Thursday, August 19, 2010

BCPL Library Presents Sylvia’s Book Signing Perhaps

By Ann Sullivan

Sylvia, having borrowed paper and pen from me, was busily engaged writing something. From the number of pages piling up on the rug, I figured it must be something terribly important.
After an hour and a half of intense scribbling, Sylvia dropped her pen and shook her paw. “Writer’s cramp,” she said in explanation. “By the way, when I finish my book will the Baldwin Cabin Public Library give me a Book Signing?”
“So that’s what you’re writing – a whole book. That’s very ambitious. If, and it’s a very big if, you get it published, the library will give you a Book Signing, I’m sure,” I said from the depths of my comfortable chair.
“It’ll be published all right,” Sylvia said.
“How come you’re so confident? It’s not all that easy to get something published.”
“It is when you know the secret,” she said, picking up her pen.
“What’s the secret? I wish I knew.”
.”You gotta have a gimmick.”
“It seems to me I’ve heard that song before. It’s from an old familiar score.”
“Huh?” was Sylvia’s reply.
“For your information, ‘You Gotta Have A Gimmick’ is the title of a song sung by three strippers in the Broadway show GYPSY. Music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Book by Arthur Laurents.”
“Oh,” said Sylvia. “That must have been before my time. But I guess nothing is before your time.”
“So what’s your gimmick?” I asked to change the subject.
“Well,” she lowered her voice even though there was no one listening except possibly Gordo who was sleeping on the porch in one of his three beds. “I’ve been studying mysteries since the library has a lot of them, and I discovered something.”
“What’s that?”
“There are a lot of mysteries in which the protagonist is a cat or a dog. Mostly a cat, I don’t know why.”
“So you’re writing about a dog detective, is that it?”
“That’s only part of it. My detective agency has both a dog and a cat.”
“That’s pretty good.”
“Sure it is, but there’s more.”
“More? Are you going to have birds and turtles in your agency, too?”
“That’s not a bad idea but not what I had in mind. In my study of mysteries, I also discovered that a great many of the books have recipes in them. Their detectives are cooks. My dog and cat are going to be amateur chefs and the book will be chock full of recipes for both animals and humans.”
“That’s a gimmick alright. But there’s just one problem. You can’t cook.”
“Neither could Mrs. Beeton and she was considered the last word in food preparation in the late 1800s.”
“True, but how did you know that?”
“Netflicks. I was watching through the window when you played the DVD the other night.”
“Well, you’ve certainly thought of everything.”
“True,” she said without a trace of modesty. “So, do I get my Book Signing?”
“You’d better believe it.”
“Thank you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go out and bark all night.”

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