When I fly, I like to leave enough time to stop by the Waterstone’s bookstore at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield and say hello to Jim Ross, manager of the location. Jim’s a personable devil and it’s always nice to chat.
On the relatively long list of people you wouldn’t expect to run into at the Waterstone’s bookstore at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield, American satirist Christopher Buckley might be somewhere near the top.
Yet that’s exactly who happened to be browsing the shelves one afternoon several weeks ago, when I stopped by the store on my way out of town. Mr. Buckley had been in Omaha speaking to a group and was killing some time, waiting for his own flight out of town. Years earlier, on a plane somewhere else, I’d read his novel Thank You for Smoking and enjoyed it very much. I thought the film adaptation was pretty good, too.
Anyway, Jim was nice enough to introduce us. Buckley was nice enough to buy a copy of The Cleanup, which I signed for him. I was nice enough to buy a copy of Buckley’s latest novel, Boomsday. . .except that Jim happened to be freshly sold out at the time.
I attended to the matter upon returning home and have now finished reading Boomsday, which involves an ambitious, indignant young blogger named Cassandra Devine. In the novel, Cassandra proposes a tax credit for baby boomers who voluntarily off themselves before reaching retirement age (thereby helping to allay the projected collapse of the US social security system). Hilarity and catastrophe ensue.
I enjoyed the book a great deal. If you like your novels smart, very funny, completely preposterous, and yet alarmingly plausible, I highly recommend Boomsday.
Ironically, due to a mixup at the cash register, I somehow left Waterstone’s owing Christopher Buckley, a baby boomer, 57 cents.
I’m not going to worry about it.