Back from BEA finally. Actually, been back since Saturday night, but I haven’t been able to type until just now.

Ever see those Marine boot camp movies where they make the recruits hold two buckets full of sand, one in each hand, their arms outstretched, until they can’t take it any more? I now know how that feels. It feels like going to BEA and collecting book after book after book.

The second day was far more pleasant than the first. There were about half as many attendees and I believe Javits actually discovered air conditioning. I also left the sports coat at home, as did many other men, as I saw it.

Oh, speaking of suits…you know those incredibly demeaning jobs where you get paid to march around in a Mr. Peanut outfit or as a giant taco? C’mon, all you musicians and actors out there. I know you’ve done it at least once. Well, there were a number of those people walking around Javits during the show. Now, didn’t the Disney characters unionize a few years ago over the extreme cruelty such a job presents when heat goes over a certain temperature? I wonder if these poor people dressed as Dora the Explorer or Shaky the Epileptic Yak during BEA got any such union protection. Every time I saw one of them, I just winced. I will say, though, that there were two guys dressed up as Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom from Pirates of the Caribbean and they looked dead-on. The Keira Knightly girl was poorly cast, though. She looked more like Nicole Kidman.

Anyway, I kept Bogarting books until I could take no more. Then, as the day was coming to a close, publishing reps began getting pushy. “Hey, you’re a guy; (was he supposed to get points for good eyesight?) guys will love this book,” and then he’d toss it into one of my bags. This continued on and on, each aisle a gauntlet. I felt like I was the victim of some sadistic fraternity initiation. “Let’s see how many books he can carry!”

By the time I strode bowlegged out of the building, I could no longer feel my fingers. Ah, only 2 blocks until I reached my car and everything would feel better.


Hours later, I still had no feeling in my fingertips. I swear, I think I actually did some nerve damage. It’s now about 36 hours later and they’ve all come back to life except for one, and that one is about 65% back to normal.

As they say, never again; never again.