Scarlet Letters

The not-so-private thoughts and rants of Elizabeth Donald, journalist/author and founder of the Literary Underworld.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Dear Amazon: You Really Must Be Kidding

I freely admit that I don't get how Amazon picks its "buy these two for almost the same price!" deals.

I mean, I get that they're going to put my vamp books with some damn Twilight knockoff, because of course all vampire books are the same. Head, desk, repeat. Sometimes they get it right, such as when they put Nocturne and Abaddon together. I mean, they are in the same series. And maybe if you don't look too closely, you won't notice that the price for both books is exactly the same as it would be buying them separately, or that you could get both books directly from me, signed, for a whole lot less.

But whose fucking brilliant idea was it to put my decidedly non-sexual collection of horror and science fiction Twilight-Zone-style creepified stories ... with the Hitachi Magic Wand?

I am not making this up.

On the off chance one or two of you don't know, the Hitachi Magic Wand is a giant vibrator.

Really? Which is the sexier story - the guerrilla alien fighters running through the streets of a postapocalyptic New York City, or the submarine crew trapped at the bottom of the ocean under the baleful eye of a sea monster? It's the grief-stricken young man trying to travel through time to save his beloved from an untimely death, or maybe it's the demonic teddy bear that gets you hot.

There are therapists for this kind of thing.

(Yeah, I know Amazon's out of stock. In case you're wondering, you can still get it from me. Funniest part of this... the line that says, "Shipped by different retailers." Ya think? I kinda doubt my publisher has a box full of vibrators next to his desk.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

big giant hearts

Today's dinner break was a quick run to the grocery store, as we are out of everything. It was the funniest grocery trip in ages.

My local grocery also has a full-service florist and a chocolatier. And every time I turned a corner, there was another confused male standing in front of a display, looking chagrined. One guy stared at the chocolate-covered strawberries for so long I wanted to go over to him and say, "It's okay, man. I swear she'll like them."

The line at the florist counter was five deep. All men. The card aisle: thronged with men. Each of them with this stunned look on their faces. I felt the need to Tweet.

ME: It is hilarious watching all the men staring blankly at flower and chocolate displays. Guys, you knew this was coming. How could you miss it?
JIMMY: Hon, we're dumb.
ME: No man better complain about excessive V-Day ads, is all I'm saying.

As I stood in the checkout line, there was a girl of no more than twenty behind the register and a boy of the same age bagging groceries.

GIRL: And how are you today, ma'am?
ME: Amused.
GIRL: *blink*
ME: *points behind her*

The girl and boy both turn to see the chocolatier, which has a gigantic three-foot sign screaming, "VALENTINE'S DAY IS FEB. 14!" You know, as opposed to the Valentine's Day we celebrate in August.

And right under that sign is a line stretching practically to the door, all men holding chocolate, flowers, stuffed animals and other items that I guarantee will cost half as much tomorrow.

GIRL: *giggles* It's not like they didn't know. It's the same day every year.
BOY: I haven't seen this many men shopping alone in this store since I started working here.
ME: I've been giggling the whole time I've been here. You know, we women have to buy stuff too. But notice how we plan ahead?
GIRL: Look at all that chocolate. Jeez, the only card I got was from my mom.
BOY: Well, you could always go out for ice cream with me after shift.


He asked her out right in front of me. It was adorable. I do believe they're heading to Coldstone Creamery, and I wish them all the best.

Happy V-day to all of you!

And guys... the ads are there for a reason.