Palin & Strieber

Standing in Barnes & Noble (“Will you be saving ten percent with our discount card today?” trills the girl at the till over and over) at the corner of 3rd Street and Wilshire in Santa Monica, reading through the new Michael Palin diaries. I’m struck by how often something depresses him, and how financial concerns recur — at least in my half-hour sampling. Maybe the best thing about even moderately-unexpurgated diaries is that they remind us that famous people aren’t so different from the rest of us.

Then a bit of louder-than-usual talking from next to me distracts me from Palin and the podcast from the Edinburgh Fringe that’s on my iPod, and it turns out to be a B&N employee guiding Whitley Strieber to a pile of his books on the display. The B&N employee picks up the entire pile and carries it across to a nearby desk, where I gather that Strieber is going to do a bit of impromptu signing.

Another not-in-Teesside-any-more moment.

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