Saturday, May 25, 2013

David Sedaris and a Whole Bunch of Owl Stuff.

We're open 10 am to 5 pm on Memorial Day. That's a good thing, as it's going to be very hard to browse the store on Sunday, during our David Sedaris event. It's likely that we will closed to the general public for at least part of Sunday, due to the store being at capacity.

That's all well and good, but this is gift post day, and today we're talking about owls.

Regarding these creatures, I don't even try very hard to bring them in for sale. It's just that every time I buy a gift line, somebody suggests including the owl version, and almost every time, it sells better than anything else. Better than bunnies (except at Easter). Better than bats (except at Halloween). Better than reindeer (except at Christmas). Better than dogs and cats, though I have a theory about that. Every pet shop has so much cat and dog swag that the fans are overexposed. That said, our Retropets magnets are doing just fine, thank you.

It just so happens that owls are also rather timely, as we're hosting David Sedaris on Sunday, May 26, 2 pm (which may be tomorrow for some of you reading the blog, and in the distant past for others.) His new book is Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls. Not raccoons or monkeys, though both are certainly much beloved animals in the context of gift items. One might worry that putting monkeys in the title might give the hint of a lab experiments. A book titled Let's Explore Diabetes with Mice might be seen as rather didactic how-to textbook. Owls, not so much.

It just happens that we just got our latest order from Sunflower, which not only included our popular owl purses (in previously unavailable black and blue, in addition to the red and purple we've had previously), but also owl bracelets. There are actually all kinds of bracelets, including pigs, frogs, cats, roosters, and monkeys. We blew through the floral bracelets we had last month so quickly that it made sense to bring these in as well. And yes, we have more flowers.

We also happened to get an order of banks and coin purses from Benjamin. In addition to owls (two designs) there are bears, cats, fish, and even ladybugs, though of course, as in most cases, the insect shown has the wrong number of spots. We also have a few of the larger owl banks, mixed among the dinosaurs, tigers, and lions.

And then Hannah remembered we had owl finger puppets from Folkmanis, and we also remembered our Winding Road owl pencil toppers. And then Halley told me not to forget the owl corkscrew. I just want you to know this is a micro fraction of the owl stuff out there. I think one fall we had a run on owl mugs. It was the most we had ever sold of a mug, and the record still holds. I think we could have had a run with the fox mug, but the vendor made us buy in an assortment with less popular animals. I'm thinking that the owl lobby rigged the race.

We're going to start setting up chairs for David Sedaris tonight. We expect folks to be waiting outside tomorrow before we open. If you happen to get to the store before 10 am. There will be a place to wait in line.

Folks who make it into the store will get a line letter. This does not guarrantee them entry into the store if they leave, as there are no in-and-out privileges and as I mentioned before, there are no holdsies. If the store fills up (around 325 people), we cannot let anyone else in, even if they were previously in the store. The exception for this is that we have a bathroom pass, that is good to use the facilities and get something from Starbucks. It's good for 15 minutes. There are no time restrictions or parking meter fees on Sundays in our neighborhood for street parking, though fees at the parking garage are still in effect.

For this event, we are not allowing photos or video. Your signed book is your memento. Mr. Sedaris will spend a good amount of time with every attendee. And you should know that you will absolutely get your book signed. We will not cut off the line at any point, though I should admit that we only have about 400 books for this event. You should also know that for this event, there is no requirement that you buy your book from Boswell.

The event starts at 2 pm. We're telling folks to get here by Noon. Honestly, we have no idea. If you'd like a more civilized experience, Mr Sedaris will be returning to Milwaukee for an event at the Pabst Theater on November 1.

Oh, and thanks to Nick for our keen owl drawing!

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