Be Careful What You Lick
Last weekend I rode the short loop at Cycle Salt Lake Century. It's a well established recreational ride with over 1500 participants this year. The vast majority of them rode the full 100 miles because it was a picture perfect day. I had to get back early in order to sign books at the finish line so I went only 35. I'd spend the rest of the day sitting next to a cooler full of popsicles, touting my novel. I've long ago learned, I can't afford to be reserved about telling people why they need my book, and seeing this constant stream of eager faces headed my way was the stuff of dreams.
But they weren't approaching me for the reasons I wished they were. Instead, they assumed I controlled access to the popsicle vault. These people were hammered. The thought of buying a book was too much to process for many of them. Some of the confused looks, as I tried to explain what I was up to, were almost comical. They had just spent five or more hours pedaling, and they wanted a popsycle, not a sales pitch.
The funniest moment of the day was when a woman grabbed my arm. She had a terrified look in her eyes, and a green popsicle clinging to her tongue. She must have selected one that had been leaning against the dry ice. I can't tell for certain what she was saying, put it was pretty obvious what she needed. A squirt of the ole' water bottle and she was as good as new. There's a sad ending to the story, at least from my perspective, though. She walked away both traumatized and without a copy of "The Race." Darn.