Will I get my a#$ kicked tonight?

I’m thinking there’s, oh, a 15 percent chance I get my ass kicked tonight in Dallas, when I make my first signing appearance down here in the south. I can’t think of many good things about getting smacked around, especially at a bookstore. If I get beat up, it should at least take place at a biker bar or running the tough streets of Mahopac. But in a book store? Hmm.

The reason I mention this is because last night I called the person who says I misquoted him, and, well, he wasn’t especially happy. I tried asking him for the specific complaints, but he said, “If I say anything, I want it to be in person,” and then he hung up. Oy.

As a journalist, one certainly deals with confrontation (I’d argue I probably endured the most public one for a sports writer over the past 20 years). In fact, many readers think we enjoy that stuff. Not true. I hate confrontation. Hate it. With John Rocker. With Will Clark. With the mailman. Hate it. I’ve merely accepted the reality that it comes with the profession, and that I can either hide and avoid it or show up and hope for the best. So here I am, in Big D, hoping for the best.

In fact, here’s my chart: Best Case Scenario to Worst Case Scenario:

Best:

5: Appear at Borders and sell 5,000 books as football-loving models ask me to sign their breasts.

4: Appear at Borders and sell 4,000 books as football-loving models ask me to sign their breasts.

3. Appear at Borders and sell 3,000 books as football-loving models ask me to sign their breasts.

2. Don’t get lost (as I always do in Dallas) and make it to Borders on time.

1. Get lost, but arrive only 20 minutes late, making me seem Lindsay Lohan-esque.

0. Get lost, never make it to Borders, but wind up at Taco Bell as it’s closing—and tacos are free.

-1. Arrive at Borders, only to be greeted by Nate Newton and his hungry pit bulls.

-2. Arrive at Borders, only to learn they have zero copies of my book.

-3. Arrive at Borders, am greeted by an empty room, a huge stack of books and the sound of crickets chirping.

-4. Arrive at Borders and am immediately taken out back and trounced by 30 angry 300-pound men.
-5. Arrive at Borders, see a long line, get excited—then learn the thousands of people here are anxious to meet Skip Bayless, whose new book, “I Am Skip,” soars to the top of the best-sellers list.

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