I was signing and distributing books a couple days ago at Barnes & Noble and the first customer to approach me seemed like a sure sale; talking about how he read A Land Remembered in one sitting and how he just loves Florida books. In retrospect I'm thinking he loves them almost as much as a good old Klan rally.
So there he was, holding my novel on his way to purchasing one and he says he just has to ask me one question: Did I vote for the current president of the United States? When I heard that I knew, from experience, that he would not like my answer.
The fact is, I don't vote except when I'm on the ballot but my boys, disenfranchised by age as they are, asked me to help Obama in their stead. Had they, in their impotence, required of me a McCain vote, I might have girded my loins and granted that. So I said to the prospective customer I sure did, to which he responded by putting my novel back on the stack and walking away.
Not an author to tolerate rudeness, especially from a non-buyer, I said, “That's awfully fascist of you.”
He said, still walking away, “I just don't want it.”
To which I said, “This is America, isn't it? You're not supposed to punish people for the way they vote.”
“Now that I know where you're coming from,” he said, turning half around, “I just don't want to expose myself to your writing.”
There you have it. I can understand if people don't want to expose their brain to crap, because every word you read goes in there and who knows what damage it can cause? I mean, look at this sorry lot of us that got exposed to at least twelve years of reading school curriculum. I'm pretty sure there's a connection. Think about it – only animals that can read go to psychiatrists.
My problem with this guy is, I'm pretty sure he regularly exposes his precious brain to crap of an order I never could dream of achieving. Maybe, like many of those worshiping at the altar of crap, he was simply afraid to contrast it with anything else.