I’m on the cell this morning with Vikki Walls from the Dewey Beach Music Conference & Festival, one of my favorite annual late-September events. Dewey Beach is a terrific conference, and I love it as much for the meeting and greeting and the enthusiastic young bands as I do for the effulgent juxtaposition of business and beach. Last year I went with Pierre, the year before with She Who Will Not Be Named.
Vikki has a new intern named Nikki, which I heard on the machine as Micki. At first I think I’m talking to Micki, who is really Nikki, who turns out to be Vikki. Eventually this all gets sorted out. A few blocks later we’re finishing up at the subway station when a woman charges up to me.
“I need a writer, I’m looking for a writer,” she says. She’s wearing a disheveled late-model business contraption in a pastel shade of lime green that looks like it planned to be blue but changed its mind at the last minute.
“Hold on,” I say. “What?” Since both of these could be directed at either Vikki or the Woman in Green, both of them are confused. “Wait,” I say, pointing at the woman. “Not you,” I say, pointing to Vikki, who can’t see me point. “Talk talk talk,” says Green Woman, waving one hand, the other on her hip, sullenly put out.
Vikki and I hang up. “I’m looking for a writer,” says Green, not missing a beat. She fishes a torn piece of cardboard out of her clutch; it’s a testimonial, in an uncertain and painstaking hand, promising that she hasn’t had a drink in 20 years, or 20 days, or 20 minutes, or something. I can’t make out the signature but I have a feeling it reads “Love, The Bartender.”
“You’re a writer. Don’t say you’re not, you’re a writer. I can see it.”
It goes downhill fast. I can’t fathom what she’s trying to get across and that piece of cardboard keeps coming out and waving around. We establish that she hasn’t had a drink and doesn’t belong in the insurance industry (but who does). She doesn’t seem to be asking for money. Whatever she does want, I fit the bill. It occurs to me that this is the bit when
- The Terminator chasing her shows up and kills the guy she’s talking to;
- The enemy spies chasing her start shooting up the real estate;
- The vampire/werewolf chasing her materializes and havoc ensues;
- The alien scheme to gather chemical life force from unsuspecting earth males abruptly involves separating said earth males from their skins, which will be used later as handy disguises;
- Our chilling saga continues in the next issue of this Grant Morrison story, and boy does it end badly for the extras; or
- I get cooties.
I’m tempted to wait around to see if it’s (c), because if so Kate Beckinsale can’t be far behind. But I have a sinking feeling it’s (f), so I run.
Note to Powers That Be: portentous messengers of fate are best deployed after I’ve had my coffee. Those sultry dark-haired pixie ones work just about every time. Especially when there’s, you know, chemical life force that needs gathering.
Anyway, this will teach me not to wear Hawaiian shirts to the office.