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you have questions, i have answers (though not necessarily the right ones)


I may have found my new calling.

My friend, Helene, and I arrived at the JavitsCenter early Saturday morning so we could grab Starbucks and just hang out together before the New York Times Travel Show started.

We walked around and noticed a nice, big, clean counter with stools behind it and thought it looked like a good place to sit. As we sipped our coffee and iced tea, someone came over and asked us where the Travel show was. We explained we didn’t work there but we did happen to know where the show was so we gave her directions. She thanked us, and we went back to our drinks.

A few more people stopped by and. again, explained we didn’t work there but, yes, we’d be happy to point them to Starbucks, the ladies room and the jewelry show. We were stumped by one of the shows and, after apologizing for not being able to help, we continued our conversation.

We were getting tired of being interrupted so when another woman came over and asked about that same show we knew nothing about, I said I was sorry but we didn’t work there and didn’t understand why everyone kept coming over and asking us questions.

“Well, it says ‘Questions’ right there in front of you,” she replied, pointing to the gigantic sign we had apparently overlooked when we sat down.

We looked at each other and burst into a bout of OMG-stomach ache-inducing laughter. We asked the woman if she would please take our picture and we promised to find out where her show was. I posted the question on Facebook and, immediately, one of my friends texted me to say it was downstairs in the JavitsCenter.

At that point, Helene and I felt we had a responsibility to fulfill and we just went with it. We settled into our chairs and answered dozens of questions enthusiastically and patiently. People were friendly and appreciative, and I had to hold back tears of laughter as an admirably composed Helene offered especially helpful information about the plastic holders that were available outside the Travel Show Expo for attendees to slip their badges into.

And every time we looked at that photo, above, on my phone, we burst into hysterical fits of laughter. My mascara was running down my face and my stomach muscles were spasming but we parked ourselves in those seats and answered questions until our first seminar was about to start.

As we left our posts, we congratulated ourselves on a job well-done and wondered what the JavitsCenter would have done without us. We realized we were really good at answering questions, and that we should continue this valuable service (!) on our respective blogs.

So, today, Helene and I are here to answer questions. About anything. (I know I don’t have to remind you to stay tasteful.)

We take our jobs very seriously so bring them on. Leave your question in the comments here, and feel free to ask Helene questions on her blog, Books is Wonderful. While you’re there, check out her side of our Thelma and Louise adventure.

And don’t forget to engage with us on Twitter using #askloisandhelene

This public service announcement has been brought to you by Lois Alter Mark and Helene Cohen Bludman, the self-proclaimed women with all the answers. Ha ha ha ha!!


  1. OMG, that is hysterical. No wonder everyone stopped to ask you guys stuff. Plus I am sure it helped that you both looked friendly and inviting.

  2. LOL! This is hilarious! IF only it was this easy!

  3. That’s fantastic! You both clearly look so friendly and inviting, like people with all the answers. My question: Why were you and Helene at the travel show? Is this a good event for me to attend as blogging about travel is one of my goals?

  4. Hysterical! The Javits Center is indeed huge and mind-boggling…wish you had been there to answer MY questions when I was attending Book Expo America last year 🙂

  5. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    This was the most.fun.ever. Hey, do you think we can take this on the road? i mean, why not?

  6. Too, too funny!

  7. You ladies both ROCK!! Too funny. Man! I so want to hang out with you one day soon!! xoxo

  8. That is priceless! 🙂 Obviously, you both fit the bill as looking like informed attendants to the patrons! lol My question? What was the New York Time Travel show all about? 🙂

  9. That is really REALLY hilarious. Oh my goodness.

    Here’s my question: What is the best book to read on a lazy Monday afternoon?

  10. That is so funny! Maybe you should send an invoice now for all your hard work!

  11. Hilarious! I love how you just settled in and rolled with it. You guys are fun!

  12. That is too funny! I can only imagine how many people came up to you guys in that time period. At least you can laugh about it now!

  13. That is hilarious, and totally something I would do! I can’t believe you stayed and answered more questions!

  14. I See You Had A Very Busy Day!!! 🙂

  15. so funny- great post!

  16. Pamela Lear says:

    That’s too funny … I want to come hang out at a trade show with you! Speaking of which, I am sooo excited – – I’m going to BEA this year, for the first time. So, my question is: Will you be at BEA in May???

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      I am definitely going to try to get to BEA. It was so much fun last year and would be even better with you! Will let you know closer to May. Fingers crossed!

  17. Oh my gosh, you ladies are too funny! The Javits should have paid you both for your time, lol!

  18. Well you both looked great up there and I bet you did awesome!

  19. Ha! That’s awesome. I can only imagine what you might have been asked if you had stayed all day.

  20. That’s cute. I’ll have to think up some questions for the both of you! I have no doubt that you can craft a reasonable answer…even if it’s incorrect!

  21. That is so funny! I love it! Wish I had been there! How do I cure writers block? I have been asked to post on what I feel is an important blog and I am too stressed to come up with anything!! The organization is very meaningful to me and I want my words to make an impact but I have stressed myself wordless!

  22. LOL! This is hilarious! IF I were there, I would have stopped people and asked them to ask me questions! 🙂

  23. So funny and it is just really hysterical that you 2 went with it! I always look for a middle aged woman, like myself, when looking for the rest room. So may I tweet you wherever I am for a location of the cleanest women’s room? I know you will know!

  24. This is so funny. The two of you look so knowing…and you are!

  25. That is so funny and cool. A neat memory!

  26. OMGosh way too funny – the two of you will NEVER forget that day!

  27. This is hilarious! But so much fun! I love that y’all went with it and kept answering questions!

  28. Haha! This has happened to me one time and I was so confused.

  29. Bahahaha! That is awesome! So, we watched “All Is Lost” last night. My husband and I have differing opinions on whether Robert Redford’s character died. What do you think? If you don’t know, how about doing me a solid and just agreeing with me {I think he died}, lol. 🙂

  30. Amy Desrosiers says:

    Lol!! I probably would have asked you for directions had I seen that banner!!

  31. HiLARious!

    What a good belly laugh you’ve given us all.

  32. I am looking for my comment and realize I commented for your other half. Bwahaha. I’m tired and need coffee.

    I think this is awesome. I hope it falls into place for you guys. You’d rock it! You already have. 🙂

  33. I love that you guys stayed there once you figured out why so many people were asking you questions. You did your good deed for the day. I wonder where the people who were supposed to be manning the question booth were though?

  34. Yolanda Arroyo says:

    This is so awesome. You had so much fun with something you were not even planning. I wish something like that will happen to me..

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