April's Real Blog

Thursday, November 29, 2007


The next bit Mike wants U all 2 know abt his recent book signing @ Lilliput's:

Formerly little sis. One of the ways you can tell that Christmas is in the air (aside from the artificial pine smell), is the signing needs of the book buyer. When I did my signing at the Eastgate Mall, it was at the end of October, and most of the people there wanted me to sign it with things like, “If you keep reading, I’ll keep writing, you sexy thing.” Or “To the most wonderful, beautiful, talented, fantastic, intelligent person I have ever signed a book for”. But now the time has gotten closer to the holiday season, almost every signature I signed had something to do with the fact the book was going to be a gift.

As you may recollect, I had been signing books at a small table in front of a large counter with shelves behind it. I was signing away when a man with a suit and striped tie, wearing an odd propeller-less beanie sat at the table and started to read. I said, “Excuse me. This is my signing table.” He said, “Blow off, or I smack you around.” I looked around for my friends and relatives to defend me, but you were off doing other things. Naturally, I decided it would be better to stand by the large counter with shelves to continue my book-signing. It was then I noticed the shelves were filled with puzzle books like, “Crazy puzzles” or “Impossible Puzzles” or “Board game basketball” or “Print making” or things like that.

A lady approached me, handed me a book and said, “Could you say ‘Merry Christmas, Betty’—It’s for me!” So I said, “Merry Christmas, Betty---It’s for me!” I was about to add, “Thanks for the gift”, when Betty decided she wanted me to write in the book, “Merry Christmas, Betty” and she wanted her book back. So, picky, these holiday book-buyers are.

Then a man with glasses and a body which looked an awful lot like a French-Canadian woman had drawn him, had two of my books and decided he was going to tell me the names he had given them. He said, “The first book is ‘Merry Christmas, Glenda.’ The second will be ‘Happy Birthday, Stan.’” I said to him, “Those are indeed unique and interesting names to give to your books. Now, how do you want me to sign them?” After a long conversation where he kept repeating the books’ names to me over and over again, eventually he stomped out the door with no signatures at all. I think I would have minded it more, had there not been a girl on the other side of the counter who kept lifting up her skirt to flash her underwear at me. I remember thinking she could be a very attractive girl, if she only had eyes, nose and a mouth.

Then I could tell I was nearing the end of the book signing, because that’s when the hermaphrodites start lining up. A person with hair sticking up and wearing an earring, handed me a book and said, “Just sign it, man.” This was to indicate that he/she had correctly identified my gender. That can be a fairly intimidating move, especially considering I had no idea what he/she’s gender was. Then he / she said, “I want to read it first. Then I’ll decide if it’s good enough to give as a gift.” I replied, “It’s good enough to invite to meet the family” but after looking at he / she, I decided to discontinue that line of conversation. I signed her / his book, but I must admit I was distracted and stared at he / she a long time trying to make the same gender recognition which was done of me.

After he/she left, I puffed up my cheeks and blew out some air with a “Phwoooh!!” Mom immediately rushed over, grabbed my arm and said, “Are you tired, dear?” I wondered where she had been when the man with the beanie stole my table. I am sure I had a bleary look on my face as I said, “No…that was the sound of my ego deflating.” Mom said, “Good. It’s been so long since your ego was deflated, we were beginning to worry.” I don’t what it is about a book-signing that brings out the humour in my family.

As you can tell, formerly little sis, even when you have written the Great Canadian Novel, the overwhelming urge to buy my book as a Christmas present for other people can supplant even the most dedicated reader from recognizing literary greatness.

Michael Patterson
Oh, Mike, U numbskull! The guy who sat down @ yr table was wearing a hat that's called a keepah (as it's called in Hebrew) or a yarmulke (as it's called in Yiddish), and his wearing the hat shows he's Jewish, probably Orthodox. The guy w/the glasses wanted 2 U write "Merry Christmas, Glenda" and "Happy Birthday, Stan" in the books. He wasn't naming them.

And in case U were wondering abt the ppl who, like, fell on the floor, it was the force of wind resulting from yr ego deflating. I heard sum ppl saying it may have been the most inflated ego in Milborough history. MayB even Ontario or Canadian history.


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  • At 7:18 AM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    Ooooohhhh, poor Mikey. He had to deal with everyday people who didn't know or care that he was the Savior of Canadian Literature and it made him sad. That's because he has no sense of proportion. It's genetic. Just like a mildly huffy customer enraged your mother so much she bit a huge chunk out of a phone book or how everything causes Liz to shriek and moan, he deals with petty inconveniences poorly. When you do stuff like that, you have an alibi: you're a teenager! They're supposed to be grown-ups so stressing over piddly-crap is silly.

  • At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Nelson Muntz said…

    Your brother's ego was deflated!
    Ha ha!

  • At 12:52 PM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. That man with the funny propeller-less beanie was definitely not a “keepah” or “keeper” as you would say in your non-internet speaking language. He didn’t even want to buy a book when I told him I would write “Merry Christmas” on it for him.

    As for your supposed statistics on most inflated ego, you have obviously not been doing your research. Anyone familiar with Canadian politics can easily find more inflated egos than mine. Have you so quickly forgotten the Quebecois?

    Michael Patterson

  • At 1:11 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    québec, aux québecois!

    just kidding, i wanted 2 scare u.

    mike, don't b st00pid, i didn't say the man WAS a keepah, he is wearing a keepah (it's a hebrew word for the special hat he was wearing).

    nelson, yup. totally.

    dc2, i m def. in a family of over-reacters. i cannot w8 2 get outta mboro.


  • At 1:15 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, ur bro duzn’t know much ‘bout defl8in’ egos. makin’a “phwoooh!!!” sound wen sum1 sez they wanna read ur work b4 they decide if it’s ne good iz nothin’. how ‘bout wen u hand in sum skool work 2 a teach & they take 1 look @it & say sumthin’ like, “well, jones. ur just gonna barely pass if u keep turnin’ in work like this.” u wud think they wud @least read it b4 they wud say sumthin’ like that.

    now, if sum just grabbed 1 of ur bro’s books & hurled it @the floor & told him it wuz crap, that wud be ego-defl8in’. or if ur bro hadda work @lilliput’s tryin’ 2 sell his spoiled books w/jokey inscriptions frum that special "buffoon signature" display, that wud b ego-defl8in’. by the way, i hope thass not wut u hafta do wen u work @lilliput’s. i’ll cu 2nite aftah u get done there.

  • At 1:34 PM, Blogger howard said…


    I am not sure where your brother gets his idea of ego-deflation. Working at Portrait Magazine, a number of our writers have often authored books and participated in book-signings. I have attended them from time-to-time in support of them, and frequently they are lucky to get even a few books signed, particularly if they are a first time author like your brother. It sounds like your brother did brisk business in Lilliput’s. If the people I know had book-signings that went as well, they would be ego-inflating experiences and not ego-deflating kinds of experiences. Nevertheless, from my perspective as an editor at Portrait Magazine, I can say that your brother’s decision to become a full-time author and leave Portrait Magazine was probably the best decision he has made in awhile. Portrait Magazine has flourished since his departure, and there is not a day that goes by where someone tells me that after they read Portrait Magazine after your brother left, they decided it was good enough to not only read again, but recommend to others as a gift. I can honestly say that whenever I hear about people talk at Portrait Magazine about your brother and compare it to how things are these days, it is an ego-inflating experience.

    As for the people falling on the floor during the force of the wind released by your brother’s deflating ego at Lilliput’s during his book-signing, my wife Beatrice Alfarero was among those fallen. In addition to having to help pick people off the floor, she also had to explain to people why everything was rose-coloured for awhile. She did say that they moved a lot of your brother’s books out of the store, so now they have more space for children’s books, the store’s specialty. She has been quite tired of having to pull Stone Season out of some small child’s hands, when they started reading about the gruesome details of post-WWII domestic abuse.

    Howard Bunt

  • At 1:43 PM, Anonymous rhetta blum said…


    I think you mean a kippah (Hebrew: כִּפָּה‎ kippa, plural kippot). Your brother could never keep Jewish traditions straight, even when we were dating. I see from the news your brother’s book is doing well. If you see him, please remind him of his promise to write a book for me.

    Rhetta Blum

  • At 3:32 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    rhetta, u r rite abt kippah, i have only heard it sed out load rather than seeing it written down. but arguably, since "kippah" is just a transliteration from the hebrew, my way wasn't wrong, esp. since ppl r more likely 2 pronounce the vowel correctly w/my spelling.

    and no, i m not reminding mike abt what u wanted him 2 write. if ne1 gets 2 write abt that, i do.

    jeremy, beatrice is trying 2 sell the rejected boox w/jokey inscriptions as gag gifts. wish us luck!

    howard, i think u deserve a lot of credit 4 revitalizing and saving its reputation!


  • At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Pat Jones said…

    Hello, April, I am Jeremy's Auntie-Uncle. I have no idea why your brother took such offense to my comment. After all, I did spend money to buy the book. BTW, if I like the book, Jeremy is getting it for Xmas!

    Pat Jones

  • At 3:48 PM, Anonymous liz patterson said…


    Mom called me today and said we needed to talk, she asked me what I do to help kids I teach keep their egos nice and inflated all the time, I said that wasn't really my department, that we have a special teacher for Ego Inflation here in Milborough Public Schools, anyway, Mom asked me to find out from that teacher how to make your kid's ego as deflate-proof as a lead balloon because she thinks Mike's ego is too fragile and prone to deflating, she wants it to stay nice and big and poofy, she was all upset that her sensitive, dramatic, emotional artist had his ego deflated just because someone didn't automatically assume his book would be awesome, Mom said, "The whole point of a big fat ego is that you just assume they will love it because you're a Patterson!" and of course I agreed, Mom is so smart, don't you think, anyway, I went to the store and bought some Fix-A-Flat to fix Mike's ego, I am going to give it to him for Christmas.


  • At 4:32 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    pat jones

    auntie-uncle pat jones, i have alreddy read mike patterson’s book. i think a bettah person 2 give it 2 4 xmas wud be my uncle-auntie .

  • At 4:34 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    auntie-uncle pat jones, the last message shud say uncle-auntie .

  • At 4:35 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    auntie-uncle pat jones, blogger h8s me. my uncle-auntie pat riley.

  • At 4:53 PM, Anonymous rhetta blum said…


    You’re just like your brother. You say I am right, but cannot say you were wrong.

    As for your brother and his writing, he might be better off writing about something he knows and not sod farming. I gave his new book a read for old time’s sake and it was a little disturbing. All of his information about sod farming looks like it was taken from that Trailer Park Boys sketch on sod farmers.

    And the relish with which your brother described the gory detail of the beatings the heroine takes from her husband made me glad many times over I did not end up with him. I know the heroine wins in the end, but I could have done without the vivid description of 17 years of domestic violence. If I were a person who read things into stories, I would say your brother has a few issues to work out with women. I’m glad he’s not working them out with me.

    Rhetta Blum

  • At 6:15 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    omg, rhetta, me just like mike? did i hurt u? i don't think i did nething 2 deserve that!!!

    liz, i think mom is wrong and it's gd 4 mike 2 have his ego defl8ed fr. time 2 time. however, i totally encourage u 2 give him the gift u're planning 2 give him!

    jeremy, quick thinking on re-directing that gift!


  • At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Pat Riley said…

    Ooh, boy, a book! I love books!

    Pat Riley, Jeremy's Uncle-Auntie

  • At 6:43 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, r we on 4 watchin’ maple leafs-thrashers 2nite @7, or do u hafta particip8 in that ego-reinflation thing ur mom wuz talkin’ ‘bout 4 ur bro?

  • At 8:40 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    i m @ jeremy's house. thankgodfully i didn't have 2 have nething 2 do w/reinflating mike's ego. blecch on that.


  • At 12:39 AM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    2 ne1 innerested. the leafs finally win one. 4-2. whoo hoo! april & i r celebr8in'!!

  • At 1:55 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. Have you ever been to another dimension, where things are similar to your life, but just a little different? Well, I have. I had gotten home from my book-signing at Lilliput’s, which I have been talking about all week, and somehow I stepped into another dimension. It may sound crazy, but hear me out. I went into my house, and right off the bat, I noticed things were different.

    For example, you may remember back during the time change from Daylight Savings Time, I may have mentioned my daughter had to the left of her bed, a set of shelves with a flower clock on it. Or perhaps you may remember when I told of my long reminiscence about Gramma Marian with my daughter using photo albums, how that story ended up with my taking my daughter to her room where there was nothing to the left of her bed but a nightstand with a lamp and curtains covering her window. Perhaps you remember how since my son turned 3 years old last November 1 he had gone from sleeping in a crib to sleeping in a bed, as most kids his age do. Perhaps you remember that my son and daughter hadn’t slept in the same room since before you, mom and dad moved out , back when my daughter was in a bed and my son was in a crib in the same room. I know I remembered these things, and it was the differences from that which clued me in.

    I got home from my book-signing at Lilliput’s, having to be dropped off by mom, because I discovered midway through the signing, my wife and kids had run off with the car. It was not a problem, because mom lives so close and I could walk the rest of the way from her house (after raiding the refrigerator of course). When I got to my house I found my wife, the lovely Deanna, putting a blanket over my daughter in her bed and she said, “Great signing tonight, Mike. Sorry I had to take the kids home. They were getting tired.” I was on the verge of asking her why she was just then putting a blanket over my daughter when she left Lilliput’s over an hour ago, but then I remembered just how much trouble my wife has handling the kids by herself. She probably spent the whole of the last hour just getting them to sleep, because she was still wearing that unusual shawl-collared sweater where the lowest point of the collar lines up with her right breast.

    Then she walked over to the crib in the room to put a blanket over my son. I was about to say, “What is this crib doing here? Doesn’t my son sleep in another room now?” But my lovely Deanna spoke up and said, “It’s going well, isn’t it.” without a question mark in her voice, so I knew she was stating a fact she wanted me to confirm. Well, after the sudden reappearance of the crib I wasn’t sure what was going on; so I said with as much certainty as I could, “I think so. The publicity has helped. We just have to wait now…and see what happens.” Before I saw the crib, I would have said something about being a best-seller and how I had some more book-signings already scheduled; but I had that awful feeling like I had stepped into a whole other universe, and as everyone knows, when you get that feeling, you don’t want to reveal yourself as coming from another dimension.

    Then my lovely Deanna came over to me, wrapped her arm around my neck, and started nibbling on my cheek. That confirmed it for me, wifely affection = another dimension where wives are affectionate. This other dimensional Deanna said, “Hey. You’re a good writer. You made the right choice. You don’t have to prove it to me.” I put my arms around her and thought to myself, “First, I hope she can’t read my thought balloons and second, what is she talking about? What choice? Surely she can’t be thinking of my choice to be a writer. I made that decision over a decade ago. Maybe she is talking about my choice to quite working at Portrait Magazine, but that would make no sense, because that’s what she wanted me to do. But then I realized this other-dimensional Deanna might not have approved my leaving Portrait Magazine. After all, when you think about it, my Deanna wanted me to quit my stable employment job and live off my unstable freelance writing money; when most people would think the exact opposite would be want she would want. Then I remembered she said I don’t have to prove it to her. It was confusing. I don’t have to prove what to her? That I’m a good writer? My book was a Critic’s Choice from the Toronto Star and the Hamilton Spectator. Of course I am a good writer. It was in those newspapers and newspapers don’t lie. They have to do fact-checking and things like that. Then I thought, maybe in this other dimension, Michael Patterson was not known to be a good writer and when he decided to write a novel, this other-dimensional Deanna required a proof. But then I thought, if I don’t have to prove it her, then who would need a proof?” As you know formerly little sis, when another dimensional women has her arms around you and your face close to her mouth, you don’t want to stir up any controversy by asking questions out loud. She might grow fangs and chew my face off, or something else horrible like that. You can never tell with other-dimension women. Believe me. So I said, “I know.” That seemed like a safe answer to me and it was.

    Then she left the room and I stared at my two dimensional doppelgangers of my children and I realized to whom I would have to prove it, “…I just have to prove it to them.” After all, who else is there who would need a proof? Maybe in this other dimension, Deanna doesn’t make enough money as a pharmacy manager to have her husband be a kept man, like in my dimension.

    Well, formerly little sis, I don’t need to tell you what happened next. I didn’t want to create any suspicion, so I went to bed with my other dimensional wife and submitted to all the passionate things she wanted. Then the next morning, I found I had switched back to my normal dimension in my sleep, and everything was back the way I remembered it. My lovely Deanna from my dimension was back, and wearing her flannel nightgown, and everything that goes with that clothing choice. I don’t know why I temporarily moved into another dimension, but I do know that somewhere out there is a Michael Patterson who has to prove to people he is a good writer, and I feel pity for him.

    Michael Patterson


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