More Book Tour: Lonetta's eye patch and naked girls at lunchtime
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Just got back from Sarasota and Jacksonville, where I signed books and talked with readers at two of my favorite Florida indy booksellers: Sarasota News and Books and The Bookmark in Atlantic Beach, just north of Jacksonville Beach. I had the pleasure of finally meeting two readers who had read and liked my novel "Southern Living," and they came out to meet me and enjoy the free champagne and food at the Bookmark's 18th Anniversary celebration. Meet Betty Donahue and Lonetta Seaton:
Notice Lonetta's very-cool frog-motif eye patch. Evidently she has several different ones, and she makes them herself, including one that features a picture of a REAL EYE! Yes, this girl has one great sense of humor, and it was nice meeting the both of them.This was not your typical book tour, as you'll soon find out. I was accompanied by my good friend, Fritz, who is the inspiration for the contractor character in my new novel. Every year we take a guys-only trip somewhere in Florida to have a wild, fun time -- we call it our "crawl" -- and this year we tied it in with my tour. Here we are on Neptune Beach:
The picture I CAN'T show would have been taken at Risque Cafe outside of Gainesville, but we were not allowed to take pictures ... and that is because the waitresses were naked.
I am not one to succumb to peer pressure, but Fritz is very persistent, and I reluctantly agreed to pay the $7 cover charge and go inside for lunch ONLY BECAUSE I WAS VERY HUNGRY. This was doubly amusing because it was a clear case of life imitating art. In my novel the character based on Fritz and the character based on me end up going to a strip club, and the latter guy is VERY nervous about it.
The lights were bluish and dimmed. Some sort of techno music was playing. There were tables scattered around, and there was a normal bar with stools ... only instead of a bartender and bottles there were naked girls, pole-dancing. One guy was actually eating his hamburger at the bar while a woman was shaking her bottom business just inches from his face. I couldn't help but wonder if these girls sometimes mistakenly get smeared with mustard or ketchup.
We headed for a table in the safer-looking far corner of the room. Immediately after sitting down, a beautiful young woman -- Let's call her Lisa; she looked like a Lisa -- came up and sat down with us. She was tanned and toned, with artificial, too-perfect breasts, round as water balloons. She told us she was a nurse in her other job...and then she proceeded to tell us what she would do for us and with us at prices ranging from $30 to $100. (Yes, at this point I am pretending to be VERY INTERESTED in the menu) One option was to watch her through a one-way mirror as she had her way with herself. Oh, and the lap dances at Risque Cafe? They were REAL lap dances, she insisted ... not the fake lap dances given in most other places. Like I would know the difference.
Fritz wanted to linger for awhile. I told him I was uncomfortable and wanted to leave.
In the truck, he asked me why ... and I really couldn't give him a solid answer.
"Maybe if I didn't have a daughter who was their age," I said. "I don't know ... it just seemed ... wrong and ... I don't know ... bad." He shrugged, and we were on our way.