• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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Like a Fool I Went and Stayed Too Long

Two first-time authors in the last few months asked my advice about what to sign in people’s books at their readings. For The Forest for the Trees, I wrote: Keep Writing! For Food and Loathing, I wrote: Love and Doughnuts. And for The Bridge Ladies, I’d sometimes write: Don’t forget to pull trump. Or I’d write: Learn Bridge.  Or: Are You My Mother. Or: Get My Daughter Drugs! Or: Fuck me dead.

What do you sign?

20 Responses

  1. Petitions for impeachment.

  2. Forever young.

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Life is your story

  4. I’ve never asked for that advice. I tell you, it’s hard to think of anything witty with the person standing right there. I stick to the mundane and polite. “Thank you for reading!”

  5. Fair winds, friend.

  6. I’ve rarely had the opportunity, and I don’t remember what. All suggestions are welcome.

    (Hey, I could use that.)

  7. Live long and prosper

  8. I just wrote a little gift book about beer. I don’t even own the copyright, but probably I will sign them at least for my friends. Cheers! is too generic. Maybe Drink Local! Meh.

  9. Do emoji’s count?

  10. I have a list of six or so standards. If it’s a gift for someone, I ask a bit about that person to see what fits.

    Almost four months after the damn book was released, and signing copies remains my favorite part.

  11. Unfaithfully yours,

  12. My signing duties, at the moment, are confined to Day Job change orders and too many checks to insurance companies who don’t deserve my money.

    If the Fates ever allow my manuscript to reach the book signing stage, I’d like to print the words “enjoy the adventure” – for, isn’t that the goal?

  13. just to ghost ya wide eyes, and don’t make me cry ’cause I will, in spades: it be waht it be and then you just stop and rest in peace. The bugs do it, time has its hand in all things.

  14. Getting to this late, I’m sneaking in hopefully unseen. Yet I feel compelled to share. If you’re reading this, you should really stop here, it’s quite on the nose (actually elsewhere, far worse than nose).

    My first book, I gave 20-some copies to friends. Some of these, I’d copy a short passage, a piece of dialogue usually, from the book. Or a chapter name, such as “Well, it Felt Like a Tail,” or “Show us Your Truncheon, Officer.) You get the picture — silly, silly book, but fun for us Ne’er Grow Ups. (Hi Tetman!) I’d always write something to suit the person I was giving the book too. Whatever, all good.

    Then one day I gave a book to a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile. Just, “Here, have this book, I wrote it.” Didn’t sign it, write in it, nothing.
    “You have to sign it,” says he.
    “Really?” says I.
    “Yeah, of course,” says he. Then adds, voice humourless, serious now, “With your balls.”
    “No worries,” I tell him. Because obviously, he’s joking. Right? Yeah, well.
    He scurries into his office, brings back an ink-pad, opens it, hands it to me. So purple.
    “Really?” I ask. “Really really?”
    “You said you would,” says he, eyes wide, accusatory.
    I’ll tell you this much. Those ink-pads — not just purple, but soggier than one might imagine.

    As for the signature itself? (I mean, you’re still here, watching this train wreck, you must want to know.)
    The sight of the purple, wrinkled, rather map-like image on the title page made me wish I’d written the book twenty years earlier. Or been less (or more) hairy, or something. But then, I suppose, it’s a historical document like no other — a testicular time capsule if you will.

    Oh yeah. If you’ve done the job properly, it takes more than half a week to de-purple the old sandbag. And when writers write — even if they have to do it with their weather-beaten, ramshackle, tumble-down, drooping, and decidedly ancient balls — they do the job properly. Took five days, I reckon — but still, every now and then, I fancy I can see the slightest glimmer of purple. And I wonder if he ever even bothered to read the damn book.

    • I saw what you did there, harry. Hey, it was just the funniest book I’ve read in a long time (think decades). I think I told you I didn’t want to read it on the train because I didn’t want to be doubling over in uncontrollable laughter. Enough crazies on the train already.

      Here’s some Deep Purple for you. G’day, mate! (can I say that, even though I’m an American?)

  15. Harry, that took balls.
    I had a friend (ahem)once who had penile warts. Part of the treatment was to soak my, I mean his, cock in a jar of anti penile wart liquid. Nasty stuff, or so I heard. Also heard it required unique positioning. You can imagine. Anyhow, one time a friend came to visit during said treatment and barged right into the bedroom, looked down, got a funny look on his face and then just shrugged and said, “I’m here to return the book I borrowed. Thanks.” And that was that. I think my point here is men do all sorts of strange things with their genitalia.

    • Hahahahhaha, Mike. What a terrible pre-dick-a-ment for you — I mean, ummm, your friend — to get caught in. I really hope that’s found it’s way into a story. If not yet, then soon. Too good.

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