This is the day the Christmas industry hath made. We shall rejoice and be tired. We brace ourselves for the coming weeks, for the impending bacchanal of emotion, stress, and joy. We accept that our nerves will become more frayed than the early-1990s garland moldering in the attic. As the holiday descends and threatens to eclipse our best seasonal intentions, I bring you respite: Some real-life levity from The Cracker Queen Book Tour.
Best/Worst Things Heard While Out Promoting My Book
-I want you to know that your book offended me greatly. I didn’t read it, but I saw some of that awful language you used.
-I could relate to so much of your childhood…my Mama shot at my Daddy, too!
-Could we hire you to write a true crime book for us? We read The Cracker Queen and know that if anyone can make a brutal murder hilarious, it’s you!
-Asked during a Q&A session at a civic club: Lauretta, Did you ever graduate from high school? (I must have made a good impression on those Kiwanians.)
-Asked during same session: This stuff you’re talking about can’t possibly be real, right?
-I just emailed my 850-page novel to you. I was hoping you’d take a look at it.
-Can you give me your agent’s phone number? I’ve completed six novels and am looking for representation.
Me: I won’t give you her number, but I do recommend that you read her online bio and learn about her interests first.
Oh, I don’t own a computer.
-You don’t look like what I expected…you don’t look like a Cracker.
Me: What’s wrong? I don’t look like I’ve just come in from cookin’ up a big batch of meth in the singlewide?
-I swear I’m not a stalker, but…
-I’m the one around here who should write a book because I’ve died three times; I talk to God; and I see ghosts.
Me: Hey, I have a title for your book—Dead. Dead. And Dead. (Lady doesn’t blink; in fact, she hasn’t blinked during the entire fifteen minutes she’s yammered at me.)
-I see your book is a memoir. Whose memoir is it? Is it a true story?
Then there is the email from the crazies. Here’s one of my favorites, reproduced exactly as sent.
Would you write a book for or with me about a group of family circumstances that occurred after a wedding at the convention center? In a nutshell, my husband’s cousin was extremely foul, immoral, and illegal in her acts at an after party, and the family has been dysfunctional ever since. Would you be interested in meeting with me? Everybody that we have talked to always says it would make a great movie for Hollywood.
We now return to your regularly scheduled programming: Christmas to-do lists, shopping, and visits from trifling, coughing relatives. I invite you to be a true Cracker Queen this year and keep your sense of humor. All is calm, all is bright—my ass!
Lauretta Hannon, described by Southern Living as “the funniest woman in Georgia,” is the author of The Cracker Queen—A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life. She has also been a commentator on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. Lauretta offers seminars through her Down Home Writing School and She Who Laughs Retreats. Earlier this year, the Georgia Center for the Book named The Cracker Queen one of the Top Twenty-Five Books All Georgians Should Read.