Freudian Slips: Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

June 26, 2005

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

This weekend, I assumed the persona of my alter ego, The Bee Man of Blackwood. No, I didn't put my beekeeper's suit back on but I did complete my first book signing at the Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum in Atlantic City, NJ for Stop and Smell the Silk Roses. I am free publicity for the Ripley's museum. They sell my book in their gift shop and I make free personal appearance to boost ticket sales. Quid Pro Quo.
I learned a lot about public relations this past weekend. It is not that easy to sell a book even in a museum housing your exhibit and playing your TV episode on a continuous loop. Yes, I moved some books but it was far from a circus maximus arena. The museum averages one thousand customers during the summer but the gate was lighter this weekend. Advertisements appeared in the Atlantic City Press and Atlantic City Weekly magazine so can I blame the picture perfect weather that would not drive vacationers from the beach and into air conditioned buildings? Enough excuses.
Back to the learning experience. I learned that if I charged $1.00 per autograph and scrubbed the book signing I would have been a better business man than author. Nevertheless, I signed about 500 free autographs this weekend and met people from all walks of life. Sitting tableside, it was awkward asking people if they wanted my autograph when I really didn't know if they gave a flying frock. Likewise, it was awkward being asked for my autograph when I doubted myself of being in a position of celebrity to dole it out. But autograph I did. I even autographed the bikini top of a sun worshipper but please don't tell my wife. It may sound like a whole lot of guilt-ridden rationalization but I pressed lightly and scribbled as fast as I could. I also learned that people spell their first names so differently that this unalienable right should never be taken for granted by a signer. I also never once envisioned myself being a part of another family's scrapbook but I posed for pictures with vacationers from as far away as Columbia and Spain. I got a chuckle by an adept interpreter explaining in sign language to a deaf man that I was the Bee Man of Blackwood.
I had almost left the city to enter the Atlantic City Expressway, when I began wondered how many people are in a position to even have a book signing. I felt fortunate. That is when I saw a frail homeless man holding a cardboard sign that read HOMELESS, I'LL DO ANYTHING FOR FOOD. I was signing books for cold cash and this beggar owned little more than the one cardboard sign. Back to the learning experience. Signs come in all shapes and sizes.

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7 Comments:

Anonymous ET said...

What a unique slice of life! Most people would never experience in one lifetime what you encounter on a daily basis. I have to say that you are one “lucky” person. Also, it appears that you are beginning to have a present tense.

9:08 AM  
Blogger PaxRomano said...

For some reason I had July 25th and 26th marked as the big book signing day ... sorry I missed this.

But know you join that great line of the literary intelligentsia that have signed books for nothing; great writers like Jacqueline Susan, Martin Noble and Stanley Morgan!!

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ET, you are right most people will never get the chance to experiance what Joe has and for that he is lucky, but also people experiance everyday what he has been missing lately. Joe, it's time to pay less attention to the Beeman stuff and more to your family. Have a catch with your son, he has been asking you for weeks, take your wife out to dinner just the two of you and catch up. Reach out to Lauren she may still resist but you never know she could turn around. Don't pass up anymore weekends with Rachel and Jenna. We may not be as exciting as the Beeman stuff but we love you.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Pax,
Ah, and the silk roses shined so nice.

ET,
present tense, cryptic but it did not get beyond me.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Cute story. I hope that you get a chance to sit next to Oprah, since that seems to be your real dream.

I swallowed a bee once. I drank it from the inside of my soda can. It stung going down my throat. It was during the surprise wedding shower that I was throwing for my best friend. HOW EMBARASSING! It happened when we were standing outfront waiting to say, SURPRISE. I ran inside to drink some water. Fortunately, I didn't swell up and die. But my throat was swollen enough to be uncomfortable for the rest of the day.

I'll never drink anything but bottled water that I can see through, outside again.

So, when do I get to sign autographs?

;-)

7:04 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Jess,
That story was a little hard to swallow but I believed every word. Clear containers and forgo the pop tops. Thanks for visiting Jessika.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe,

I am very proud of you bro! I wish nothing but the best for you. You definately deserve the recognition. Keep it up!!!!!

11:33 PM  

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