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Feb 2, 2007

WHOOHOOMERCY!  We are havin’ us a TIME out here on the road!  I just wish y’all coulda been with us in MONROE, Louisiana—and that is pronounced “MUN-ro” if you please.  WINDOWS-A-BOOKSHOP—Queen Elizabeth and her loyal subjects Pat and Betty Jo just went crazy on us!  They had the Radio People all over this event and folks drove in from Texas, Tennessee and Mississippi to eat deviled aigs and Pig Candy.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen quite that much Pig Candy in one spot before actually!  PLUS finger sammiches—oh it was a happy time for sure.

AND my Precious Darlin’ George came over to play.  He was gonna wear his white tux but forgot it—and since he ALWAYS has his O-fficial SPQ Big Ass Shorts with him, he wore those—to the wild acclaim of the crowd, naturally.  (See the photos in the Gallery.)

THURMAN’S had made THE cutest cake that has ever been made in the whole world, living or dead.  It was an eggzact replica of the BIG ASS BUS!  You have GOT to see those photos for sure.  I hated to even cut it, it was so cute—but it was also tasty so I got over it pretty quick.  George and I posed (a’la wedding cake pose) cutting it and feeding it to each other—only to realize we had cut into and eaten the part with BLACK ICING—which then made our LIPS AND TEETH BLACK for quite some time.  That’s why some of my photos are close-lipped and smirking!

There musta been a million or so folks wedged in that store and tent—we hated to leave but for sure we’ll be back!  And any AUTHORS reading this need to make sure and put WINDOWS on your tour list from now on.

Didn’t get to N.O. until around 3:30 in the a. and m.  Groan.  For Kyle, anyway—me, I was Ambiened up in the back and dead to the world!  Met up with our very cute and well-armed Security Dude—Sgt. Turner—who guarded us round the clock the whole time!  Hope to meet his bride—the beautiful Sgt. Betty next trip!

New Orleans was fun as always.  Got to see my SEESTER JUDY and have multiple mega-lunches with her—did my heart, if not my arteries, good.  Getting our laundry done at her house was an added benefit.  Big Bonus—got to see my nephew Trevor and his bride RuthAnna and their 3 (THREE!) PERFECT CHILDREN!  Riley and Conner and Mason—too beautiful for words.  And we did the Unthinkable (but so Satisfying!)—we gave them kids a whole bunch of stuff that makes RACKET!  A wand that makes a very loud bbbbbrrrrrriiiiiinnnnnnggggg magical sound, a bear that sings “CUPID—DRAW BACK YOUR BOW” also very loud and SEVERAL HARMONICAS—which they proceeded to play, endlessly, in that time-honored kid-fashion of constant inhale-exhale into the keyboard.  BWAHAHAHAHAHHA!  Pay back is sooooo sweet, is it not?  Also gave ‘em enough Play-Doh to gum up the en-tire house!

Garden District Books was a treat as ever—in spite of the fact that Brad Pitt has been making a movie outside their door SINCE NOVEMBER.  Ok—this is admittedly a great thing for the city and state and all that—but there is NO consideration for the small businesses who give up all their parking for all the movie trucks.  It ain’t right, it just ain’t right.   Loved this story though—some “star” who shall remain nameless came into the shop and was treated like a regular person.  New Orleanians make a point of this with all stars who visit.  Nobody was paying Special Attention to this guy until a woman glanced his way and began to act excited.  He immediately donned the expression that said, “oh, no, not AGAIN…” with the simultaneous patient and patronizing look—and she raced up to him, breathless and demanded to know WHERE HE GOT THOSE FABULOUS BOOTS???  With no discernible sign that she recognized HIM at ALL.  He did look like the Little Boy When The Chicken Got His Bread!  BWAHAHAHAHHA!  Take that, Star Boy!

Big Time at BORDERS in Metairie—hard to tell who got more suck up gifts at this one—me or Sostie!  We literally had to borrow the store’s hand truck to haul it all out and we’re STILL eating cake and sweet potato pie and carrot soufflé!  Had a Big Time with Queen Terri and her new chapter of Queens.  They had been former members of Another Organization—one that DID NOT respond kindly to its Katrina-stricken Members.  When they found out about the Queens—and what all Y’ALL have done for Katrina folks—they couldn’t get their tiaras fast enough!  They’ll be joining us in Jackson for sure!

From there we went to PASS CHRISTIAN BOOKS in Pass Christian, Mississippi, where our buddies Scott and Rich had been selling books outta the trunk of their car since The Storm.  They are finally in a great store—albeit TEEENINY!  It didn’t even show up on the GPS. Kyle recognized the very cool building from a tiny grainy photograph he’d seen several months ago. The size of the store had nothing to do with the event however—there musta been a couple hundred people and I literally sat outside the store to sign books!  We met the Fabulous BELLES OF THE BALL there—they came in their cute animal-print vests and their tiaras.  (Luckily, they ALL won NEW tiaras in the giveaways we’ve been doing during the signings! And they went away sparklier and happier than ever—look for ‘em on the Gallery—and in JACKSON!) 

We got to do a little more laundry there—what with the handy Laundromat right behind the bookstore!  And Sostie got an unplanned bath in the RV shower—having inadvertently happened on something Real Dead and REAL Stanky in the adjoining field!  It got REAL SMALL in that bus REAL QUICK when she came up in there covered in that funk!  Kyle said it made his throat close up—bwahahahahaha!  Such a weenie.  So you KNOW who had to wash that stanky mutt!  ME!  And about the time I got her all lathered up—HE CUT OFF THE FREAKIN’ WATER!  (He was outside trying to do Something Productive—who knows what—but it resulted in cutting off the water.)  So here I come, thundering through the Big Ass Bus, shrieking WHERE’S THE @#%#%!! WATER??? And Sostie is crashing along, under my feet, soaking wet, covered in soapsuds, singing and shaking, slinging soapy water all over me and everything in the Big Ass Bus.  Kyle comes slinking in—looking fairly sheepish—volunteering to finish the stanky-dog bath, gagging the whole time.  I told him just TURN ON THE WATER AND GET OUTTA THE WAY!

Ok, first chance you get—GO TO PASS CHRISTIAN, MISSISSIPPI and go to CAFÉ ANNIE, right next door to The Bookstore, and order the ROAST BEEF PANINI.  Seriously.  I don’t care WHERE you live—it is worth the trip for this sammich.  I can tell you, without hesitation, qualification or fear of contradiction—THIS IS THE BEST SAMMICH IN THE HISTORY OF THE EN-TIRE WORLD, LIVING OR DEAD.  Really.  Go there and eat this—you’ll thank me for sure.

Drove on to Pensacola, Florida, LATE last night and apparently while I was sleeping, we had our 2nd MUDDIN’ adventure in the Big Ass Bus.  There was a pesky median right where Kyle wanted to turn—but I when I woke up, it was all over—which was pretty fine with me, actually. Expecting a Big Ass turnout at the B&N—Queens are already lurking about the Bus and in the store.

On to Jacksonville tonight—EARLY media before the Books-a-Million event—which is ALWAYS a LARGE time; then, we’re heading to B&N in Charleston for my first visit and Politics and Prose in DeeCee directly!  Stay tuned for more Big Ass Adventures!

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