MOUNT JULIET—I am doing a book signing event tonight. Which is a fancy way of saying that I’m using a Sharpie to deface the property of innocent people.
Right now Tennessee is cold, biting, and everyone is wearing jackets. I shake hands, give hugs, sign books, and continuously run my mouth with everyone I meet. This is slowing down the line, but I can’t help it. I’m a big talker just like my mother.
And tonight I’m hugging necks from all over the Southeast.
One of the first necks I hug belongs to a guy from Sopchoppy, Florida. He is cheery and has a long beard. And we are discussing the finer points of underpants. Seriously.
He tells me he has recently discovered a new brand of cutting-edge undies that are built for comfort. We talk about these underpants in great detail. And before we say goodbye his exact parting words are: “You’re gonna love the underpants, man! They’re awesome underpants!”
So the literary event is off to an excellent start.
I hug the
necks of Stephani and Jacki, two sisters who grew up with a mother that forgot to put E’s on the ends of their names.
I meet Randy and LaTresa, a talented husband-and-wife musical duo who give me copies of their albums.
I run into my friend Matthew, who brought his sweet mother. If I am not mistaken, Matthew is wearing orange-and-blue Auburn University plaid. Which hurts my Crimson heart a little.
I see my pal Rob. Rob is a real author with a bona fide career. For some reason, call it misfortune, he has believed in me from the early days. One time he even drove all the way to Alabama just to see me perform. That was back when I had no idea what I was doing. Thankfully, after much practice and a few years of trial and error, I still have no freaking idea…