Saturday, October 06, 2007

An Ordinary Saturday in Greenwich...

Ah, yes, dear reader, the sky is cloudless and the weather is unseasonably warm and balmy. Everyone is wearing shorts, and there are smiles on every face you see. It can't last, but we're enjoying nature's bounty to the hilt while it lasts.

So much to report, so little time...the day began with a tag sale on Round Hill Road at which your scribe puchased a beautiful coffee table book published for the Town's 350th anniversary in 1990 (cover price $49.95; scribal price $5). Then it was off to the library and the bank, followed by a pleasant hour reading the local rag ("Armed Robbers Hit Bank" - like Willie Sutton, they must have figured out that that's where the money is, and decided Greenwich was as good a place to start as any; the local cops are clueless, as usual) and The New York Times, as well as doing the NYT crossword puzzle (in ink, of course).

After which your scribe moseyed down the Avenue, where he encountered a one dollar and a ten dollar bill lying in the middle of an intersection. At the risk of life and limb, he stooped to pick them up and add them to his "found money" stash. (The yearly take of found money has ranged from $65 to $150 over the past decade; your scribe puts it all in a jar, and at the end of the year uses it for a nice dinner or other treat. Greenwich Avenue may not be exactly paved with gold, but there's a fair amount of scrip and coinage to be found lying about thereon.)

Something in the back of his head was trying to remind him about an event at Richards, the haberdashery where Tony Blair stopped by a few weeks ago. Knowing that at least he would find a Saturday bagel if nothing else, your scribe wandered in, and found a gentleman who looked remarkably like Gene Wilder signing books. The reason for the resemblance was not far to seek, inasmuch as it was Mr. Wilder himself. Several of the youngsters asked him to sign their books as Willy Wonka, which suprised him for a moment; he then decided to put his own name, followed by "a.k.a. Willy Wonka". The kids were delighted.

Your scribe munched on a onion bagel and contemplated the scene. Then he noticed that a poster stated this was Mr. Wilder's debut novel. Bells started to ding in the scribal skull. Would Mr. Wilder mind doing a slightly longer inscription? Not at all, came the gracious response.

Mindful that he owed Miss Erica some form of recompense for her two long-distance telephone calls earlier in the week, your scribe dictated the inscription, as follows:

To Erica - With best wishes, from one debut novelist to another - Gene Wilder

"She'll faint when she gets this," said your scribe. "Oh, dear," said Mr. Wilder - "we can't have that." "Right into my arms," added your scribe, and Mr. Wilder laughed uproariously. "Oh, well, in that case..." he said. His wife, Helen, obviously a fellow romantic, beamed with pleasure.

"When is her novel coming out?" he inquired. "It's in process," replied your dauntless scribe, whose confidence in Miss Erica and her agent is unbounded. He was tempted to tell Mr. Wilder that the book is entitled "Trevor and the Tooth Fairy," but bit his tongue inasmuch as the title is still an open question. Thus we can only guess, dear reader, as to what his reaction would have been. Your scribe, for one, is certain that he would have absolutely loved it. After all, this is the man who starred in a movie called "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory".

The newly-signed book, BTW, is called "My French Whore", and it is billed as "a love story". Your scribe was tempted to buy a second copy for himself, but wiser counsels prevailed (no room!! - the book piles are overbalancing as we speak!!) and he instead headed back to the library to locate a returnable copy and post this blog. On the way he passed a happy-looking wedding party in the Bruce Park rose garden, which he took as a good sign that the book, at least, would find favor in Miss Erica's sight.

Well, it's too nice a day to stay inside blogging. But you can see, dear reader, as your scribe has often said before, that there is simply no such thing as an ordinary Saturday in Greenwich. All our Saturdays are extraordinary, all our citizens are above average, and...wait a minute...let's not start lifting lines from Garrison Keillor now. Let's just get outta here and enjoy this gorgeous weather!


Blogger Vicki said...

Sounds like you had a picture perfect day. :)

Love it when you find something you want and it's on sale. Always a good thing IMVHO.

Gene Wilder, how cool is that. Your town seems to have people pop in quite a bit.

Hope your Sunday is as good or better than your Saturday.

October 07, 2007 10:35 AM  
Blogger Sarah Darer Littman said...

Unsought Relationship Advice from the Author Babe:

Do not buy a woman with whom you are trying to seek a relationship a book entitled "My French Whore", even if it *is* inscribed to aforementioned woman by Gene Wilder himself.

Well, unless you are seeking *that* kind of relationship, but knowing the gentlemanly, romantic intentions of our Scribe, I would think not.

October 07, 2007 11:34 AM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

Thanks, Vicki!

Geez, AuthorBabe, aren't we a wet blanket today!

First of all, Wilder's book's title is replete with irony. The French girl in question is a rape victim of the Germans during WW I, and she becomes first the lover and then the heartthrob of an amiable AWOL American PFC who manages to masquerade as a legendary German spy. The tale is comic and tragic by turns, but there is never any question but that Annie is a thoroughgoing lady and her beloved an equally thoroughgoing gentleman.

You will want to read this book at one sitting (I argued with Wilder, who called it a novella and thus claimed he was merely a debut novella-ist; however, his wife Karen and the book flap blurb both agreed with me, so he gave in with good grace). Anyhow, it's short, impossible to put down, and utterly enthralling. I promise you you will cry humongously at the end.

As to your scribe's purely platonic relationship with Miss Erica (after all, Florida is a long way off, so platonic is the only option on the table here), it is hard to be "over the ears" in love (Wilder's phrase) with someone you've never met. On the other hand - and there's always another hand, it seems - if a person could fall in love with someone because of a blog, that person would be me, and that blog would be hers.

So your gentlemanly scribe (thanks for the character reference, BTW!) will let Miss Erica decide if she loves the present or hates it. She can always cut it up into little bits and mail it back to your scribe; or, more likely, methinks, give it a place of honor on her bookshelf and think fondly of him whenever she looks at it.

Finally, your scribe believes in seizing opportunity by the forelock (remember, it's bald behind), and since Wilder was the only debut novelist on offer yesterday who was willing to sign a book to his fellow debut novelist, it seemed like a good idea to follow through regardless of the title. And rembember, you can't tell a book by its cover! ;-)

October 07, 2007 2:06 PM  

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