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Meg's Blog

Book Club/Goose/Manatee

Hey! So I'm hoping by now all of you have had a chance to look at my new online reading room club at www.megcabotbookclub.com!. At last count, we had something like 750 registered users, which is, um, pretty good, considering the site only went live on Friday morning.

I'm glad there's been such a positive reaction over all, because everyone involved in the site worked REALLY hard on it. It's great to have a site where I can chat with you guys, and you guys can chat with each other. I can't answer all of your emails, but I can definitely respond to posts to the book club message boards—and I will (time permitting)! So keep them coming!

Right now I'm on a plane to New York (from FL) for some book signings in Manhattan and New Jersey and Brooklyn, with a side-trip to Chicago for Book Expo America, which is like this huge bookseller conference where I sign copies of a lot of books. (PS the woman sitting next to me as I'm writing this is chewing gum REALLY loudly. Also, not long ago, she ate a candy bar and licked her fingers FOREVER afterwards. Before that, she took a blanket and tucked it all over the seat so no part of her body would come in contact with the seat material. I am not making this up. I am listening to the soothing tones of the Damones in the hopes it will calm me down from wanting to kill her, as gum chewing, finger-licking, and extreme germ-phobia are huge pet peeves of mine.)

Anyway, one of the books I'll be signing at BEA is called Girls' Night In. People keep writing to me asking what this book is about. It's actually a short story collection that features writers such as Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes, myself, and many others. My short story is an email one that takes place at the New York Journal, so fans of my email books, take heed. All of the proceeds from the sales of this book go to help the organization War Child, so I encourage you to buy a copy when it comes out!

So it's been quite a weekend: my first Memorial Day in my new hometown in FL. We did the usual—barbecue/beach.

But this isn't actually usual for us, since we aren't allowed to barbecue in Manhattan, and there's no beach a convenient bike ride away, like there is at my new house.

But we had a good time inventing new Memorial Day “usuals”—except for one thing that I HOPE won't become a Memorial Day usual, and that was the guy who put his hand on my butt Saturday night.

Yeah! Some random guy just walked up and copped a feel! I couldn't believe it! I thought it was my husband at first, because husbands are apt to do that kind of thing. And you know, with them, it's permissible, and all of that.

But when I turned around, it was some dumb blond guy in a pony-tail who just looked at me in a very non-intelligent way when I yelled at him! Like he thought he was so hot or something, I should LIKE him putting his hand on my butt.

Which he was, by the way. Hot, I mean. But THAT IS NO EXCUSE!!!!

And then as I stood there in impotent rage, watching him walk away with a snicker after I'd yelled at him, I noticed a police officer passing by on a bike. So I flagged the cop down and told him that a guy had just grabbed my butt.

I really thought the cop would be like, “Lady. It's just your butt. Get over it.” But he totally didn't! He was like, “Which guy?” and I pointed at Pony Tail man, who by that time was walking away VERY FAST because he had seen the cop too. And the cop went, “Do you want to press charges?”

But, thinking about my brother, who is a cop, and all the paperwork I knew this would involve for the poor cop, and how many other more serious criminals there were out there that needed catching, I just went, “Um, not really…but can you scare him for me??”

And the cop said, “My pleasure.” !!!!!!!!!!!!

And then he chased Pony Tail down, yelling, “Hey! You!” and then he caught him and I heard him going, “Listen, you–” in a VERY scary voice, at which point I–

–freaked out and jumped on my own bike and rode away, because I was so mortified by the whole thing.

Really, it wasn't that big a deal. But it was GROSS, you know? What's WRONG with some men? Why do they think women LIKE being treated this way? Or do they just not even care what we think?

Or are there women out there who WANT guys to put their hands on their butts? And are these the same women who pee on the toilet seat in public restrooms and just leave it there for me to find?

And what are these women DOING when they're peeing on the toilet seat? I understand that there are paper-ers and squatters—paper-ers line the seat with paper, then sit on it, and squatters, well, squat, so that their flesh does not come into contact with the germy seat (PS there are no germs on the seat. OK? An epidemiologist ASSURED me that bacterial organisms that cause illness cannot exist on a cold surface like a toilet seat. So please, for the love of God, get over the germ-on-the-toilet-seat thing. Also, germs on the plane seat. And, by the way, if there WERE germs on your plane seat, a blanket would not protect you from them, LADY SITTING NEXT TO ME. YES, I AM TALKING TO YOU).

If you CAN'T get over your germ-phobia, and you HAVE to squat over the seat, AT LEAST AIM INTO THE BOWL!!!! Or if you spill on the seat, WIPE IT BEFORE YOU LEAVE!!! I'm sorry if this sounds rude, but really, I am tired of this, and I know all of you are, too. I mean, come on. This is common courtesy. I don't mind removing someone else's paper from the seat when I go into a public restroom. But squatters: I do not want to see your pee in anything but the bowl (and preferably, not even there) ANYMORE. OK?????

Anyway, back to icky Pony-Tail Butt Grabber—whose mother is probably a squatter–
I had to shower for like forty-five minutes to get the sensation of that guy's hand on my butt off me.

THEN, just when I was wondering if I'd made a terrible mistake moving to Florida (even just for half the year to avoid NYC taxes) where men come up to you and touch your butt (I swear to God, this only happened once to me in New York, and when it did, I hit the guy, and he got really mad, and said he'd touched my butt by ACCIDENT, which could be true because it WAS pretty crowded on the subway that day) and where women seem to pee all over the toilet seat in public restrooms with disturbing regularity, I was walking along the pier, minding my own business, when I saw a MANATEE!!!

YES!!!! A MANATEE!!!!!

I had been asking people all over town if they'd ever seen manatees, and only one person said she had, and she'd live in Florida for 25 years, but had only seen one once. There are signs everywhere telling you to use caution when boating so as not to hit manatees. But as I rarely if ever go on boats, I never thought I would be lucky enough actually to see one.

But I saw one my very first month! And not from a boat!!!!

I know most people in Florida see manatees all the time and think they're no big deal. But to a girl from New York—and, further back, Indiana—manatees are HUGELY cool.

Here is what the manatee I saw was doing: sucking water from a hose off the back of someone's boat. Apparently manatees like to drink fresh water. This manatee was at least seven feet long and almost four feet wide or something (it was a pregnant one. The people on the boat it was sucking the water from have sort of adopted it so I guess they would know. Manatees only have babies once every five years or so, I read, so this was pretty cool, to see a pregnant one). And it was letting the people who owned the boat scratch its head!!! LIKE A DOG!!! A seven foot DOG!!!

Anyway, just thought I'd share the stories from my Memorial Day weekend in the land of sun and sand. Yes, I got goosed. But I also saw a manatee. So it was a good time, over all. Hope yours was the same, if not better.

See you at www.megcabotbookclub.com!

More later.

Much love,

Meg

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