By my lights, one of the high points of the year in Austin is the Texas Book Festival. Held on and around the Capitol grounds, the fest attracts more than 40,000 attendees and more than 200 authors.
This year, as in several years past, my wife has been among those authors. Texas A&M Press, who published Liz’s two books, asked her if she would come hang out for an hour and sign (and hopefully sell a few copies of) her books.
I volunteered to sign one of my books but the la-ti-da snobs who run the festival insist that it be a book you actually wrote and not just one you found at a bus stop. Thanks to their rank elitism, however, my afternoon was suddenly free. That gave me a day out of the trailer, an excuse to eat a turkey leg, and the chance to do some prime people watching.
Here’s three folks I encountered Sunday.
Cheap Bastard: This guy complains – loudly – about the price he just paid for his beer, although the price was clearly marked. Dude, if you didn’t want to pay nearly 10 bucks for that bottle of German beer, then you probably shouldn’t have opened it before you got to the counter. In New Austin, $10 is the price you pay for being served by a braless hottie who’s young enough to be your granddaughter. Please STFU, finish your Paulaner and go back to Plano.
Segway Warrior: People, crowds are not the right venue for playing out your “Ben Hur” fantasies, and if one word (other than “books,” I mean) defines the book fest, it’s “crowds.” My Latin is rusty, so I can’t say for certain that “Segway” translates as “fat douchebag on wheels”; however, I can say for certain that it should. Why is it that the people you see on these contraptions are the people who could most benefit from some exercise? Seriously, folks, do all of us a favor – hop off the Segway, get rid of the Starbuck’s IV drip and take a freakin’ walk.
Dog Wrangler: Afraid that a heavily waxed Poirot mustache and lime-green capris don’t fully express such ineffable hipness, this guy (and it’s typically a guy but not always) feels the need to bring an Irish Wolfhound into the fray. Hope that retractable leash (the one you seem to never actually retract) doesn’t get tangled up in a Segway while you’re glued to your iPhone updating your Twitter feed.