Saturday, September 26, 2009

Did You Want an Autograph With That?

Two nights ago, Ron and I went to a restaurant for dinner and to re-review for the book. I had gone back to this restaurant during the time he was in the States, but was terribly disappointed in the food and the service. Because I refused to believe that this was their new standard, going downhill so drastically, I wanted to give them one more shot at it before it went into the book. The book has the good, the bad, and the disastrous, so watch out. All went well, the service was fine. With only four other diners in the place, I should hope so. A group of five older ladies walked in and took a seat. Their NYish accent pricked up my ears, so my eyes followed them to their table as they sat down. Then lo and behold, what should they place on the table to the side...Frommer's "Budapest & the Best of Hungry" 7th edition. As my head and chest swelled, it was difficult to maintain my balance in the chair while trying to eat at the same time. Fortunately, I had a few bites of my dinner before they displayed the book, or I would have forgotten to taste the food. As much as I tried to ignore them, I could not keep my wandering eyes at home. When we finished, I told Ron I was going to say hello. He did not think I would do it. After excusing myself, I asked how they liked the book. Three of them formed a chorus of "We love it. It is our bible." I will excuse the other two for not joining it with the rest. They had just arrived from NYC only four hours prior and were still jet-lagged, so their reflexives were not up to par yet. Once they heard the others, they were able to kick start themselves and shower me with platitudes making it a complete cheerleading squad of 60 somethings. Four of them pointed to the fifth woman and said she is the organizer. She has been organizing their annual trips together for the last ten years and does an amazing job. She bought the book, and read it to them every chance when they were gathered within earshot. I looked at the book. There had to be over fifty little pink tabs growing from between pages and not one of them had any writing on them. I was uncertain how they were distinguishable, but as we spoke, the ring leader was able to grab the correct tab needed to quote something that I wrote. After fifteen minutes of soaking up the praise and laudatory comments, we left them to enjoy their meal, but as we were walking away, we heard "Wow, isn't that wonderful? We met the author." Another said "That was so cute of him to come over to speak to us." Cute? Peter Pan complex aside, I think I have passed 'cute' a few decades ago, but hey, you have to bask in whatever rays of sunshine come you way.

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