So this author and his wife are departing his favorite grocery store. Their cart is overloaded with shredded miniwheats and celery, yet over the bags he spies a familiar dust jacket sitting on a passenger’s side seat. It’s his own.
He stops the cart and peers through the window of an old sedan. Indeed, it’s his book, left in a car parked on two over from his own. Looking around the lanes, he hopes to find a fan out in the parking lot, but most everyone seems to still be inside, browsing the discounts on ice cream. He entertains a two-second daydream where this reader loves his book and brings out a pint of Ben & Jerry’s to thank him for his literary brilliance.
His wife complains they should go; her rice milk is dangerously close to room temperature. Well, he thinks, October had been unseasonably warm. And there was no telling when this reader would finish his or her shopping. But he had to do something with this unique promotional opportunity.
Swallowing, he pulls a notepad from his rear pocket and tears off a sheet. He makes his Alpha Signature – the impressive one with all the cursive loops – and writes a tidy note beneath.
“Thrilled to see you have my book here. In case you like it, here’s my autograph.”
He almost rambles longer, but sanity and his wife elbowing him jar the author back into life. He quickly concludes:
“And in case you hate the book, there’s still my autograph. You can burn it.”
Then he hustles to pack the groceries: cold stuff in the back seat, stuff that could wait in the trunk. Heaven forbid the rice milk hit room temperature outdoors.