Hey, I'm LUVIN' IT, so keep it comin' y'all! But I have to say, I'm really impressed with just how many people … have SO MANY ideas for my next novel!
So, I'm at one of my son's little league games last week – minding my own business … actually, yelling at my boy to 'ONLY SWING AT GOOD PITCHES!' … but I digress … and an acquaintance walks up to me …
Acquaintance: "Hey g! I just bought your book bro! Yo … it's GREAT! I love that guy Robert De Niro!
Me: "That's great bro, thank you so much! Yeah, I'm so happy that so many people like CRIS De Niro—"
Acquaintance: "Yeah man, he's my favorite actor! I loved him in The Godfather!"
(Before I could reply, a friend of mine walked over)
Friend: "Yo g … what up?! Your book is great man! I can't believe it!"
Me: "Can't believe what?"
Acquaintance: "You know what, I didn't know he lost his wife in the Trade Center, that sucks!"
Friend: "I mean, who would have thought YOU would write a book that good …"
Acquaintance: "Robert De Niro … yo g, how do you know him anyway? Do you know him from when you grew up in New York?"
Me: "Know, ROBERT De Niro? … Bro, I don't know ROBERT De Niro. You mean CRIS—"
Friend: "g, you know Robert De Niro? From where?!"
Acquaintance: (Unsure I'm telling him the truth) "You don't … then how did you know his wife died in the Tower? I mean, NO ONE that I know, knew that!"
Friend: "Wait, g, you know Robert De Niro and his wife died in the Tower? So THAT'S who CRIS De Niro is … I thought he was you and it was YOUR wife that died in the tower!"
(Just then, as if on cue, my wife strolls over … a rare occurrence, since we split up and go to different little league games of our four sons. As usual with her, she adds to the confusion)
My Wife: "Hey … you talkin' about me? Yeah, g killed me off in the first chapter!"
Me: "Actually, it was the second chapter … but it wasn't—"
Acquaintance: (Unaware that my wife is … my wife, checking her out and now twice as confused) "Wo wo wo wo … g … dude, I'm SO SORRY … you lost YOUR wife in the trade center too?! Is that how you know about Robert De Niro's wife?"
Friend: "You know Robert De Niro's wife, g?"
(Another friend walks over and high-fives me … I wasn't sure if he did so because my son did something good on the field or not … since …I'm no longer watching the game!)
Friend #2: "g, GREAT BOOK BRO! I can't wait for the new one to come out!"
Me: (proud but still very confused) "Thanks man, the sequel is called _Signs of War_ it'll be out in September—"
Friend #2: "g, I told my wife this and she agreed. You know what YOU HAVE TO put into the sequel—"
Acquaintance: (to my wife, I'm straining to hear) "So, you come here often?"
My wife: (now as confused as I am) "Well, I'm usually at our other son's game but it ended early—"
Acquaintance: (smiling at my wife) "Cool, so you have kids … wow!"
My wife: (now confused and concerned – her South Philly wit comes alive) "Uh … yeah, why else would I be at a little league game?"
Friend #2: (Stepping in front of me to get my full attention) "DOGS!"
Me: (Confused and distracted) "Dogs … right … what about … dogs?"
Friend: "I told my wife about an idea I had for your next book … either that or I may write a book!"
Friend #2: (Smiling ear to ear, obviously proud of his idea) "DOGS! De Niro needs a dog, bro! Everyone loves dogs!"
Acquaintance: (breaking his lustful gaze on my wife momentarily) "I love dogs!" (Turning back to my wife, using a Latino version of a Cary Grant impression) "Do you like dogs, senorita?"
Friend: "I hate dogs … my wife had a dog when we first met. I hated that dog! No … g … here's the next book … either you write it or I write it! It's about a man who loses his job with the city because the city has a bunch of morons working for it who gave the guy WAAAAAYYY too much work to do … AND THEN expected the guy to work on a Sunday once. So when I … I mean … when THE GUY didn't show up for work on that Sunday, the morons that work for the city decide to call the guy into their office and tell me … I mean … the GUY … they tell us … that either we work the FOLLOWING SUNDAY or … get this—"
Me: "You lost your job with the city?"
(I hear out of one ear, my wife saying, "I'm married!" to which the acquaintance replies, "So am I chica!")
Friend: (Surprised, he whispers into my ear) "How did you know? No one's supposed to know!"
Friend #2: "A pit bull or a dobey … my wife wants De Niro to have a poodle or a pug but no way De Niro has one of those 'girlie' dogs! I'm thinking a ROTTY!"
Me: (Doing my best to 'save' my wife, I step over to her and the acquaintance)
Acquaintance: (Seizing even that opportunity) "Senorita, let me introduce you to a VERY GOOD friend of mine, the famous author … g … what's your name, anyway?"
Friend: (Follows me over to my wife, still whispering in my ear – like a bee buzzing around my head … or my conscience speaking to me) "Do me a favor, g … don't tell anyone, okay?"
Me: (Confused, distracted, and slightly … .insulted that my acquaintance/fan doesn't even know my name) "Tell anyone what, your book idea?"
Friend #2: (Stepping in front of me again) "I was thinking … 'Diablo' for his name. That's my rotty's name. Whattya think?"
Friend: (STILL whispering in my ear, his lips are touching my ear, making me feel very … uncomfortable) "NO dummy, that I lost my job!"
Me: (at the breaking point and forgetting my friend's request) "YOU LOST YOUR JOB?!"
Friend #2: "YOU LOST YOUR JOB?!"
My wife: "YOU LOST YOUR JOB?!"
Half of the people sitting in the bleachers behind us: "HE LOST HIS JOB?!"
Acquaintance: (to my wife) "Give me your number?"
Friend: "Thanks g …" (Shaking his head in utter disgust and walking away)
Friend #2: "Think about it g … that's all I ask!" (Walking away, he turns back to me and yells in everyone's earshot) "DIABLO … ROBERT DE NIRO"S DOG'S NAME IS …DIABLO!"
The other half of the people sitting in the bleachers behind us: "Robert De Niro's dog's name is Diablo?!"
My wife: (Takes her turn whispering into my ear … it makes me feel … less uncomfortable) "SAVE ME!"
Me: (to Acquaintance): "Uh ... let me introduce you to MY WIFE …"
Acquaintance: (Not believing entirely that my wife is … my wife, but the thought embarrasses him just enough to start to walk away) "Well, whoever she is … she's beautiful! (After winking at my wife and walking away, he turns back and yells out to me) "YO G … I HOPE YOUR NEXT BOOK HAS ROBERT DE NIRO IN IT TOO!"
Everyone sitting in the stands behind me: "YOU'RE WRITING A BOOK ABOUT ROBERT DE NIRO?!"
My son: "Daddy, did you see that hit I got?!"
… so how was your day? (grin)