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If you were around in the late ’60s/early ’70s, you may remember the bumper stickers and pins and posters that read, WHAT IF THEY GAVE A WAR AND NOBODY CAME? I was reminded of that saying last Saturday. Only it wasn’t a war. It was something that should’ve been much more fun.

I was scheduled to do another book-reading, this one at a library in a nearby town, as part of a larger event billed as “Super Saturday.” It was to involve various fun activities for kids, including my reading two of my Christmas-themed books. It also happened to be the day when Santa comes around our village perched on top of a firetruck as the highlight of a small procession of village vehicles—this is, after all, a small village I live in.

The weather was horrid—plummeting temps and pouring rain in the morning, and windy, and although in the afternoon the rain petered out to occasional showers, the wind grew stronger and the temps continued to drop.

Usually during this annual it’s-almost-Christmas event, Santa comes past our house around 9 AM, preceded by police cars with their sirens at full blast, so nobody misses out on seeing the Santa procession, but at 9, 9:15, 9:30, 9:45 there was not a whisper of a siren, and finally at 10 I called the police department to ask if the “Santa’s Ride” event  had been cancelled due to the weather.

“Not as far as we know,” I was told, “but they haven’t started yet.” Despite the frigid temps I kept the door cracked open so I wouldn’t miss the sirens, but I heard nothing. Finally I called the P.D. again but got the same answer. Meanwhile I kept getting repeated emailed bulletins from the P.D. saying “Be on the Lookout for Santa,” implying the event was still on.

Eventually, I had to leave for the library reading—and still no Santa. I got to the library, about 20 minutes’ drive from my house, at 1:45. At 2:00, when the event was scheduled to start, there were no attendees present. “It must be the weather,” the librarian said.

“I’ll give it a few more minutes,” I said. But when it got to be 2:15 and still not a single soul was there, I gave up and left.

Of course when I got home, my significant other told me I had just missed Santa! And all for nothing! I was SOOOO upset!

This week I set up two more future book-readings, one in March and one in April, both of books for kids. It shouldn’t be so cold then, and it won’t yet be hurricane season, but it could still be windy and rainy. I hope the elements don’t conspire against me again.

I just can’t help but flash on that ’60s/’70s slogan, though—slightly altered: “What if they gave a book-reading and nobody came?”

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