Once when I was working at one of my many bookstore jobs, a bookseller came into the back and reported that she'd rung up some books for author Michael Crichton.

"Wow," I said. "So did you talk to him?"

"A little."

"Well, come on! What did you say?"

She shrugged. "I told him his books were selling very well at our store."

I stared at her. Selling WELL at our STORE? This to a man whose each and every recent book had hammered at the top of the best-seller lists for weeks, MONTHS even, as if the position of Number One was somehow not ENOUGH to reflect the massive number of orders that were pouring in for it on a daily basis?

She shrugged again, helplessly. "Well, what DO you say to Michael Crichton?"