Friday, September 5, 2008

The Tom Robbins Story

So first off, let me start off this story by saying that I'm talking Tom Robbins the author here, not Tim Robbins the actor, although I'd love to meet Tim-the-actor some day and tell him something wacky enough to make him take off his sunglasses too. No, this story is about Tom Robbins, otherwise known as He Who Wrote the Book That Made Me Want to Become a Writer.

That book, if you care, is Skinny Legs and All. Please note that this book is kind of adulty. That's right: it has some of that ess-eee-ex stuff in it. That book did things to me, like make me stay up all night and skip class the next day in order to finish it. It was NOT my fault. Anyway, what's not to like about a book that addresses the big issues like religion, politics, and an Airstream Trailer decorated to look like a huge roast turkey?

Anyway, one of hubby's old family friends goes way back with Tom Robbins. And after months and months of (not so) subtle begging and pleading, I got invited to a dinner party to meet Tom. Woot woot!

Unfortunately, a lot of other people were invited too. And they did not understand the importance of me, and they kept getting in the way of the Conversation That Was Meant To Be. You know, the one between me and Tom in which I stun him with my witty repartee and knowledge of Airstream Trailer art. So I'm getting a little frustrated, because the guy is my idol and I haven't even gotten to say hello to him. And that's when hubby steps in.

He starts holding forth on every controversial topic he can possibly come up with, and that's a lot of them. He's ranting on health insurance for children, the status of the parole system, child abuse, and whether or not bellbottoms should be outlawed. (I am firmly pro-bellbottom prohibition.) And would you believe that people are slowly pulled away from the famous author and sucked in to the vortex of conversation surrounding my hubby?

Finally, there I am, sitting at the table with the family friend and Tom Robbins. I could reach out and touch him. His hand is right next to me on the table. I could have licked it if I wanted to, but I restrained myself because something told me that this wouldn't be the wisest plan of action. I did maybe nudge him a little with my elbow one time. Of course that was completely accidental.

Now, Tom Robbins is a wear sunglasses inside the house kind of guy. I understand this is a medical kind of thing and not a Jack Nicholson kind of thing. Anyway, I turned to him, and I said, "Listen, there's something that I really wanted to say to you. I had to thank you for ruining my life."

He pulled off his glasses so he could see me better and said, "What?!"

Snarf.

So I told him about reading Skinny Legs and All. About how I had my life all planned out, quite satisfactorially I might add, before I read it. And how that book took all those plans and squished them into werewolf kibble, because I decided that day to become a writer. Everyone kept trying to discourage me, to tell me not to quit my day job, to not throw away my livelihood on a career that is so difficult to break into. Screw 'em. I was taking a big chance for the first time ever and going off into the unknown without a plan. (gasp!) And it was freaking GREAT.

If I hadn't read that book, I might never have taken the chance.

I don't think he really knew what to say to that, but he smiled a little. I think he was pleased. And I kept writing.

Now, after all these years, I think (I hope) I'm on the verge of getting to say those three little words that I've been waiting to say to those Poopheads who discouraged me all those years ago:

Neiner neiner neiner.

I'm so mature that it just kills me sometimes.

8 comments:

SlayerOfBees said...

For the record, I made a scene solely to get you some time with your writing idol - not to get attention. Who would've known that my plan would work so well? Funny -- I don't remember bellbottoms coming up, but I do remember looking over and seeing you glowing while chatting with Tom, and that made everything worth it.

viabloomington said...

Wow! OMG! Wow! I am nearly speechless! :D

And, your DH's previous comment is soooo sweet! Yay for him!

I LUV Tom Robbins! Jitterbug Perfume is the one that got me hooked. I am so glad you got to talk to him! Yay!

Julia from Verla's

Susan Sandmore said...

I'm sooooo glad you didn't lick his hand!

Catherine J Gardner said...

Well meeting a famous author is far better than meeting a famous actor (unless the actor is Kiefer Sutherland).

Carrie Harris said...

I know perfectly well that you threw yourself to the wolves for me, Slayer. You're fabulous. :)

Julia, would you believe that Jitterbug Perfume is one of the only TR books I haven't read? I'll have to get it.

And Susan and Catherine both made me snarf!

Lena Nilsson said...

Loved your story. Really funny - especially the part where you had the idea of maybe licking his hand ... By the way, I don't know who he is, but now I'm intrigued.

Boab Baloney - a fellow blueboarder

viabloomington said...

Carrie - you "must" read JP! I think you'll love it! Julia

PJ Hoover said...

Cute story! And I love how you spelled out neiner. Too funny!