April's Real Blog

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Getting it

More from Mike abt the book signing @ Lilliput's:

Formerly little sis. I have found that after years of living in Milborough, there are certain things you can expect as a matter of course. First is that even though dad has been working as a dentist in this town for almost 30 years now, many people still walk around with huge gaps between their teeth. You would think they would seek out dad and get the type of quality dental care we got, where our teeth only show from our mouths on special occasions. Second is that there are quite a few women in Milborough with hairstyles so bad, one can only hope that they are wearing a wig. Third is that married men in Milborough don’t get any, and their wives are completely humourless about anything which might indicate they are going to get any.

Case in point. I was at my book-signing at Lilliput’s, sitting at my signing table. Then, as things often happen in Milborough, everything went dark for no reason; but I could see the silhouette of someone approaching the table. She said, “Would you sign this for my husband? His name is Bill.” She leaned way over the table, and even in the dark I could tell she was a particularly porcine person. I said “Certainly,” all the while hoping she was going to hand me a book and not suggest I sign the body part which was swaying over the table. Fortunately she did hand over the book.

Then the lights popped back up, but I was prepared for it, by using my usual trick of temporarily removing my eyes. When my eyes returned, I saw a no-necked, gap-toothed, large-nosed, glasses-wearing woman. I sincerely hoped she was wearing a wig, because her hairline went almost as far back as Gordon Mayes’. I said to her, “Is he getting it for Christmas?” I presume you are old enough to catch my little double-entendre; but this lady did not, at least not initially. She replied, “No. He’s getting it tonight.” This, of course, kept me from using my favourite method of signing books given at Christmas to husbands. “For…[name]…Merry Christmas. Here’s hoping your wife is wearing a Santa hat when you’re getting it during the holiday season.”

So I said, “OK!” to her request and wrote an alternative, “For…Bill…Who’s getting it…tonight.” I wrote it with my usual air of sophistication, including my raised pinky finger. Then I handed it to her with my usual Patterson smirk which comes whenever I have written a great pun. But as I said before, Milborough wives are notoriously humourless when it comes to this subject, and she just gave me an eyeless, mouthless stare; which said to me, “You should be glad I do not have any eyes or a mouth, or you would die instantly from the withering glare I would be giving you.” Honestly I was fairly happy that she had managed to remove those gapped teeth from view, due to her anger. Most times I don’t like the look of an angry woman; but when there are gapped teeth involved, I will make an exception.

As had happened a few times during the course of the evening, when I was signing books, the customer was less than satisfied with my little display of humour. I was forced to call mom’s (former) worker, Beatrix Potter, I mean Beatrice Alfalfa. Bea had long sense gotten tired of me saying “A, B, C?” to her, even after I explained it meant, “Hey, Bea! See?” So, I just said, “Uh…Bea? Could I get a fresh copy, please?

A few minutes later I was signing, “For…Bill...As Harvey Rood loved Sheilagh Shaugnessey, may you love your wife, who gave you this book. Michael Patterson.” Then I pointed her over to my dad and said, “You really need to go and talk to my father. You have such a lovely smile, and my dad really loves smiles like yours.” She did, but dad was too horrified to give her his card. As I said, formerly little sis, in Milborough, there are certain things you can expect as a matter of course.

Michael Patterson
Mike, I saw that woman U R talking abt reminded me of C'ing the pix from Shawna-Marie's wedding, and I cdn't help wondering when Anthony's employee Julia had gotten married and started wearing glasses. But then I realized this chick is older and wondered if she cd B Julia's auntie.

Jeremy, I M not mad @ U. I know that sumtymez when U stuff, thingz come out wrong and then when U tryta fix what U just sed, thingz come out wronger and wronger.


Labels: , , ,


  • At 6:53 AM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    Oh, my goodness. Didn't your brother question why a woman would buy her husband a book in which an ill-used wife let her hubby freeze to death? Let's just say I'd hate to be Bill right about now. The dedication should read 'Play nice or you'll envy Harvey.'

  • At 7:17 AM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    i think mayB she didn't know what the book was abt. mite B that she saw the sign w/"toronto star critic's choice" and just thot the book wd B a good gift. poor thing.


  • At 9:48 AM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    If she wasn't disappointed enough by his frat-boy humor, reading his warped version of Mrs Dingle's life story is bound to be a huge let-down. The only consolation would be is if Bill thought it would come in handy to level a table.

  • At 12:26 PM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. That’s the Toronto Star and the Hamilton Spectator Critic's Choice, and no, the same critic does not work for both papers. In both the interviews set up by my publishers Reiner and Browne, I was able to wow them not only with my personality but with my writing skills. I am sure I can find the articles for you, if you are interested in reading them, now that I have a best-seller. Perhaps by reading them you would find out things about your brother you never knew before. For example, in the Toronto Star article, the author of the article was quite taken with my explanation as to why Sheilagh’s eyes had to be a particular shade of azure.

    As to your catfish friend’s comment that Stone Season would be good for leveling tables, I must admit I have not tried that. One of things I have noticed about my book is that the thickness of it seems to change every time I look at a copy, so it is possible on one of its thinner moments, it might seem perfectly adequate for table leveling. One of the nice things about writing a really great book, is knowing that it touches people on levels you would have never imagined when you wrote it, and maybe one of those levels can be used to level a table.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 12:36 PM, Blogger howard said…


    Interesting your brother mentions my wife Beatrice and her part at his book-signing at Lilliput’s. I remember when she came home from that event, and she was completely in silhouette. That’s how you can really tell if someone had a bad day, if they are completely black. She said, “The idiot kept doing joke signatures and the customers would refuse to take them, so then he would want fresh copies to sign. We have a whole storage area in the back filled full of joke signatures and we can never get rid of those books.” I would like to say I am surprised, but I am not.

    It took quite a bit to get Beatrice out of her silhouetted mood, and even the next day, María and Ana noticed spots I had missed.

    Howard Bunt

  • At 12:46 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, i am rilly glad ur the kinda girl who unnerstands guy’z aren’t perfect, especially me. i kept on sayin’ the wrong thing & then u finally sed, “jeremy. be quiet & u’ll get a present.” & i sed, “4 xmas?” & u sed, “jeremy. be quiet & u’ll get it 2nite.” i gotta say i liked ur present. it wuz rilly good 4 keepin’ me frum sayin’ nemore st00pid thingz.

    also thanx 4 goin’ 2c the hockey game w/me last nite, evn tho the leafs lost. mebbe next tyme we go, the leafs will win & i won’t say nethin’ st00pid. or how ‘bout, the leafs will win. thass more likely.

  • At 12:49 PM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    Next time you do this, friend, drink some strong coffee first. That way, you won't wind up on auto-pilot and look a fool.

  • At 12:57 PM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Why, Amazon River catfish supervillain! I believe this is the first time your advice matched the same advice my mother has given me. She often says to me, "Mike. A Patterson never does anything without coffee nearby." Excellent advice, my catfish friend.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 5:30 PM, Blogger Cedar said…

    I don't think this lady looks too much like Julia. They have similiar noses, but I think Julia is much prettier.

  • At 9:17 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    yay, josh the geek god came over 2 my house an' fixed my 'puter. it seemz i had a buncha dust on the processor and the keybd needed 2 b replace. i m back in biz. so awesum!

    jeremy, don't feel 2 bad. i say st00pid things @ times, like when i told mike i wd read his book when it b-came a best-seller. i shda told him i wd read it never.

    howard, did beatrice mention her idea 4 getting rid of those spoiled books w/jokey inscriptions? she is thinking of setting up a special "buffoon signature" display and selling them like it's a special feature.

    cedar, i think i know what u mean, but i noticed that julia looked diff in, like, every pic i saw of her. sum she looked more like the woman in the store who had a husband named bill--in others, less so.



  • At 1:11 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    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


Post a Comment

<< Home