Attack of the Cashier

categories: Cocktail Hour


       A few months ago a flight attendant named Steven Slater made us all happy by grabbing a beer, giving folks the finger, and sliding off the plane through the emergency exit.   If the end of my bookstore clerk wasn’t quite as dramatic, it was pretty close.  Bill has written in this space about all the different jobs he has taken to support his writing/music life.  For the story of one of my jobs, and its glorious end, click here:

(By the way, this was taped last month, on September 11th, for The Monti at the Carrboro Arts Center.  Thanks to host and mastermind behind The Monti, Jeff Polish.)

  1. Michael Kitson writes:

    I’m attached to this keyboard by umbilical mouse, I’m in customer service, selling books in a bookstore – not the worst thing I could be doing – and this post is coming through because I just tried to listen to Dave’s talk but there’s no speaker here so I just got to watch him but not hear him, which l;eads me to tell about something that I just observed: I work in a little independent bookstore in Melbourne suburb Yarraville, in fact I’m there/here right now, writing this on my boss’s time, but she’s a dear, so it’s Saturday night and here I am watching the spring light fall off on the sodium lights wake up on the wet street and the queuing crowds lacing up and bumping in back of each other in the foyer next door like somebody’s colickey intenstine’s and because we’re next door to this beautiful old deco picture palace that’s been multiplexed but still has its own charm), these cinema goers, lots of them all here for Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love which was a book once before it was Julia Roberts, like flotsam wash in on the sessional tides and we’re like some sort of rockpool or a lagoon and they bump up against the shelves and don’t really know quite what to do with themselves, I just watched a couple, the guy, in thick glasses, a mouthbreather, reach-out tentative as a sea anmeone stroke a book spine and then it was all too much for him, this reading thing and his arm turned to lead and he let his hand fall away and now he’s staring up at the roof, anyway the teenage kids who sell the tickets, serve the concessions, make the choc tops and pick up the rubbish, left the fridge unplugged and they ran out of icecream, so one of the kids yells out that there’s no more choctops and there’s this universal adult groan, until one bright spark in my bookshop suggests at the top of her voice that they should all have champagne instead to make up for their disappointment, so right now there are corks popping and a lot good cheer and I guess Julia Roberts is going to get a load of laughs, she doesn’t work hard enough to deserve. I get to go home in an hour.

  2. Dave writes:

    I’m glad they are keeping the spirit alive at the Booksmith….and Kate thanks for the your kind words about my work and my table. I’m building a cabin behind my house and it will fit perfectly there.

  3. former booksmithie writes:

    Just so you know, people _still_ talk about that at the Booksmith.

  4. kate sidwell writes:

    you are just too much, Nina has her hand full. too funny I laughed until I cried.
    David, amazing, Now we know what was the turning point of your career.
    Your vision of glory is just the best

  5. Eric Taubert writes:

    I was amused to see Booksmith (@booksmithtweets) tweeted about this:

    “Author & former Booksmith employee David Gessner talks about the end of his time at the store: !!!”