Friday, December 16, 2011

601. What Should I Say?

So there I was, making The Boss buy five copies of my book (don’t tell her this, but I was prepared to just give them to her) when she had to go and say this thing that totally freaked me out. Completely out of nowhere, she says,

“And go ahead and sign them.”

Sign them???? You mean, like, autograph? Like I am super-duper famous or something?

I did what I always do when woefully unprepared for something: I giggled.

“Uh, ha ha ha, uh, you mean, write my name?”

“Yep. That’d be great!”

I opened the first book. “Sign it to whom?”

“That one is for my sister-in-law, Nikki.”

I immediately thought back to that time I met former First Lady Barbara Bush on a flight and struck up a conversation.  Yes, her side of the dialogue ended in “I'll have the chicken, please,” but when I asked her for her autograph, she signed a cocktail napkin with a semi-generic Best Wishes.  Hey, if it's good enough for the former President's wife, it's good enough for me: 

I opened up my book and flipped to the title page.  I wrote, “For Nikki. Best Wishes. MOV”

The Boss took one look at it and her smile turned to a frown.

“Did I spell Nikki wrong? I have an extra book in my car …”

“No, no, no—it’s spelled right. It’s just, I thought since you are a writer and all,” (here she said writer like one might say magical princess movie star genius) “that you might sign something kind of clever. 'Best wishes' is boring.”

The Boss was the boss for one reason and one reason only: she said exactly what was on her mind at all times. You never for a second stopped and thought, Huh, I wonder what The Boss is mad about. No. You knew that she was mad that you forgot to charge that last customer the extra $30 for overnight shipping because she told you right to your face, “You forgot to charge that customer for overnight and now the company has to eat the difference. Do it again and you’re fired.”

She couldn’t fire me for writing a dumb inscription, could she?

“Boss, what do you want me to say on the next book?”

Right then, Daphne walked up. “I know! You could say, ‘Keep laughing.’ That sounds cute!”

“I like that, Daphne. That’s what I’ll write.”  Daphne always came up with good stuff.  If you forgot to tell a customer to buy chocolate to go with the fondue pot, there was Daphne holding a box of bittersweet or white chocolate, ready to help. 

I wrote Daphne's suggestion neatly on the next book.

The Boss smiled one of those fake smiles she does when someone is returning an entire set of used copper pans without the receipt.

“What else you got?” she asked in her best no-nonsense tone.

“How about ‘See the funny’?” I offered lamely.

“Noooooooooo …”

Geesh, how hard could it be? She was right, I’m a writer. I should have some catchy little catch phrase to, uh, catch people’s attention when I sign their book. Some little saying that people would read and say, “That MOV! She is so profound!”

Okay, readers. I need your help here. My book signing party is in January. Besides my name, what should I write on the inscriptions? Here are a few choices I came up with:
  • Recognize the funny
  • See the funny
  • Find the funny
  • Live the laughter
  • Keep laughing
  • Laugh more
  • Be happy
  • May your days be filled with laughs
  • Smile always 
  • Live, laugh, love
  • Embrace the quirky
I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know!!!!! It needs to be short, clever, and hopefully somewhat original.  Help! Please give me your ideas and suggestions!



  1. How about "Laugh. I know where you live."

  2. Here is one: Be sure to read the entire book, there will be a mandatory quiz after words.

    (like how I made it "after words" like after the words of the book, well, um, never mind)

  3. Two suggestions: "We'll always have Paris,". . .no. or "Round up the usual suspects, no. . .Kait's and esbboston's suggestions are perfect. See you in January!

  4. How about "No refunds."

    And may I add, I despise "Live, Laugh, Love." Stop already! It's everywhere and it's making me crazy!

  5. I really like Kait's suggestion. I got nothin'.

  6. I'm adding a vote for Kait's suggestion. Quirky, vaguely threatening... I like it.

  7. I thought of Yuk it up and gave myself the frowny face.

  8. My opinions:

    The ones involving '-funny'. No. NO. NEVER.

    'Live the Laughter'. No. Just no.

    "Keep laughing". YES! YES! USE IT! Tilt your writing a bit and make it a motherly "[italics]Keep laughing." That would be sweet.

    'Laugh more'. No. Don't. It sounds like an order, and I do not like being ordered.

    'Be Happy'. No. :( It sounds like an order.

    'May your days be filled with laughs'. YES! Always tilt your writing a bit, like tilted blog writing, and that will make it seem lovely.

    'Smile always'. Mehhhh. It sounds like an order. Just "Smile!" might work.

    'Live, Laugh, Love'. Overused. :( No.

    'Embrace the quirky' kind of turns me off. No. :(

    'No refunds'. YES.

    -Motaki, Aspiring Falconer and Heartless Signing-Line Destroyer

  9. jo--gotta tell ya', I am leaning toward yours...


  10. I vote for "Find the funny" and "Live the laughter." I wish I had some helpful suggestions, but I too find this really, really hard.

  11. I saw the '"Live, Laugh, Love" sign one day at the store and came up with an -er version for the party crowd: "Liver, Laughter, Lover"

  12. How about...I used up all of my good writing ideas in this book, so read on...or maybe that is just what you could've told the boss lady...

  13. "you'll beg for more"

  14. See the absurd in the everyday.



  15. "Find the Funny. It's on page 86."


    "Now that I've signed it, this book is not returnable.

  16. terry-- I thought page 86 was the typo?? Find the typo??

    MOV :)

  17. there are two typos

  18. I know. Damn editor is soooooo fired! (oh, wait, I was the eidtor. Yikes.) Thank you for buying the book anyway!!!!

    (another typo? or intentional?)

  19. ok, everyone, here is what I decided:

    Laugh every day.

    ps--thanks for all the awesome suggestions!!!


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