As an author, you have a pretty fantastical expectation of what a book signing event is going to be like. You imagine dozens, if not hundreds of people. You envision a scene like Wal-mart during Black Friday, people shoving each other, old ladies knocked askew or at the very least, akimbo.
The truth is, it’s never like that.
A book signing event can be wildly awkward.
You, as the author, essentially stand next to the creative project you’ve worked hardest on. It is the culmination of a lifelong dream. Then you watch as someone walks up, flips through it, shrugs in apathy and then walks away without the book.
It’s like a chef standing beside your table waiting anxiously for you to have a bite of what they just made you.
That’s exactly what happened to me at the National Youth Workers Convention. While talking with a girl, two of her friends walked up. In an exciting tone she said, “Hey! Have you guys ever read the blog Stuff Christians Like?” They looked at her with disdain and said, “No.” She continued, “It’s awesome and this book is hilarious, you should check it out.” They literally looked me over, stared at the book and then shrugged, refusing to even pick it up. We all then stood there for a few tense seconds, like a Mexican standoff that the most interesting man in the world didn’t show up for.
So I said, “Wow, we all just shared an awkward moment, didn’t we?” The two youth ministers looked at me and then walked away without saying a word.
That was awkward, but for some reason those kind of moments happen to me often. And once we’re in up to our knees, I figure we might as well dive all the way in. Don’t pretend it’s not awkward, let’s do the backstroke.
But awkward moments happen more in Christianity than I think we realize. Awkward conversations, awkward inter digit handholding at church with complete strangers and awkward brushes with pop culture.
I had one of the latter recently while listening to the radio.
Ke$ha, who is from where I live, has a new song. In it, she mentions that she wears a “Jesus necklace.” Awww, isn’t that great? Jesus got a shout out? Every rapper on the planet name drops God, but Ke$ha actually mentioned Jesus. That’s great.
But then you start to listen to the other lyrics and realize it’s a little awkward.
Here are the lyrics:
“And no you don’t want to mess with us, got Jesus on my necklace.”
That’s not so bad. I mean it seems a little violent, but doesn’t Matthew 11:12 say, From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.” Maybe Ke$ha is quoting the book of Matthew. What are the next lyrics?
“I’ve got that glitter on my eyes.”
Hey, that’s good. Vacation Bible School is all about the glitter! This song is a great VBS song! What’s the next line?
“Stocking ripped all up the side.”
Ohh, not going to be able to use that one at VBS after all. My bad, I jumped the gun. Let’s give the lyrics one more try. Maybe she ends with a shout out to the Holy Ghost. Nobody does that.
“Looking sick and sexy-fied.”
Is that how you spell that word? I know I before E and other rules but I always forget if you drop the Y to an I when writing sexified. I’d ask Ke$ha, but one of the rules my grandfather always told me was, “Never take grammar lessons from someone who spells their name with a dollar sign.” I can’t ask her. I’m sorry, that’s just how I was raised.
Turns out the Jesus line was just used to for the rhyme. She needed words that fit. Maybe we can help her out today. Let’s give Kesha (I can’t keep spelling that with a $) some alternative lyrics for that Jesus line.
You have to rhyme it to the preceding line. I’ll give you a few of my own ideas:
“And no you don’t want to mess with us,”
1. The Kardashian credit card is ridiculous
2. And no I’m not going to say a cuss
3. The Acuff girls don’t eat their crust
4. Buying Jon’s new book is a must
5. Oxidation is fancy talk for rust
Your turn, what lyric would you write instead of “got Jesus on my necklace.”