Sunday, October 8, 2017

Bitten at BEA

Karen at For What It's Worth mentioned me in her most recent blog post. I wasn't expecting her to, but she's sweet, thoughtful, and always looking to help others. I've known Karen for many, many years. We've been to a lot of different book events together (ALA, BEA), and she knew my husband before he was my husband. She also sent fortune cookie baby shoes when I was pregnant! They were adorable! If you don't know Karen, or don't follow her blog, you definitely should.

In her blog post she mentioned that I am the girl that was bitten at BEA a few years ago. I had no idea this story would become what it is today. Most people don't even know that it was me, they just know it happened, which I am perfectly okay with. I thought it was a fun story to share, even if it was slightly alarming when it happened. Seriously, who would bite someone for a book?? It wasn't even the last book, or a signed book. It was just one of many in a stack at a booth.

People at BEA would arrive early to wait by the doors before they opened for the day. Once the doors opened, it was madness. There were those who had mapped out the entire area and knew exactly where they were going, and then there were those who just dashed around randomly and hoped to find something exciting. If you went with friends, or family, and were not tied together, chances are you were separated until things died down.

I would wait until things were less frantic before I went inside. Normally, I would find a coffee stand and buy breakfast before entering. It usually meant I wouldn't fall on my face trying to maneuver through the crowd. There was always a steady stream of people, but it was nothing compared to the initial onslaught.

On this day, with coffee in hand, I entered a good thirty minutes after everyone else. Book sellers and publishers had become wise to the ways of crazy book bloggers (and other just crazy people), so they wouldn't start dropping books until the first wave had passed. I just happened to be walking by when After Obsession by Carrie Jones caught my eye. The stacks looked undisturbed, so I assumed it had been missed by the masses. It wasn't long before people started overwhelming the small area. There was a way in to grab a book, but getting back out was going to be tricky, or so I thought. I have never seen so many people pushing and shoving each other over a book. It was ridiculous idiotic. There were a few people that grabbed multiple copies before crawling on the floor to get out. I stood there in shocked silence as men shoved children, and women yelled at each other for no apparent reason.

I watched for a few minutes before deciding to reach my hand over two people arguing on the floor. My plan was to gently extricate myself, but as I am pulling my arm back, it stops. Not the madness around me, my arm. What was happening didn't register at first, and it wasn't until I made eye contact with the older woman attached to my arm, that I realized what had just happened. She bit me. She was still biting me. She was looking me in the eye while her teeth sunk deeper into my skin. I dropped the coffee I was holding in my other hand and went to do, I don't know, something, when she let go. She gave a satisfied shake of her head, like this was perfectly acceptable behavior, and then disappeared into the crowd beside me.

What do you do when something like that happens? How are you supposed to react? Was I supposed to angrily look for her and demand retribution? Did I find security and tell them what had just occurred? There were so many thoughts going through my head, but they all stopped as I saw the imprint she had left on my arm. "SOMEONE JUST BIT ME," was the only remaining thought I had. Others had witnessed what happened. There were those who looked as shocked as I was, a few asked me if I was okay, while others insisted I needed medical attention. I waved everyone away and went to find a familiar face. I needed to tell someone I knew what had just happened to me, but it didn't take long for the story to travel on it's own.

By the time I found friends, they had already heard about someone being bitten, they just didn't know it had been me. I did have to clarify a few details, like not having rabies, and never being rushed to the hospital. We laughed. The teeth marks faded. It was just another day at BEA.

17 comments:

  1. <3 u & I'm glad you're back.

    I think that was the year I met you!

    The next year Kevin had to help a girl that was shoved face first into a pile Melissa Marr books O_o. It's vicious out there!

    I do wish we could go to another one like the ALA in Dallas. Hotel and good food right there! That was awesome. (But without you hitting me int he head with the squishy light bulb thingy lol Do you remember that? I still have it! hehe)

    For What It's Worth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha I do remember! It was a stress ball shaped like a lightbulb. The Annual Texas Book Festival is in Austin next month. I've already emailed you about it. :)

      Delete
  2. Oh my gosh that is horrible, I've heard of people pushing people around for Arc's, but biting people. that's horrendous! The lengths that people go to! I hope you're okay!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm fine, lol. It happened a few years ago. I was just retelling the story. :)

      People lose their minds when Arc's are involved. I've never understood it.

      Delete
  3. That's terrible!!! No one in their right mind would do that! I'm glad you're ok. All I can think now is that I never want to go to BEA, not even because of the biting, but because I could never handle that kind of crowd chaos! Not that I was ever gonna end up going anyway lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't let something like that stop you! If you want to miss the initial craziness, just get a later start on the day. It's worth it to meet other book bloggers and bookish people. I have so many wonderful memories from BEA that had nothing to do with the books, and everything to do with the people that read them.

      Delete
    2. Well I'm glad to hear your good BEA memories outweigh the crazy ones lol.

      Delete
  4. Oh I'm so sorry to hear that. It's terrible. OMG, what was in the woman head when she did it? I'm seriously curious. 🙈
    Anyway, you have a gorgeous blog. Awesome! 😁❤️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I have absolutely no idea what she was thinking, or what led her to biting. My three-year old doesn't bite people, so she definitely shouldn't!

      Delete
  5. I saw a reference to this over at Karen's. This is an awesome story (not that you got bit, of course, that's horrendous)- but having heard about these kinds of things it's really interesting to hear firsthand! I can't believe someone did that- well yeah I can actually! And the way the news spread like wildfire!! "rabies" lol

    I couldn't help laughing at the "crawling to get out" part. Seriously?? That kills me. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! People would really crawl to get out. It was that or stay pinned up against the books while hungry hands pawed at your back.

      Delete
    2. If people knew I was the one that had been bitten, they looked at me like I had some sort of disease. I stopped telling people so they wouldn't think I was rabid or contagious.

      Delete
  6. When Karen mentioned the incident in her post. I got curious. Now...of course I've never been at BEA, since I live in a different continent altogether (I'm in Italy BTW), but I've heard stories. None that cringe-worthy though. I suppose that woman was trying to teach you manners, because really, what were you thinking, daring to "extend your hand" over two perfectly well-adjusted and sane people arguing on a floor over a BOOK? LOL. Seriously, it's hideous. I understand people getting out of control when pushed over the edge about something, but THIS? for real?

    Quote:
    "There were a few people that grabbed multiple copies before crawling on the floor to get out. I stood there in shocked silence as men shoved children, and women yelled at each other for no apparent reason."
    ??? One doesn't know if they should laugh or cry...

    Welcome back to blogging BTW! and yes, Karen ia a precious thing :).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Is" a precious thing of course. Oops.

      Delete
    2. You can still go to BEA! One of my friends flies from Germany. Manners?! Is that how manners are taught in Italy?? (Haha! Joking!) If she had slapped my hand away, that would have been one thing, but to bite my arm...it was insane.

      I don't know if you should laugh or cry, but you should definitely run.

      Yes! Karen! 💗

      Delete
  7. It is terrible that someone would assault another and to be smug about it? Totally would be shocked like you were. Insanity! Glad you came out of it with a good story. Love Karen and found your blog through her!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, right? What is wrong with people?!

      Karen is the best! She has a few BEA stories of her own. ;)

      Delete

Comments are like buttons, you don't want to miss one! Please check the "notify me" box at the bottom so you don't miss my response.