Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hoping for many moneychangers at church book signing tonight

I’ll be talking about my book at 7 p.m. tonight at the Westminster Presbyterian Church on Rt. 19 in Upper Saint Clair in Pittsburgh’s South Hills.

Just because the Presbyterians will outnumber you, doesn’t mean you Jews, Baptists, Catholics, Muslims and others -- I’m looking right at to you, you godless atheists! -- shouldn’t attend. I intend on delivering a lively 30-minute address that promises to be as colorful as an Atomic Tangerine.

Like Jesus Christ, I draw no denominational lines when it comes time to proselytize; him on behalf of eternal salvation, me on behalf of “Use All The Crayons!” 

But unlike Jesus, I promise not to become petulant and make a Scripture-worthy scene by overturning any tables if any one wants to conduct a little commerce within sacrilegious proximity of the altar (we're in the basement so I think we're safe).

On the contrary, I wholeheartedly endorse it. It’s just one of the ways in which I differ from our Lord and savior.

Well, one of the many ways.

I’m hoping for robust sales. The book retails for $15.95, but on occasions like this I’m selling them for just $10 each. The reduced price makes it affordable for most everyone, encourages multiple sales and is just way, way easier for me when it comes to doing any math.

And to avoid anyone going all Messiah-like on any prospective moneychangers, I plan on bringing a thick fistful of fives and singles for handy distribution.

Just like I used to do on the nights when we’d go to the strip clubs!

The church website boasts it has more than 1,800 members, about 40 of whom the organizer said might show up for my talk. That means I’m missing out on about 1,760 potential sales.

I plan on at least asking if they’ll let me deliver the Sunday sermon.

And that’s one service, I swear, you wouldn’t want to miss.

I’m really beginning to relish these opportunities to get out into the communities and speak to civic organizations. The response has been fantastic.

Lately, I’m hitting all the area Rotary groups. See upcoming “tour” dates below.

What happened last week with the Washington, Pa., Rotary Club was typical. I sent a very polite e-mail saying that I, a “motivational humorist,” was eager to speak to their group about my book. I include links to the website and 10 of the more over-the-top items from the book.

For example, Colorful Living Tip No. 399: “Open an art gallery with nothing on the walls. Then invite people to enter and be greeted by forty guys who say nothing but, “Hi, I’m Art!”

Now, forgive my pride, but that’s just funny. I dreamed it up a couple of years ago when I was walking through the Guggenheim Museum in New York with a guy named Art.

Sometimes you just get lucky.

But I didn’t hear from my contact for several days and was beginning to think maybe I’d better follow up.

Then he got in touch with a very proper note inviting me to speak at their club. We had a brief exchange that was all very formal, very professional. Then he came back with this:

“I very much look forward to meeting you. I understand you buy your clothes at Victoria’s Secret.”

It wasn’t a slam at my masculinity.

I mean, who would dare challenge me in that realm?

It was a sly reference to an old story I did when I used to do wacky radio stunts for WDVE-FM radio.

He later confessed he’d researched me and talked with past attendees who’d heard me talk. “And all you got were favorable comments!!!!”
Note: The four exclamation points were his.

And here for years I labored under the mistaken impression that I was only funny to friendly inebriates!

I sent him a crayon-signed book right away.

I got a similarly warm welcome from the folks in Uniontown. And I’m busy booking more dates. Please get in touch if you know of a civic group that might enjoy hearing me talk.

Here’s the upcoming events in which I’ll try and say the same thing different ways:

• Carnegie Library, Oakland, April 4, 3 p.m.

• Norwin Library, April 12, 1-3 p.m.

• Washington Rotary, Washington and Jefferson University, April 15, noon

• Barnes & Noble, Morgantown, W.Va., May 3, noon to 4 p.m.

• Uniontown Rotary, May 6, noon

• Monroeville Library, June 7

And if you’re in the Upper St. Clair area tonight, stop by the Westminster Presbyterian Church, a place renown for so celebrating The Good Book that for at least one night it can withstand a little discussion about a pretty okay one.

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