Thursday, May 21, 2015

It all Adds Up

And now for something completely different:

Typically, I tend to bury the business side of things near the bottom of the newsletter. My lovely wife, Kathi, often comments on this, subtly suggesting better luck might be had by exercising a different approach. I’ve decided to try it.

I have what I believe to be some great news. Twisted Perception, the 1st Elliot novel in the now (I wish) infamous series, is now available in Audiobook format. Yea!!! I can practically hear the squeals of delight, coming from my adoring fans as the momentousness of this epic event dawns on them. And now, here is the link:

Please follow the link and check it out. Once you’re at the site, there’s a button you can click to hear a free sample. Charles Bice, the reader we chose, did an excellent job of portraying the characters as he tells the story. I believe you can even get the audiobook of Twisted Perception for free, if you join And who wouldn’t want to do that?

And now for the rest of the story:

And there I was, (I’m using a lot of Ands in this newsletter) strolling the isles of some mega-mart when I drop to my knees to explore the bargain-brand (Hyphens too) section in an area of the store dedicated to the killing of bugs. 

A collection of dust, and spider web covered cans occupies that particular spot on the bottom shelving.
I begin to reach for one of the cans, though further reflection upon the condition of the product causes me to pause. (Hmm… something poetic about that) Should there be spider webs on a can of bug spray? I realize the ultimate purpose of the metallic packaging is to maintain the contents within the confines, but there’s something about spiders congregating upon that which should repel them that just isn’t right.
As I remain there in the crouching-tiger position, still undecided upon the potential possession of non-lethal bug paraphernalia, I overhear someone in the next isle excitedly exclaiming: “Did I tell you we found grandma?”

Grandma, I wonder? Is she okay? How long has she been missing? Could I be one isle away from a tearful, family reunion, years in the making?

Seconds later, a man, propelling his wheelchair precariously balanced on two wheels, speeds around the corner. A crazed look covers his face. “Did I tell you we found grandma?” He asks.
I smile. “I’m so happy for you.”

I rise to me feet then, while projecting the best nonchalant attitude I could muster, I continue to pretend I’m shopping, while in reality I’m beating the hastiest retreat that doesn’t look like one in the history of mankind.  

I’ve now lost all interest in bug spray. All I want is to get out of the store. However, my fall through the wormhole, or rabbit hole, or whatever isn’t exactly over. 

I mount an evasive maneuver down another isle, but as I approach a man in Bermuda shorts – who has the audacity to wear with the atrocity, dress shoes with white socks rolled down over his ankles – reaching for a jar of olives, he suddenly turns and grabs my arm. He’s also smoking a pipe. Gripping the stem with his teeth, he grins around it, a bizarre Hugh Hefner from… Well you get the point.
Wait a minute, I think. You can’t smoke in stores anymore.

“You just never know about people,” bizarre Hugh says. He points to a lady perusing the pickles. “She’s soccer mom nine to five, but jams as a base player for some punk, rock band, making the nightclub scene by night.”

“How do you know this?” 

“It’s my job,” he says. “Did you happen to notice the slender, black man in the cereal, isle?”

 “Not that I recall?”

Hugh shakes his head. “You’re going to have to pay better attention. Later in the week, Mr. Cereal will put his all into gambling, energetically high-fiving plastic and steel, while he prays to the electronic circuitry of a slot machine, harbored in a dark corner of a small casino outside the limits of some dusty, Oklahoma, town.”

I roll over in bed and remind myself not to eat pizza so late at night. 

I want to thank everyone who has signed up for my newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading it. If you know of someone who might enjoy it, too, please email it to them.

I also give programs for writing groups, reading groups, or any group that’s interested. If you belong to a club, which needs program speakers, keep me in mind.

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This article was written by Bob Avey, author of, Twisted Perception, Beneath a Buried House, and Footprints of a Dancer.