Wednesday, April 16, 2008

When Babies Attack

Well, back from LA LA Land (Los Angeles area) and I had a fabulous time. I hung out with old friends, spent time with my sister, and gave a talk to the Los Angeles Romance Authors chapter of RWA about "Finding the Dark Side of Your Knight in Shining Armor." I used my knowledge of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator to provide insight in finding flaws and areas of conflict for our wonderful male heroes, because nobody's perfect, right? Afterward, I sold out of the books at the Barnes and Noble in Encino where I gave my talk. Unfortunately, some folks who stood in line for one weren't able to get one due to a shortage of books, but it was nice to be able to say "Hey, I sold out at my first book signing!"

Everything was wonderful--except for the flight out to LA. The plane was absolutely packed, the airport personnel seemed stressed and ruder than normal, and I was attacked by a baby on board the flight. No, really. Actually, the kid was quite cherubic--a happy little fellow with no respect for personal space. His slightly bewildered dad was doing his fatherly duty and giving the mother a break by holding the baby while she vegged. They were in separate rows, and he was stuffed in the middle seat with me on the aisle and a chatty, rather large fellow in the window seat. The baby chortled and drooled on my denim jacket (the dad neglected to get a bib cloth for the obviously teething baby). I did my citizenly duty by flipping magazine pages and pointing, saying "Dog? Book?" at appropriate times, much to the smart-as-a-whip baby's delight. Partway through the flight, the tiny one conked, sleeping soundly instead of screaming at high decibels like most babies on flights. Reassured, I decided to watch the in-flight movie (National Treasure II, a highly improbable, yet strangely entertaining adventure-fest). Ensconced in my cheap airline headsets, I munched on the bag of nuts I brought as defense against airplane food (or lack thereof). I had decided, unfortunately, to partake of my favorite in-flight beverage--hot tea.

Yep. I bet you can see this one coming. Without warning, the baby awoke and decided he WANTED MY BAG OF NUTS. With daddy drowsing in the middle seat, no doubt exhausted, the baby made a sneak attack strafing run on the bag of nuts, colliding with the hot tea and sending it cascading in every direction: on my seat, my pants, my tray table, in the bag of nuts--everywhere. Of course, no one in my row had gotten food, so I had no napkins handy to clean up the mess. I sat there, stunned (nearly as much as the father was) and covered with very hot tea seeping into my pants. My gaze connected with a man across the aisle, who stared wordlessly at me for a moment and then silently handed over his napkin. I used it to mop and sop while the dad looked away in embarrassment. It didn't occur to me until later that he never apologized, and so I never had the opportunity to say, "No worries." Which might have been a good thing, because I wasn't feeling too charitable at that moment anyway.

The father eventually removed the baby to his mother, and we spent a very uncomfortable remainder of the flight avoiding each other's gaze. Very difficult to do when the man was sitting less than an inch away from me (curse Continental and its tiny span between seats).

Other than that, it was a good flight. :-)

This weekend is my book launch party in Houston, and I can't wait! Read It Again Bookstore in Houston is currently the only bookstore or outlet in America to actually have possession of the books, so if you are in the area, want a book, and want to join us, feel free. You can find the details on my news and events page.



Anonymous said...

Hi TJ,

I just ordered your book from Amazon and can't wait to read it! If you're keeping track for marketing purposes, I read about your book on jaunty quills.

Congratulations on selling out at your first book signing! WOO HOO!

Mary M

TJ Bennett said...

Thanks, Mary. I just found out my copy from Amazon just shipped, so that means the preorders must be going out, but there are only a limited number left on that site, so you may have gotten one of the last. Boy, this distribution thing is a bear! We'll keep on them to get more copies into the hands of the readers who want them. :-) Also, I'm working another angle with the local independent bookseller hosting my book launch party who has the magic touch and has access to many copies and will ship with a credit card order. I'll put the info up as soon as I have all the details.



Mel said...

That picture of the baby is priceless.

TJ Bennett said...

Isn't it? I typed in "angry baby" under Google images and got that. Couldn't resist using it. :-)