Like Keith Richards, only younger and prettier and with a beard*

For I am ROCK AND ROLL! Well, I ordered room service, which is as close to rock and roll as I get. I’ve never ordered room service before — that’s what naughty people. It’s the eating equivalent of raiding the minibar, but I did it anyway. Twice: Bwahahaha!

I managed to talk myself into this dreadful breach of bearded etiquette by the following clear and manly logic:

  1. I’ve got three hours in the hotel before I go off for my event.
  2. I have not eaten since the Pirate’s Booty in New York last night.
  3. I might faint away during my event at Once Upon A Crime, and nobody wants to see a swooning, bearded crime write-ist.**
  4. I can go down to the restaurant and order food, an sit and wait to be served, for my order to be cooked, for the dancing girls to be washed, etc. or I can order from room service and sit on my bum in my room writing till it gets here.
  5. St. Martin’s would probably quite like me to finish this book before we’re all drawing our old-age pensions.

So when you look at it logically, there really was no choice. *ahem*

They had ‘Fire Wings’ on the menus and not wanting to buck a wining streak I ordered them. And something on the side (they were out of Dancing Girls, so I had to settle for soup). Half an hour later I was faced with the toughest, nastiest wings I’d eaten since Chicago O’Hare airport. But the soup was bloody lovely! If I’d know how good it was I would have just ordered two bowls of that. Hell, I’d’ve got them to fill the bathtub — fresh corn and crayfish bisque. Mmmm…

After that it was a slightly rushed taxi ride to the wasp-infested Uncle Edgars, where the people are really nice and had already killed about two million of the little stinging bastards by the time I got there. Everyone who works in the shop has been stung at least twice. They’re going to have one last try with the Patented Dangerous Agent Orange Anti-Wasp Spray and then get the exterminators in.

From there it was a last-minute dash across town to Once Upon A Crime, because my Taxi driver — the one I’d asked to wait outside Unky Edgars with the engine running in case I had to do a runner from the killer wasps — swore blind it was going to take us 15 / 20 minutes to get there. It took 5.

If you’ve never been to Once Upon A Crime, it’s a wonderful bookshop and Pat and Gary are really nice people. Generous to a fault. The fault in question this time being me. The crowd was select and enthusiastic and all listened politely to the bearded half-wit ramblings up the front of the room. And nobody threw anything, so I count that as a result. And one lady looked like she was about to pee herself with the old laughing. Thought whether it was ‘with’ or ‘at’ is debatable. Ah yes, Stuart MacBride: not a dry seat in the house.

And then Pat and Gary gave me a slug of John Connelly’s whisky***, got me to sign some stock and took me out to a wee place for a lovely dinner and chat.

Next up Madison and the terrifying spectre of me behind the wheel of an American car, on the wrong side of the road, in a city I’ve never seen before, with no bloody clue where I’m going! How much fun does that sound?

* Plus he’s much, much richer than I am, so not much like Keith Richards after all…
** OK, so the chances of me fainting away from hunger are a damn sight slimmer than I am after 10 days in Iowa. I’ve got enough excess fat on me to last the winter. In fact, at the rate I’m going, I could hibernate till 2009.
*** A bottle of 12 year old Macalan: yes, he may be Irish, but his whisky is Scottish.

6 Responses to “Like Keith Richards, only younger and prettier and with a beard*”

  1. Sounds like you’re still having fun and good food. Guess the secret to good crayfish is to put them in soup. Or bathtubs. Or dancing girls. Not let them sizzle and pop on the grill.

    Hope the road trip goes smoothly!

  2. I lived in the Bronx for three years and managed to avoid driving in Manhattan all except for two times — and that was a pass-through on an expressway through a tunnel to Brooklyn. I don’t envy you.

    Good luck with the rest of the tour — you only have to manage to escape Manhattan in the rental, right? Once you get out, it will only be the wrong side of the road, in a country you’ve never seen before, with no bloody clue where you’re going — it will be so much easier.

    But really, the wrong side of the road thing is pretty easy for the first week or so (because you’re conscious of it). It’s once you think you have it nailed that it becomes dangerous.

  3. Hey Stuart, when you turn right on a red light, make sure there’s traffic coming first and cause the other driver to slam the brakes on, then cut in between two cars even ‘though there’s not really enough room, and then get your own brake lights going, causing the driver behind to shit himself. Then when said driver starts toting the horn, stick your fingers out the window and use well-practised swear words. Then everybody will think you’re a local.
    At least that’s how the bastards round here drive.

  4. Glad to see you’re still enjoying yourself and still in one piece. I’d order room service the rest of the trip if I were you – then no excuse for getting no rewriting done – you’re enjoying yourself waaayyy too much. Betty

  5. Ah, silly me. I missed you would be in Madison, Wisconsin. Beltline traffic there can be a nightmare, but on Sunday, you shouldn’t have had any difficulties. Much, much better than NYC traffic.

  6. “I’ve never ordered room service before”

    I’ve never stayed in a hotel that actually offered room service…


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)