This weekend is culmination of the 31st annual Miami Book Fair International, where an exciting and diverse group of authors converge to give talks and ultimately push their books on eager and willing readers. But any expert Book Fair-goer will tell you that meeting Anne Rice or Cornell West is not the real draw. No sir. The true reason to attend this event is to be at the intersection of the world’s largest collection of people with the most annoying behavioral quirks.
Below I’ve assembled a checklist to help you look out for these offenders as you walk along the myriad tents on S.E. 2nd Avenue. Once you have crossed paths with all of these people, bring your completed worksheet to my booth, The Lazy Would-Be Authors Guild, located between the portable toilet and the New York Times’ tent for a prize.*
__ A misunderstood teenager who believes they are a vampire/zombie hybrid.
__ A woman who insists on retouching her makeup in the middle of pedestrian traffic, right before meeting the author.
__ A man who is constantly fiddling with his black-rimmed designer glasses because he secretly hates them, but has to wear them to seem relevant.
__ Someone who is violently chewing their gum, minimum five chews per second.
__ A heterosexual couple that consists of one overly affectionate male. At least one hand has to be on his female companion at all times in order to qualify.
__ Someone who turns to their neighbor and loudly whispers, “This is a great talk!”
__ A person asking an author to sign a book written by another author.
__ A man who brought books to the Book Fair to read during the sessions, you know, in case it’s boring.
__ A woman who felt the need to dramatically stop what she was doing to sketch an inanimate object.
__ Someone who uses the word ‘astral’ within 30 seconds of introducing themselves to you in the bathroom.
__ A man who presents an elaborate conspiracy theory concerning genetics and/or the Illuminati during a Q & A session.
__ A woman who is forcing her children to lug around 23 canvas bags filled with promotional giveaways.
__ A struggling writer who hasn’t seen the sun in 81 days.
__ A man with an ironic haircut.
__ Someone who laughs really, really loudly before the punchline.
__ A woman who blogs because she doesn’t have the patience or attention span to write a book.
*Prize is subject to change. Location is subject to change. Additional behaviors can be added to the list at any time. Not valid in the state of Florida or any other state or country of the world.