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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ask And The Door Shall Be Opened

My reading was Friday night.

Shall I tell you about the toast at the 331 beforehand, describe the clinking of bottles, the sound of my nervous laughter?

Shall I tell you about the stories I sold that night for $1 apiece, the posted sign proclaiming “Help Pearl get to India! Just $1! Recession Friendly!”

Shall I tell you that my friend Paula drove in from Wisconsin – with a terrible cold – to surprise me?

Shall I tell you that my friend Shannon, a professional comedian, gave up a precious Friday night and was in the audience?

Shall I tell you that the other reader, Anya Achtenberg, uses words that change the color of the room, that send you inward and then return you, changed?

Or how about the laughter, the fact that the crowd loved Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys), that it was the fastest 30 minutes of my life and that I was flushed and happy at the end?

Nah.

Let’s talk about teamwork, shall we?

Immediately following the reading – but before we went to the Spring – Amy, Vin, James, Becky, Barb and her husband (why can’t I remember his name?), Paula, and I stood outside, saying our goodbyes.

And that’s when we discovered that Paula had locked her keys in her car.

Paula. From Wisconsin. My oldest friend in the world, the one who drove well over an hour without telling me just to see the look on my face, the one who came despite a cold that got worse as the night went on.

My membership to AAA, the people I normally rely on to get me and my friends out of such jams, had lapsed in January in a pathetic attempt to cut costs.

There was time spent with a wire coat hanger, angling for the lock; time doing the obvious such as checking the doors, hip-checking the trunk, testing the tensile strength of the windows.

So while the men went at the locks, the windows, circled the car hoping for a previously un-noticed portal, I called AAA, who, having taken my Master Card number, graciously reinstated me on the spot and promised to send someone.

I won’t say who had the beer in his trunk, but the wait promised to be amusing.

It was shortly after I hung up, however, that Vin got the car open.

Remember Vin? Vin, the Man with the Golden Wrench, is also, apparently, the Thinker Outside of the Box.

How did he open Paula’s ’98 Saturn?

Using the keys to his ’94 Jeep.

“It was on a whim, wasn’t it?” he said later, “and as with so many things – and you can ask my wife! – it’s all in the waggle.”

I canceled the AAA service, and Paula hugged me, slipping $30 in my hand. “The drinks are on me,” she whispered.

And yes, Paula, they certainly were.

It was a great night, but now I have to run. Liza Bean’s popularity has gotten back to her, and she’s been on the phone all morning. Apparently she’s in negotiations with a major studio for a suspense/thriller with a working title of “The Cat Always Rings Twice”.

She’s promised to mention me in her memoirs.

36 comments:

darsden said...

Awesome Pearl, I am so happy it went fabulous for you. (we all knew it would) Great friends you have there too. Real true friends show up with colds and all pushing one foot and pulling the other.huh That is awesome Pearl. Can't wait for your tour to come to the South...or just a lil closer..I will be standing in the back...cheesing big time.

Kavi said...

Fantastic to hear that it went great for you ! The reading and the post reading key lock in as well !!

This is great news ! But it really is no surprise that you are surrounded by some great friends !!

Lovely indeed !!

:)

Many congratulations !

underOvr (aka The U) said...

Good morning Pearl,

I'm really glad to hear that all in all it was a memorable evening. Even Paula's car door being locked turned into a positive experience.

U

Mary Moore said...

Glad it went so well!!

All in the waggle?? Hmmmm...I might have to mention this to my husband. Yeah, definitely.

Lilly said...

That is fantastic. Big things will happen I am sure. And what great friends you have too. Enjoy the moment and I have no doubt there will be bigger and more fabulous ones on their way. This one you will never forget though.

That Baldy Fella said...

Congrats! You're far braver than me. Don't think I could ever comtemplate reading out my stuff in public, aimless witterings that they are....

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Beautifully descriptive, Pearlette - Sounds fab fun! Good for you!

The Jules said...

Nice post. Glad it went well for you. Also, I'm feeling inspired so I'm going to write a book now:


"It was a dark and stormy night . . ."

Ooh, block.

Michelle said...

Terrific Pearly-Q!! How totally awesome for you!!!

I am so happy it went well. REALLY HAPPY!!!

HAPPY SUNDAY LOVE!!!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I used to lock myself out of my car all the time - usually while it was running. I now keep an extra key in my bag!

Sounds like a wonderful night.

SparkleFarkle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SparkleFarkle said...

*teeters from the chair being stood on* Bravissimo! Bravissimo!! BRAVISSIMO!!!

(Sorry about the above "delete." I fell off the chair with my first go at it. No. No, I'm alright. For now, you can put that 911 call on the back burner.)

Joanie said...

Congrats! I'm glad everything went well!

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

Great story, I'm glad it was a good night. That's kinda freaky about the keys though. Makes you wonder who's going to be trying it in the parking lots tomorrow!

rachael chatoor said...

So glad you had a great show, I love the way you opened with your list of 'what shall I share'?

The key thing is freaking me out to be quite honest, I think I am going to go wander around in a Porsche parking lot and see if my Hyundai key fits.....

Eskimo Bob said...

Awesome! That's all. Just plain, extraordinaily awesome!

The Retired One said...

How wonderful for you! You didn't mention if you got stage fright...so you must have had confidence (or appletinis?)
How fun for you too!!!

Douglas said...

Why am I not surprised? All of your fans are obviously pleased, as we see, but it couldn't have been unexpected. Not by me. I read your blog and I am incredibly impressed. I am sure I will be able, at some point, say "I was her fan before she became world famous."

Congratulations! Now, take that phone away from Ms Bitey and make her get her own.

I will be sending you my standard manager/representative contract in the morning. It's a good contract, you do all the real work and I collect 15% while I pretend to find you publishers. Deal?

Ian Lidster said...

But, do a Saturn's keys work for a Jeep? Just wondering. Anyway, you have some very loyal and supportive friends, and I am not at all surprised you do. If you were closer at hand I would have gone, too.

Pearl said...

BIG apologies for not having responded much these last few days. I have a laptop and no good place to set it up at home, so sometimes I put getting online off for too long…

Darsden, you are so right, dear friend. I have some really good people in my life – my online folk included!!

Kavi, thank you! Among the things in my life that are really good, my friends/relationships are at the top of the list.

U, I’ve always believed that the place to be is right where you are. Where’s all the fun? RIGHT HERE.

Mary Moore, that’s what he says. It’s all in the waggle.

That Baldy Fella, oh, I suspect that an evening with you at the table would be darn good fun. And I’ve read/do read your stuff, and I love the way you talk.

A Woman of No Importance, I highly recommend an audience for your stuff. It’ll show you where the holes are – and where they aren’t! – pretty quickly. It’s a lot of fun!

The Jules, funny! I see an open mic night in your future…

Michelle, sweetie! Happy Sunday back atcha!!

Kate, that’s a good idea. Poor Paula! You could just see how badly she wanted to just sit down and cry, but she’s such a trooper…

SparkleFarkle, say the word and I’ll make the call. OR, we could go to the Spring and play “Springo” until one of us wins the best prize they have: the $26 bar tab.

Joanie, thank you! It really did.

Blogging Mama Andrea, isn’t that weird? I would never have thought to try a different key…

Rachel, thank you! About the key – I know! Would you have ever thought, oh, what the hell, I’ll just try my own key?

Eskimo Bob, it was a great night.

Retired One, I was nervous, but in a really good sort of way. I felt like a race horse, like I couldn’t WAIT until the gate lifted. I was confident in my writing, but I’d never done it before an audience so didn’t really know what the reactions would be like. When people started laughing, I actually looked out at the audience, smiling, and said, “well all right!” and that got a laugh, too!

Douglas, well, I do need an agent. Honestly, how much fun would that be? Vin and I have an idea we were talking over the other night…
Oh, and my plans are actually to either write a column or maybe a screenplay, in case you run across something tasty…

Pearl said...

Ian, wouldn't that be fun?! And I'll bet Paula would've bought you a drink!

citizen of the world said...

That worked out well. But a little dsconcerting to know someone else's key could open your car.

Captain Dumbass said...

Sounds like a pretty good night.

fingers said...

Well at least you'll never confuse the cat with Opportunity then...

Sweet Cheeks said...

Glad it went well!

Knew you could do it...and the keys cracked me up...why do things like that happen just when you don't need them too? Most likely so you can add it to your blog posting!

:)

Pearl said...

Citizen of the World, I agree that it’s odd discovering that someone else’s key could open your car door…

Captain Dumbass, it soitenly was.

Fingers, you clever thing you. :-)

Sweet Cheeks, honey, that’s what I told Paula: You know I’m gonna have to write about this, right? Poor Paula! All she wanted to do was go home! But she was a great sport, and we were only truly delayed a good 30 minutes or so, so it really wasn’t terrible…

Jeanne said...

So glad it went well!

(I once discovered that the keys to my '94 Saturn also opened an identical Saturn (if you don't count the carseat they had in the back). Embarrassing when the owner saw me crawling out of his car, looking really confused.)

Not The Rockefellers said...

Wish I coulda been there to cheer you on! You should do a podcast or something.

Your friends crossing rivers and fjords and rising up out of their deathbeds to see you speaks volumes.

Either that or you really have the goods on them. :)

Vin sure has a righteous waggle!

I'd pay a dollar to see it!

Peace - Rene

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

Glad it went well. You wore something artsy, right?

Jodie Kash said...

Gosh, I'd love to read my work sometime, to someone. Nicely done.

Jocelyn said...

So long, I have been cruising blogs and looking for a storyteller. And look at you? I just got to spend a night in Nordeast and witness the genius of someone trying the untried obvious of using his own keys.

Yes, you are my new blog pal, whether or not you want me.

Debb said...

Hello,
I happened across your site via a friend, what a wonderful blog! May I stick around?

Cheers, Deb

Pearl said...

Jeanne, you actually got in? I tried to get into a car I thought was mine and then had the rightful owner walk up. She kinda looked at me sideways…

Rene, I’m going to have to mention that to Vin, that you’d pay a dollar to see his waggle. He’s gonna love that!
Oh, and yes, I have lovely friends – all over the world!

Prefers Her Fantasy Life, I wore the glasses in my photo (I have two pair), an orange v-neck with beadwork at the “v”, a fitted gray pinstriped jacket, a pair of dangly spiral-y silver earrings and a pair of jeans.
And would you believe there are no pictures?!!

Jodie, you probably can! Have you looked into it? There are coffee houses and used bookstores that might do that sort of thing in your area…

Jocelyn, I am glad you are here! Went to your blog over the weekend and chuckled aloud a number of times!

Debb, come on in! Just throw your coat anywhere!

Julia said...

I am now going to try every fancy pants car I come across in the hopes of an upgrade.

Jodie Kash said...

Another Jocelyn! I'm a Jocelyn! Even spelled the same way ;)

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

Hey! Congrats!! Didn't know about your reading...glad it went so well! Sorry, I'm commenting after a long time coz I was travelling.