When you work in a bookstore, you get to interact with a lot of interesting people. People who buy books are generally literate, smart, and entertaining. In fact, my opinion of the average Orange County citizen has risen in the past couple of weeks since I started working at the Borders in Brea.
Unfortunately, that opinion took a crushing blow yesterday when an employee returned from his lunch break and reported that he’d spent 40 minutes trying to find a parking space at Brea Mall before giving up.
“Ah,” we thought, “here at last are the frenzied masses we expect of the holiday season.” Fellow blogger Jill commented on the rather mild post-Thanksgiving Day crowds and I’ve noticed the same thing myself, both in Borders and when I was out doing my own shopping.
But no, it wasn’t Holiday madness that brought people flocking. It was another kind of madness all together. Apparently, a customer reported, Paris Hilton was making a publicity appearance at the mall, signing copies of her new book.
What is it about this floozy (I honestly can’t think of another word to describe her that wouldn’t involve profanity) that provokes such excitement and attention? While there are plenty of other publicity whores out there, most of them have at least done something productive, like an album or a movie. The only product Paris has to promote is herself, and I can’t really see much of value there. And yet, people flock to see her. Maybe it’s the same thing that makes people go visit the sideshow freaks at an old-fashioned circus.
Oh well. I’ll go back to hiding in my bookstore, and take comfort in the number of people who bought copies of Jon Stewart’s America.