I did it.
I powered through my first book reading/book signing. It was kind of unexpected, but a wonderful experience. I wasn’t sure I’d go through with it, honestly. I won’t bore you with the grim details. Let’s just say I made a well-informed conscious decision.
I vowed I would just show my appreciation for all who showed up!
A funny thing happened. It wasn’t just the cup of wine I had before, or the fact that Christine from the blog I’m Sick and So Are You showed up (how badass am I that my friend who showed has a blog name like that?)
I enjoyed myself. I read, I talked, and I said thank you when people said nice things. There was also guacamole and salsa, but no one touched it, so i gave it to the cool dude at the bookstore. He thought it was righteous.
Shawna introduced us to the crowd of about 25-30 really friendly and fancy people, mostly peeps of my partner in crime, Alessandra Macaluso, who has a cooler name than mine. She absolutely killed it and was the professional.
Our book is called But Did You Die?. Let me know if you’d like an autographed copy, and I’ll throw in an original origami bookmark. Just $15. That’s like, three of those taco boxes at Taco Bell. What a value!
Now, onto the girls’ questions.
1. What does a striped bass look like?
Like a metallic green and silver MatchBox sports car, if metallic green and silver MatchBox sports cars were the size of a Costco bag of Fruit Loops. A striped bass is gorgeous, with double dorsal fins and side stripes that belong in NASCAR.
Many of a striped bass’ stripes go all the way, gills to tail. Why go halfway when you’re the universe, after all?
Here’s a video of a dude feeding striped bass. All other videos were of dudes catching striped bass, and then eating striped bass.
There used to be a group of fellas that would go out on Lake Norman overnight to fish for stripers, Camdyn, it’d be a blast to take that one, but you’d need a bottle of Mountain Dew, and I still predict you’d crash like your dad after drinking an IPA beer in the sun.
2. Can you really get a cab by whistling?
It’s not a bad way to go, if you don’t have the legs to do it that way.
Where taxis live, so too does noise. This means the whistle can’t be from the little train that probably couldn’t. We’re talking Super Chief decibels. It’s old-school, something Frank Sinatra could probably pull off.
A cabbie might even pull over just to see who did it.
You’ll want to go with the two-finger whistle. The Otis Redding or Andy Griffith whistles are classic, but if you want to stand out on a street corner in the Bronx, you better bring the fingers.
Or dress in just a Rockies jersey and Darth Vader socks, like Elizabeth Banks did in that dream I once had.
Ain’t Lizzy B., and can’t pull off the Lord of the Sith in loungewear? You might need to read this. It’s a manly skill I’ve yet to develop, right along with the ability to eat corn chips without cutting my mouth or getting all the spots when I shave without a mirror.
3. What’s the last stage before a tadpole becomes a frog?
Pretty sure it’s a Green Party lobbyist, but lemme check.
I’ve just discovered that frogs can mate for days on end. That’s the good news. The bad news? They’ll try to mate with anything that comes along which isn’t small enough to eat. This second part, at least, has been said about minor-league baseball players.
That awkward teenager frog stage? It’s the Era of the Froglet.
It looks like a fully-grown frog, but has a bit of a tail. Kind of like an American teenager. The froglet’s voice cracks and it probably needs Clearasil. Eventually, it comes out of the water and onto dry land, completing a 12-16-week life cycle.
They’ll hop about, hop on another frog (hopefully), not get squished on the sidewalk, and come back to the water to lay eggs and start the whole thing over. No two-finger whistling required.
4. Can you do this, dad?
I once had a photo of the specific act in motion, but that was three phones ago.
(There’s a wing in phone heaven dedicated to my devices. They’re water-logged and worn out, dropped, scrapped, dunked into soda. They bear the stripes of me falling down while jogging, and the distinct aroma of Pepsi Max, mixed with digital components.)
There are a lot of things pops can’t do anymore – and a ton of those, he wouldn’t want to, either.
I can’t stay up (writing) every night past 2. I can’t outrun you girls (probably) and I can’t save two KitKat bars for ‘later.’ I can’t get up off the floor without making whale mating noises, and I can’t grow a beard that isn’t gray as this entire Pinterest board.
There’s plenty I can do, too.
I can stay up until 1:28 a.m. I can sing the words to La Bamba, the real ones, not just la-la-la-la-bamba. I can (now) differentiate between dishwasher liquid and dishwasher soap. I can drive the speed limit and not even take the bird-flipping at me personally.
What can you do, child of mine?
5. How fast is a cheetah?
Fast enough to pass me, turn around, backpedal, and flip his middle claw up at me. That’s twice as fast as cable Internet.
In sprints, a cheetah can muster as much as 75 mph. One could score from first on a feeble dribbler to the mound, theoretically. Did you know, though, that for all its speedy reputation, the cheetah doesn’t top the speed chart of the animal world?
We’ve accepted the cheetah’s place atop the speed throne.
It’s unfair to the cheetah’s individuality. Imagine, the cheetah pup who would rather stay home and write poetry than go out on the Savannah and make a blur of himself. Where is his right to artful expression that challenges the social norms?
According to fastcompany.com (seriously), lofty cheetah stats are under ideal conditions. Kind of like the NFL Combine, when prospective players run a straight line in spandex T-shirts too small for them for a group of nerdy coaches with stopwatches.
In the wild, a college senior isn’t going to run a straight line in a clingy shirt. He’s going to in the abusive humidity of an early September evening at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, with boorish San Francisco 49ers linebackers bearing down on him.
(Okay, maybe Jets linebackers – the 49ers made me laugh, too. Oh wait, that’s no better! Bengals? Titans? Lions? Geez, just imagine a really good team’s linebackers. I’m sure they’re boorish.)
Out in the wild, whatever dinner a cheetah chases has made it through natural selection somehow. They probably know a cheetah cheat or two, such as running zig-zag, so that the speedy cat can’t get up a head of steam.
Imagine the gazelle talking shit to his predator as he has to start up every time the gazelle zigged and zagged, the Animal Kingdom equivalent of the Deion Sanders high step into the end zone.
This might incite the cheetah further, who might say “eff this,” and run his predator right into heavy traffic (or a substantial tree).
Under these conditions, like on the frozen tundra of Buffalo (stick with me!), the raucous din of New Orleans, or overpriced accommodations in Dallas, a cheetah can muster up about 33 mph. Pedestrian, really. And you, Mr. Gazelle? Did You Die?
Well, probably. It didn’t help that I pissed off your predator on the highway on his way to eat you.
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