and shouted at people. The guests, except for someone who threatened to rip Laura's face off, were charming, and I met some really lovely people, including Laura's sister, who gave the title quote. Yes. It's nice to be in the same category as!

Clean-up took a long time, and I didn't get on the road till 3.30 -- which is about my standard for leaving from a trip to see Laura. One day, I should really take a camcorder and record myself singing aloud to Sharleen Spiteri or New Order or the 1989 London cast of Anything Goes about 5.15 to keep myself up.*** That would keep her in stitches for weeks.

You can see pictures of the event here. Though, curiously, I'm not in any.

*Well, not that kind of had, though she probably could have with the Boy G. Not that I would wish that on anyone. Well, twice. (I'd remind you of what Dan Savage says about paying sex workers...)

**That's the industry term for "fast-food". Like all industry terms, it's stupid.

***Granted, the infamous Interstate combined exit/on-ramp, complete with on-coming traffic, I once found on the way back from Laura's worked a lot better at waking me up.

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