Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My Big Secret

((News: CatsLady and Jeanette, you two gals won a pack of note cards, from my "Name the Plumber Contest" Please shoot me your snail mail address at christie@christie-craig.com.))


((More News: I just found out that I was nominated for two awards from All About Romance in their Annual Reader Poll. I'm tickled pink!
I'm listed in: Favorite Funny and in the Best Cabin Romance. They are open for votes. Go check it out and vote for your favorites. The current standing of votes (final before last vote):
http://www.likesbooks.com/interim2007_2008.html (scroll down to last poll of 2/4/08)
Link to Vote: http://www.likesbooks.com/ballotannualpoll.html))


And now...


It’s time. Time to unveil my big secret.
But wait. Don’t jump to any conclusions about the topic. There are some things I won’t tell. Stuff that you don’t want to know. This secret does not include personal data. Oh, like I haven’t told you personal data, before.



However, now that I think about personal data, I remember I promised to tell you about the time I was caught by six of LAPD’s finest, guns drawn, in a Pizza Hut with lots of cash strewn around me on a bad hair day. (The bad hair is just an added little detail that some wouldn’t consider important, but hey, let’s face it, if all eyes, all attention, guns included, are going to be focused on you, don’t you want your hair to look its best?) As it happens, the money/gun event was just the beginning of a bad day, because believe it or not, it went downhill after that.


I worked at Pizza Hut--shift leader, in the big city of Los Angeles. I had also just gotten a new perm. Let’s just say the hairdresser could have uncurled me about an hour earlier than she did. I woke up late on said day, and instead of getting dressed in my uniform, I pulled on a pair of shorts under my huge T-shirt that read “Bad Girl” that I substituted as a nightshirt, and headed to work with my hair literally looking like I’d just stuck my at least four fingers in an electric outlet--four from the same hand because one side was curlier than the other.


Anyway, I’m at work, a southern gal in the big city, and other than getting dressed and taking a pee break, the only thing I have left to do is count out the register drawer. Only when I open the thirty-minute safe, I see tons of unorganized money stuffed into the safe. The weekend manager had failed to make deposits, so I had thousands of dollars to count and deposits to fill out. I’m furious. I’m pissed. I toss the money in the middle of the Pizza Hut floor, and start trying to make heads and tails out of the cash register receipts. I’m still trying to count when I hear a tap on the window to my right.


I look up and the first thing I see is a gun. Now, I’ve never had a gun pointed at me in my entire life, so I’m not taking this too well. Then I see the man behind the gun. He’s wearing a police uniform, so I relax a smidgeon, but then I hear another tap. On the window to my left is another officer, with another gun. Let’s just say, there were several more taps before I was: 1) motioned to get up, 2) hold my hands in the air, 3) go answer the ringing phone. (Have you ever tried to answer a phone with hands in the air?)


Turned out, my cook, working in the back, had accidentally set off the alarm. The alarm company calls in the police. The police saw a crazy woman in shorts and a slept-in “Bad Girl” T-shirt with one-sided electric-styled hair, sitting in the middle of the store, slinging money and they assumed the worst.



After motioning me to the phone and after a ten-minute conversation trying to convince them I actually worked there, I was removed from gunpoint and left to return to work. Their farewell warning: I didn’t have an alarm until the alarm company came and reset it. Fine, I said. I had bigger problems, I’d peed in my pants when I saw the first gun and really needed to change clothes.


Anyway, it was after the lunch crowd, empty restaurant and time for a quick bathroom break, when a man came in and wanted his credit card that my manager had made him leave due to his lack of cash the week before. We didn’t take credit cards. However, it just so happened that I’d called to see if the card was stolen. Surprise. It was. And if I cut it in half and sent it in, I would receive a two hundred dollar reward. Cool, right?


Wrong.


This guy wanted his stolen card back. I didn’t’ want to explain that I was waiting for my two hundred dollar reward, so instead I did what most of you would have done. I lied. I said the card was in the safe, and I pointed to the sign that stated I had a thirty-minute safe, and that he would have to wait until it opened. He wasn’t happy, but agreed to wait. Then as if to make his “not-happy” point clear, he pulled out a huge, really huge, hunting knife and proceeded to clean his nails. So, I did what any normal woman with bad hair would have done. I smiled, pretended not to be panicked by his oversized fingernail cleaner, peed my pants again, and hit the silent alarm. But opps…the alarm didn’t work, remember?


So I went to the phone and pretended to answer an order, with my back to the armed credit card thief, (imagine me thinking he was right behind me with knife ready to plunge) and called 911. They gave me a great piece of advice. Hit the alarm.


Then the operator asked one question. Was anyone in the restaurant? I told him no and he said to get my cook, who was in the back of the restaurant making dough, and run out the back door. I was about to do that when a woman came in with a baby and seated herself in one of the booths. Now, I’ve always been the “save yourself” kind of person, especially when I blamed the woman for not noticing the man cleaning his nails with a knife big enough to skin Bambi, but . . . there was the baby.


I walked to the booth and in a very low voice asked her to leave through the emergency door. I turned around to get the cook and run out the back when two guys walked in. They looked kind of shady. For a second, I thought they were with the credit card thief. But nope, one of the two men came sauntering toward me and the other headed toward the bathroom--which reminded me that I needed to go too.


I was prepared to explain that we were . . . out of dough or needed to close the restaurant for mold inspection, anything to get them to leave so I could escape the big knife. Didn’t happen. Instead, the shady looking man pulled out a big gun (yep, another honest to goodness real gun which I’d never seen one close up until that day.) Then in an equally shady voice, he told me to get behind the counter. (See what I mean about it being a bad day?)


I promptly made up my mind. If I lived through this, and I seriously didn’t think I would, my pizza and perm days were over and I was buying stock in big-people diapers. I ran behind the counter, babbling something about a thirty-minute safe. The second lucky man, who appeared to have gone to the bathroom, (yeah, I was actually envious of him for making the bathroom in time) came charging around the corner with his gun drawn, and then they both turned their guns on the knife-wielding credit card thief. Yup, they just happened to be undercover cops.



I proceeded to drop to the floor, bad hair and all, and had myself a good long, very long cry.


Looking back, I think the whole bad-hair, knife, and gun experience was the catalyst for my writing humorous romantic suspense. Not that I thought it was all that funny then.



However, this brings me back to my big secret. It’s time to unveil my new book. Yep, Weddings Can Be Murder is scheduled to be released May 27. Here is the cover and my book video.


Katie Ray, my heroine in Weddings, has a very bad day in the book, but you know, I liked her too much to give her bad hair. So what about you guys? Ever had a really sucky day? Ever had a gun pointed at you?


40 comments:

Jenyfer Matthews said...

That's certainly one heck of a day you had there! My mind is wiped clean of anything I might contribute after reading that.

Never had a gun pointed at me either!

Congrats on the new book - Great cover!

Keri Ford said...

I've had bad days, nothing comes to mind after reading your story though!

However, on the subject of perms, I do have a story. I'd really wanted a new perm and my jr. high self could NOT wait for my regular lady to have an opening some 3 weeks.

So we went to new lady. New lady could also be called really-stupid-don't-know-how-she-got-her-license-lady. She set me up in rollers, and put the second solution on first and the first solution on second. Now, I tried explaining to her she was doing it backwards, because this wasn't my first rodeo in the perming experience. I knew at the time what order the stinky solution went on.

But, you know, I'm a young teenager, she's a supposedly trained beautician, so she has to be right.

Well, the rollers come out, and guess what? I have no curls, just a limp mess of something attached to my head...exculding the hairs around my face. They all fell out. Evidently, the hairs in front aren't as strong as the ones in back because they stayed in, who knew?

So I'm offered free cuts from this salon (yeah, like that's something I ever used!), and we cut bangs from about the middle of my scalp to cover the missing hair in front. Let's say I wasn't the stylingist girl in school.

Christie Craig said...

Jenyfer,

Thanks. And please let me assure you, having a gun pointed at you isn't something you want to stand in line for. You aren't missing a thing!

Thanks!

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Keri,

Okay...thanks for the belly laugh, girl! I hope you are writing humor, because you are one funny girl. Now about your perm experience, I want you to know, I think the hair falling might have been a better option than walking around with lopsided curls so tight they didn't move.

Thanks for posting!

Crime Scene Christie

Keri Ford said...

Christie, I've got some hair stories, including a day with girls of highlighting ourselves, cutting my own hair to look like my grandpa (I was 3 or 4 at the time), cutting my bangs wrong (was about 20, no excuse) and a more recent experiment with perxiode. I don't know why I do these things to myself and my hairdresser has learned when I make an appointment, I've done something she needs to fix.

I don't set out to write humor. What a scary task! Purposely be funny?? No thank you. Humor still finds itself in my stories, I just don't mean for it to be there.

I have to agree, my bangs were better than your lopsidedness. You can't even hide that in a ponytail! After all since my bangs were so long coming from the top of my scalp, I did have the biggest teased bangs in my class. My mom loved AquaNet.

Gemma Halliday said...

OMG - Christie, your life scares me. Lol! I've only had a gun pointed at me once. Remind me to tell you about the time police barged into my bedroom in the middle of the night, guns drawn, demanding to know who I was sleeping with...

Love the trailer, girl!!

~Gemma

Faye Hughes said...

Christie,

Okay, I've had some bad hair days before - and even some bad days - but none that ended with my being at the other end of a gun. Damn, girl! LOL.

Faye

Christie Craig said...

Keri,
Love, love you hair stories.

I know what you mean about funny just appearing in your stories. Funny just happens to happen in my life, but at the time, it's never funny!

Thanks joining us!

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Gemma,

Just so you understand...peeing in my pants basically means that sometimes my life scares me, too!

Oh...and I have to hear this story girl. Maybe you should blog about it? Hey...curious minds need to know. Right guys?

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Faye,

Let's just say I'm not looking forward to having a repeat experience.

I did learn some things from that day however: Knives scare me more than guns, hot cops stop being hot when they point their guns at you, and peeing in your pants isn't the end of the world.

Thanks for posting!

Crime Scene Christie

Francyne said...

Love the new cover. And the "bad hair day" story. I, too, had a VERY bad perm. I was 2 days away from the due date for my first child and pictured myself being stylishly coiffed in my hospital bed. So, I went for a perm. I told the gal--someone I'd never used--that I curled quickly...VERY quickly. Okay, she said, then proceeded to leave me while she went to gossip with a fellow stylist. When the maximum time had passed and she didn't return I called to her. She said pregnant women curled slower, so she wasn't worried. YEAH RIGHT!!! Not until she started taking out the rollers and she said something like, "Oh, geez!" I was burned to a crisp. Was I stylishly coiffed? No! Was I seriously hacked off? Yes!

ShawnaMoore said...

LOL, Christie! I can picture you amid that pile of cash, a look of utter astonishment on your face when you turned toward those window taps. Your life has certainly granted you some wonderful fodder for your fiction writing. And you have a wonderfully witty tone. Love your new cover art! Can't wait to read the book once it's out!

Wishing you happiness and continued success,

Shawna Moore

Christie Craig said...

Oh, Francyne,

Too funny. And bad hair on on "D" day has to be as bad as bad hair on point-a-gun-at-you Day.

However, I'm just wondering what happened to the hair stylist? I mean...pregnant women are known to be . . . grumpy, add a bad perm to the mix and well, I'm wondering is this lady isn't still on the Missing Person list.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Shanna,

Thanks so much for stopping in!

Yes, my life is a bit over the top at times. I wish I knew where I could turn the volume down.

But hey, you gotta laugh, right?

Thanks again, girl!

Crime Scene Christie

terrio said...

I never should have read this while eating lunch. I will never get this pizza grease off the monitor.

I, thankfully, have never had a gun pointed at me. I'd most likely faint as I get short of breath just being near one. Which is only when policeman walk by me somewhere.

By the time the second gun incident occurred, I would have needed a padded room. LOL!

petite said...

Congrats on your new release. I am in love with the cover. My son is getting married that weekend and he has a Maltese. So adorable. Would love those special note cards which sound divine. Best of success.

Kimberly Frost said...

LOL. Oh, Christy, that's horrible, but at least it jump-started your writing career and that's what's really important. ;)

I LOVE your new cover.

Tori Lennox said...

OMG!!! I've had what I thought were bad days, but compared to yours, they were a walk in the park!

I'd have been bawling long before you did!

Christie Craig said...

Terrio,

Sorry about the monitor!

Now about that padded room, if it would have had a bathroom, I'd gone there no questions asked!!

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Petite,

Thanks so much for posting. So you son is getting married, huh, and he has a Maltese. Send me a picture of his Maltese to post on web site and I'll send you a pack of cards. Deal?

Thanks for posting girl!

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Kimberly,

Thanks for posting girl! Yep, sometimes if you look really hard, there's a silver lining in even the worst of experiences.

Thank you so much for posting!

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Tori,

Thanks for stopping in!

As for not cry until I did on that really, really bad day, well, I'd cried myself out the day before when I first got a glimpse of myself with my electric hair in the mirror.

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Beth said...

Ha! I love the perm stories. I was a hairstylist in a former life and we called those pocket curls, you know clumps of permed hair that you could literally put in your pocket. You think hairstylists are weird? I could tell you stories about some of my clients that would have you peeing your pants like Christie. Alas none of them ever held me at gun point... I guess I should have worked in a pizza place.

catslady said...

Thanks for the win and I sent my addy. Congrats to Jeanette too.

I'm still in shock over your blog. I just can't even imagine having a day like that!!!!!You did quit after that?????

And big congrats on your nominations.

And I'm very interested in your new book since my daughter is getting married this year lol.

Estella said...

The video is great and the cover ain't bad!
I had a gun pointed at me by my daughters ex- husband. Scared the bejesus out of me.

Christie Craig said...

Beth,

I have a proposal in the works about a woman who is an ex-hairstylist. I had fun making up stories that people told her.

I know my hairstylist shares stories with me sometimes about the crazy things people share with her. Totally anonymous, of course. And oh, by the way, this is not the same hairstylist who gave me curls upon curls. It was after that I decided I get what I pay for.

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Catslady,

Thanks for sending your address, I'll get those to you ASAP.

Okay...about quitting. I was seriously calling it quits, but then the district manager came in and offered me a big raise. Who knew I could be bought?

Frankly, only a few other incidents happened after that, and I never ever had another gun or knife pointed at me.

Thanks for posting.

Crime Scene Christie

Christie Craig said...

Estella,

Thanks. I like the video, too. And I think my cover will do in a pinch. I sort liked the sexier cover of the first one, but I knew several people have stated they didn't care for it. So who knows...it's all subjective.

Crime Scene Christie

June F. said...

Christi, I mean to tell you girl...that was one bad day. If you would write your memoirs instead of fiction it would be just as print worthy. I always feel that my life is pretty tame by comparison.
Can't wait to read your new book.

Christie Craig said...

June,

Thanks for posting girl. Some day I'll write my memoirs. But only right before I'm about to meet my maker, because when I tell everything, I'm gonna use names and I'll be on a lot of people's hit list.

Thanks for posting, girl.

Crime Scene Christie

Kathy Bacus said...

I was going to get a perm next week, Christie, but now you've got me worried.

Maybe I'll just save the $$ and stick my fingers in an outlet.

Great cover and awesome trailer!

~Bullet Hole~

Christie Craig said...

Kathy,

Perms are scary things. But I know some people who never have an issue. I think it's my thin hair. I can sit next to someone in the beauty shop getting one and my hair starts to friz.

Thanks for comments on the cover and video. I've got the second book jitters right now.

Lucy said...

Well, I don't think I can top having guns held on me but, about 15/16 years ago I had been separated for about a year and the plan for the day was to go on a job interview, pick up my paycheck from the temp agency I was working for and then go to a grocery store to work for a friend of mine pushing coupons off on unsuspecting customers. Now, I was going to do this all in one fell swoop without going back by the house so I had to dress for the job I was going on. White top, black bottom (in this case a skirt) and black shoes. It wasn't what I'd have normally worn on an interview but it was acceptable. So, okay.

Well, it was pouring down rain when I left my house. I didn't own an umbrella so I was counting on getting a parking space close to the front door of the building I had to go into.

Anyway, I left my house and noticed that the gas gauge was kind of low. I figured I had enough gas to do what I needed to do and well, I was going to at least try to make it, since it was pouring down rain, and who wants to stop to pump gas in the pouring rain if they don't have to. So, I'm driving to the interview and I'm approaching the feeder street to the highway. At this particular "intersection" I only had to yield to the feeder street traffic - there was no light or stop sign...just a yield sign. I noticed a truck in front of me (white if it makes a difference) slowing. I looked onto the feeder street and saw that the nearest car was far enough out that I could make it onto the feeder street without stopping. Which meant the truck in front of me had more than enough room to pull out as well.

With that in mind, I punched the gas and kept my eye on the car on the feeder street, in case it decided to floor it and make it difficult for me. It didn't. However, the truck in front of me apparently didn't want to take any chances, so it had stopped at the intersection, waiting for this car to pass, contemplating their bellybuttons, who knows what they were thinking. Anyway, not having given the truck a second thought after I saw the amount of room allowed by traffic on the feeder street, I never looked back at it. Well, until I plowed into the back end of it that is.

My thoughts at that moment (in no particular order) were: "crap, this wreck is my fault!"; (imagine a really whiny voice for this one) "I don't want to get out of my car...it's pouring down rain!"; "I'm going to be late for the interview"; and "I hope no one's hurt".

The driver and passenger of the car I hit got out and said there was no visible damage and that they were both fine so no information was exchanged (much to my relief, since it was my fault) and I didn't even have to get out of my car.

Whew, dodged a bullet, right? Well, I continued on to the job interview. As I said, with no umbrella. So of course there wasn't a single parking spot (outside of handicapped parking, which I refused to take) at the building. Literally. I had to park at the business next door (and it wasn't like a shopping strip thing either...it wasn't particularly close!) and run.

Did I mention that it was pouring down rain? And I had on a white shirt which, by the time I reached the building where my interview was, was glued to my body. I looked (and felt) like I'd taken a swim in my clothes - just in time to walk into my interview (although I did make a stop in the ladies' room and used the handblower briefly to try to dry off). (I remember little of the interview other than them commenting that I was being very quiet and me telling them I'd just been in a car accident.)

I finally leave there and head to pick up my paycheck. It was still pouring down rain so I ignored the sign that said "no parking, even if you're just picking up a paycheck" (yes it really said that) and parked my car right outside the front door. No it wasn't towed but I had over estimated the amount of gas I had in the car that morning because when I got back out to my car, it wouldn't start.

I went back into the building and called the friend I was going to work for and (long story short) a friend of her husband's brought me gas and I head over to the grocery store I'm scheduled to work.

I put in my however many hours that day and headed home - exhausted. I walked in the door and something didn't seem right. My house had been broken into! Among the things stolen were my jewelry and video camera (which marked the start of my adult video career - but that's another story altogether).

So, not one of my better days. I can laugh about it now but at the time...not so much.

Christie Craig said...

Oh, Lucy,

That was a bad, sucky, and wet day. Maybe if you'd gone in with the wet white shirt, (think wet t-shirt contest) you might have gotten the job! (Smile)

But I know what you mean about not laughing at it for a while. Sometimes they get funnier after a few months.

Crime Scene Christie

Lucy said...

Well, I did get the job - for two whole weeks. Wasn't presented as a short term job but turned out it was.

Oh, and I just watched your video. Too cute! Can't wait for the book to come out. :-)

Christie Craig said...

Lucy,

Well, I suppose getting the job softened the bad day, but to lose it after two weeks, well that stung.

Thanks for compliments on the video. Those suckers are hard to pull together.

Crime Scene Christie

Colleen Thompson said...

What a story, Christie!

Thanks for the grin. Love the never cover & video. Best of luck with Weddings!

Christie Craig said...

Thanks Colleen.

Seeing it all come together is exciting and scary. Putting your books out there is like standing naked in front of a bunch of strangers.

Have a great day.

Crime Scene Christie

ms terry in gadsden said...

Now i know i better not miss your blog on tuesdays. Im so excited about your nomintations . spell check please. eheheh

just when i thought i had heard all of your true life comedy here you come again with an even funnier story to share with us.

I know you didnt forget that i won some cards too. ( - =

Christie Craig said...

skitter07Hi Terry,

Oh, know, you won the cards. I just have your address! And that should make you scared!! :-)

Thanks for posting girl! See you on hometown soil soon.

Crime Scene Christie