Sunday, November 24, 2013

Bathroom Break Interrupted

A guy hurried past my table as I was signing stock for a bookstore event that had just finished.

(Whoa, I wrote that like I'm telling a joke. I'm not. This happened yesterday. Promise.)

He was on his way to the bathroom.

(I'm not making that up, either.)

He was tall, and had dark, up-combed hair with a wide blonde streak. The fingernails on one hand were painted black. The others were not.

Interrupting his beeline toward the back of the store, he came skidding to a halt in front of my table.

Then he just stared at me.

"Hi?" I said with a little wave.

"Are you...?" he asked, looking at all the evidence on the table. "OH MY GOD! You're the Sammy Keyes lady?"

"I am."

"You came to my school when I was in FOURTH GRADE. I loved these books! And you sang a song....?"

Painted nails snapped as he tried to remember.

So I helped him out, "Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy..."


(He was not hard of hearing, he was just...excited.)

"I really gotta go," he said, obviously swimming. But as he started away, he said, "I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S YOU! I'm an ENGLISH major now!" and as he disappeared across the store, I could hear him singing, "Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy..."

There are some moments in life I'll never forget.

This was one of them.


Kylie said...

This is really funny! Especially because I would never picture someone that looks how you describe him reading the series. But then again you can never judge a book by it's cover.

Have a great week and a Happy Thanksgiving!


Jessica said...

That is awesome. I hope the singing Bride(groom) of Frankenstein finds his way to your blog. (And isn't offended that I took liberties with your description of him to make a literary reference... he is an English major, after all.)

Yusa said...

Wow that's so great and inspiring. Wow. I love this.


Caradith Craven said...

Hearing and watching you sing the Sammy Keyes song DOES leave an indelible impression, and it is a song you keep in your memory bank.

I love this story. This is a perfect example of life not being so much about planned events that we remember, but more about events that create unforgettable, spontaneous moments like this.

Azhar said...

That is soooooooo cool! It must be real nice knowing someone remembers you from an assembly that long ago. I never remember people from the assemblies at my school. And I never knew there was a song! Gonna go look it up now...

Hope everyone has a good week!!!

Bethany said...

This is adorable! One of the best gifts you can give someone is a memory that will last forever. This is awesome!!

Karen said...

Well, I know what's going to be in my head all day tomorrow. :-) (Not complaining!)

The Singing Bridegroom of Frankenstein, yes.

Have you ever thought of expanding the song as the series grew?

Jessica said...

I'm a little jealous that I don't know the song, but I guess I'll learn it in the spring (since I can't find it online anywhere). Besides, I actually have chocolate cake and am re-reading Killer Cruise right now, so I can only be so jealous. (My church's school has a bake sale the weekend before Thanksgiving -- which is totally brilliant -- and I got shanghaied into getting a chocolate cake. I was just trying to get a single cupcake...)

Bethany's point made me think -- you gave him a memory that will last forever, and him sharing that with you has now given you a memory that will last forever, too.

Jessica said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

After rereading Killer Cruise, when I finished, I felt like I would be okay if that was the end of the series. Of course I'm looking forward to Kiss Goodbye (and totally curious about what on earth the book is going to be about since Sammy's not the narrator), and I trust that it will add something to what we already have (because you wouldn't have written it if it didn't).

But still, reflecting back on the series as a whole, the bigger plotlines have mostly been solved: her living situation, her parents, her relationship with Casey, her schoolwork, her friendships, Officer Borsch, even Heather... The only thing really left unresolved is the Nightie Napper, and I'd be okay with not knowing, as a symbol that some mysteries are never solved (especially if one spunky teen girl's interest hasn't been piqued).

There were a lot of long-running plots that make the series bigger than the sum of its parts. I can't think of another series with so many books that also had this kind of payout. Harry Potter was only 7 books. In the Little House and Anne of Green Gables series, each book could be read on its own without losing too much. And then there are a whole slew of series in which reading them all adds to less than the sum of its parts because they don't lead anywhere; the authors just drag them out until the formula has been exhausted.

I guess what I'm saying is Sammy Keyes isn't just a series -- it's an octakaidecalogy (like a trilogy, but with 18 books instead of 3). That's insane. Insanely awesome. Thanks for the great ride -- and great reads.

Yusa said...

I get what you mean Jessica. Most series with this many books is not a continuation. Like Nancy Drew for example... not many people find the need to read all the books. But in Sammy Keyes it is all connected even if you don't need to read all the books to understand another you still want to in order to connect it. I was fine if the series ended in Sin City but i'm glad there's more. Maybe KG is gonna be in Grams POV or Lana's... who knows? Except for this blog writer... :P

To think... we've been snooping through the Heavenly Hotel, through CeCe's, hiding behind the bookshop counter, following an ice cream cart, trick or treating at the Bush House, sneaking in Heather's halloween party,hiding under Heather's bed, playing softball with her, hiding from Mrs. Graybill, cleaning the church, helping out the soup kitchen, watching a bunch of "colorful" nuns/theives, meeting Holly, fighting off a hobo with a giant umbrella, being chased by cops, jaywalking, being part of a doggy float parade, being blackmailed by a crocodile, meeting Lucinda, making friends with a giant pig, meeting Casey, crashing a meth lab, going to Hollywood, saving the GasAway lady, finding a mummy, riding in a yellow beetle, taking care of Poopy Pepe, being blackmailed by the whale lady, almost being killed by a gang member, going to the Renaissance fair, revealing the purple eyed impostor and the slimy codfish, meeting a shrink wrapped 40 year old barbie cat lady, digging up dead furballs, learning to wrestle, uncovering a cat torture facility with Triple T and El Gato, being "horseshoed", sharing birthdays with Heather, killing two lovebirds, stopping injustice eminent domain, digging up a dead husband, ice blocking, sailing the jolly rogger, going backpacking, saving the condors, eating snake, fixing blisters, visiting the taxidermist, stopping a plane, running into a man with a heart attack, finding money, saving HEather's life, dressing up like old ladies undercover, wearing poofy lavender, turning in your enemy teacher, crashing a wedding, her fist kiss, becoming zombies and finding Grim and Reaper,turning in a rogue cop, hanging out at Sassypants Station, uncovering graves, saving people as Umbrella woman, sidekick to Justice jack, walking through the junkyard, meeting Elvis at the market, stowawaying to LA, skating down the strip, teaming up with Heather and Candi, finding out who her father is, going on a cruise with him, we've been thought all of that and more with Sammy! We've done it all. From cementing someone's butt down to pulling someone out of a grave. We were there when she first waved to Oscar. When she found out who her father was. When she found out her real age. I think we have learned as much from Hudson as she has. Felt Gram's comfort, her mother's betrayal. We've been through it all with Sammy. And it's been a great long never ending journey. Thank you.

Sammiacs forever,

Gabrielle said...

I can't believe I haven't commented yet! Well, I was busy in Texas so I didn't get to comment on here until now.
That's a really funny story! That is so cool how her remembered that! And love the description! I just listened to the Sammy Keyes song for the first time a few months ago. It was cool!
Wow, I can't believe how many adventures we've had with Sammy. I saw Yusa's comment and just couldn't believe it! Reading the SK series was such a great adventure. I loved every single story line, and each book has taught me some valuable life lessons, that I will always carry with me. It's going to be bitter-sweet when SK ends. But I'm sure glad I found this series of books. I don't know what I'd do without them!
I hope everybody had a good Thanksgiving! :D


Wendelin Van Draanen said...

I was sidetracked by turkey, but...


Love the comments and the recollections and the coining of new words.

Love coming here and finding your thoughts and feeling like we share a world.

Love so much that you're out there.

Yes, Sammiacs forever!

ThePuppetMaker77 said...

I love the Sammy Keyes series! I think there should be a TV show or movie about it. Could you find a way to do that, since you made "Flipped" into a film?