Friday, February 19, 2010

Doin’ It Doggy Style

imageOur final guest in this week’s series, “When ‘Always Home’ Leaves His Home,” is the dynamic darling of the Great Plains, the acronymish FADKOG of For a Different Kind of Girl.

FADKOG and I share many things that even the best antibiotics won’t cure. A love of ‘80s music. A lust for Dairy Queen sundaes. Past lives as small-town journalists. And part-time jobs in the book-selling industry, though my sentence was commuted many, many years ago.

I paid her a surprise visit at her workplace just the other week …

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Being a bookseller is as glamorous as you imagine it to be. The constant stream of party invitations, photo shoots, and charity events on the calendar? Exhausting!

Then there's all the club openings and dodging the paparazzi as they jump out from between the shelves. It's a wonder I get anything done.

Oh sure, it sounds like fun, but it's also a lot of hard work. You don't just wake up one day and become someone like me. Oh no. You have to log a lot of hours behind a cash register before graduating to the sales floor and shifts filled with bright smiles plastered on your face even though every conversation you have in a six to eight-hour shift begins with the phrase, "I'm looking for a book."

However, you don't officially make it to celebrity bookseller status until you can cast aside your humility and don a giant animal costume for story time like I got to do last week when I was made to wear a Clifford the Big Red Dog costume. Only then will it feel like you've reached the summit and gotten that belly scratch from management that will make your back paws whip like a propeller, and all for less than $10 an hour!

And even though you're a glamorous bookseller, you won't pitch a diva fit when you pull that giant red fur rag out of its travel casket and suddenly imagine the many times it's been worn by other people. Other people who have christened it with their sweat and added to the fur-trapped funk cocktail so heady it can't even be described despite the fact I've been told many times I should write books rather than sell them, so I should have the proper adjectives, but no, I don't, because I still have a headache from the weight of Clifford's giant head pressing on my cranium. Thank heaven for that, really, because it forces me not to dwell on the idea that, while I hope it's not true, you know you'd fart in one of these big furry costumes, so I have to assume someone at some time has tested the acoustics by beeping their ass horn while in it. Sadly, I'm going on the assumption it's been everyone up to, but excluding, me.

Of course, you'll also have to endure the snickering of your fellow booksellers (who actually are laughing with you because you're such a hilarious star) and compel toddlers and preschoolers to pee their pants in either fear or mad lust as you lumber toward them with your giant red paw stretched out as though you wish to crush their tiny toddler heads. Better yet if you can get them to soil themselves in some combination of the two emotions. While crying. Or screaming. Or humping your fake fur covered leg, because I promise you, that's going to end up happening.

After wooing the young crowd with my animal magnetism, my team of assistants (remember ... we're glamorous!) packed the costume back up. Inside the shipping container, we found a little photo album in which previous Cliffords had documented their visits to other bookstores in the chain via Polaroid photos and notes. Many included lovely photos of them hugging young fans. Yawn. I suggested we include a vicious homage depicting Clifford, paws up, with a fake tire mark across his gut. Or a hand holding up Clifford's head only, two black X's over the dog's eyes. Or perhaps Clifford lounging in one of the comfy chairs set up around the store, one paw holding a tattered copy of Dog Fancy, the other holding...well, yeah. Where my dogs at, y'all! You can clearly see why management doesn't want to lose an employee like me!

Luckily for my booming career, someone special happened to walk into my store at just the right moment:

fadkog-and-me

So yes, being a bookseller can be rough, but it does have its perks. If you keep your snout clean and have an overwhelming desire to help people who are looking for a book, you, too, could be one of the lucky ones, like me. A celebrity bookseller. Steeped in couture Clifford costumes. Rollin' in the slightly higher than minimum wage kibble. After hours howlin' with the Duke and Snoop (that's Marmaduke and Snoopy to those non-celebs). Yep. Good times.

Woof!


robot chicken - clifford the big red dog - Watch more Funny Videos

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My greatest thanks to my great guests and digital friends FADKOG, Homemaker Man and Anna Lefler for filling in for me this week, and thanks to all of you for not mooning them.

I’ll be back next week. Cheers!

17 comments:

  1. Couture Clifford costumes? Really? :O Oh, I want to be a bookseller too!

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  2. Wow! I should nurture my kid's ultimate ambition to be "Mr. Peanut" on the boardwalk. (A bookseller might require reading more than A Diary of a Wimpy Kid.)

    Thanks to all the Guest Bloggers. Nice to know that you've got this covered should AHAU ever take a sabbatical to write that Great American Novel on his two passions: micro brews and naval lint.

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  3. You. Really rock that Clifford costume! Clearly, there is some untapped potential here.

    I love Robot Chicken.

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  4. Is that Big Foot? Cuz Clifford looks scared...

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  5. Booksellers are sooo coool! We've got a break dancing statue of liberty here. Some guy standing out on the street selling tax preparation stuff. But he dances to attract the attention of cars while wearing a statue of liberty costume.

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  6. HAH! it looks like Sasquatch and Elmo!!! hee hee

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  7. Oh alright.. I'm glad I wore out my finger clicking over here, FADKOG. That was worth it... ;-) Happy Friday!

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  8. I'm overly concerned about how hot it was in those costumes. Also..here's hoping everyone's on the "we always wear underwear with EVERYTHING" train. (I'm talking about the people in those suits before you.

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  9. I LOVE Clifford Couture! Alas, all I can afford is the clip-on tail and one paw. (And you know if you go out with just one paw everyone calls you a poser.) I'm hoping to land a retail gig so I can save up for another paw. Maybe even a floppy ear.

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  10. Finally - a costume character who is SUPPOSED to be huge. I guess Barney would be another one, but how many kids parties have you been to where a King Kong sized Elmo shows up. I always find that disconcerting.

    I'm sure you killed.

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  11. This.was.hysterical.

    I could imagine the smell of that costume. Yuk. You took one for the team, girlfriend. I hope you get a raise for this.

    Love the image of Clifford breezing through a Dog Fancy mag with his, um, body part, in paw. TOO FUNNY!

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  12. come to our PTA bookfair.
    our library smells like farts too, so the suit will be right at home.

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  13. gotta love Clifford! I think I need to explore a career change.

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  14. I once knew a guy that was Bugs Bunny (at a local theme park) that never wore his underwear.

    I'll never put on one of those costumes...

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  15. I think if I were in that big hot Clifford costume I would feel compelled to push the toddlers down and tell them they all smell like bacon and Clifford loves bacon. Or some other inappropriate action.

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  16. Wait a minute....we're not allowed to moon Anna??? WHY NOT????

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  17. I'm concerned about your furry tendencies. Very very concerned.

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