For some time now, I’ve been meaning to post more letters from my mailbag/inbox. This letter, from Stephanie, is a recent favourite. As with Graci’s letter, it has been edited for the purposes of modesty. Most of the compliments aimed my way have been taken out. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like to receive compliments. I just don’t think it’s seemly to post them. As the beer sellers like to say, I AM CANADIAN!
Hi Susan Juby,
Before I start with my letter, I would personally like to apologize. I am not apologizing because I am some escaped convict who likes to read your books in their spare time, while trying to get free from jail. Oh no. I am apologizing as this letter may confuse you, and you may be tempted to throw it in a fire when you’re done reading it. But you don’t seem like a letter-throwing-in-the-fire type person. Actually I’m not sure even why you would throw it in your fire, but anyways on with my letter!
(Thank you for advisory message. You’re right that I’m not much for burning letters. Or books. Or even bras for that matter. But I approve of covering one’s bases and preparing for the worst.)
Hi! How are you? Right now, I am wondering if you get asked a lot in letters how you are feeling at the moment.
(Actually, I don’t get asked that as much as I would like. So thank you.)
Well anyway, I hope you are feeing happy and you are having a good day. Unfortunately I am not having a good day. Today I went outside to my backyard to get some fresh air. (My mum says I spend too much time inside reading. Well maybe I do.) Then all of a sudden, a rabid soccer ball came out of nowhere and hit me in the head. Yes, a rabid soccer ball. Fortunately for me, I did not suffer a traumatizing, life threatening concussion, so I am able to write you this letter.
(Thank the gods for small mercies! I’m glad the soccer ball did not inflict terrible injuries! You may want to point out to your mom that few people who are safely reading indoors have to deal with rogue soccer balls. It’s just a suggestion… Please don’t tell her it was my suggestion.)
[Insert extremely kind compliments here.] I love how you describe Alice, as it reminds me of myself. I too was one of those children that preferred to read and was highly advanced at the age of seven. (Though it seems I’m not highly advanced anymore.) Although I never dressed up as a hobbit when I went to school, occasionally on Easter my cousin and I would dress up as fairies/unicorns. We would then walk around her house, speaking our fairy/unicorn language. (We don’t dress up like that anymore though.) The other thing I loved about your books is how I couldn’t stop laughing. When ever I was reading one of the books, I would randomly start laughing. This would usually be followed by people around me staring at me as if I was crazy. Thank you Susan Juby, for letting everyone I know, that I really am as crazy as I seem. (Although I’m not a put-me-in-a-mental-institution crazy or even an I-want-to-take-over-the-world crazy type person.)
(Thank YOU Stephanie for making me laugh three times in the space of one paragraph!)
The Alice, I Think TV show is great. The Friday that it premiered on the Comedy Network, I convinced my mom to watch the show with me. I told her that she would love the show, and that she would want to watch it with me each week. (I personally think the only reason she watched it with me, was so that she could work on this needle point thing that she does, at the same time while she pretended to watch the show.) So anyways, my mom started watching the show with me and now she loves it. (Mostly I think because she can relate to many of the situations.) My mother even said to me “Wow, Alice’s mother is a little strange.” (She had just seen Diane walk out in her bra and underwear.) “Well, I’m not that weird” All I could think of, were the many times when she did things equivalent to that amount of embarrassment.
(I think the show’s creators would be very happy to know that you are your mom watched the show together. That’s a pretty great thing.)
Before I end my letter I just want to ask you a couple of questions. You can take as long as you want to answer these.
(You will note that I’ve taken several months. Sorry about that.)
Do you have a middle name?
(Sadly, I’ve just got the two. My mom gave my older brother a middle name, and then completely ran out of naming energy, so my two younger brothers and I only received first and last names. My older brother’s middle name is Darren. I think we should all be able to use it…)
What is your background? (like Italian, English, Scottish…haha)
(Mostly Scottish. Like Alice. But we’ve been in Canada a very long time, so the Scottish part is just wishful thinking at this point.)
Can you send an autograph to [address blocked out for the purposes of privacy.]
Will you be coming to Toronto or even Ontario in the near future for some sort of book endorsement or other purpose?
(I am not sure when I will next be in Toronto. It may not be until next fall when I have a book coming out. The book is called Riding Straight Forward and if all goes well, I may be able to ride it all the way to Ontario!)
If I come to Smithers in 2010 while on my way to the Olympics can I say hi to you?
(How fun that you may be attending the Olympics! Smithers is very far away from Vancouver. You’d have to go about 16 hours out of your way to find yourself in Smithers. And I actually live on Vancouver Island. Perhaps I’ll be doing some sort of event in Vancouver around then in which case I’d be very happy to meet you.)
Was your childhood anything like Alice’s?
(Not really. Alice’s family is more eccentric than mine and I was far less interesting than Alice. But I think we share a lot of the same feelings.)
Okay, well my question segment is over now. (Boo hoo.) But I do have one last thing to say. I read in your blog, in the letter from your talented Irish correspondent, that you like to learn new words. Because I am Italian (and I know only about 10 words in Italian) teach you a new word. Guastafesta. It’s a slang word that means “a party pooper”. It’s pronounced exactly as it looks. So there you go! I hope you liked my letter and that it doesn’t end up in a fire pit.
(Thank you for the new word. I will have many opportunities to use it, especially on myself. Guastafesta! And if you’re interested in becoming Out There’s Official Italian-Canadian Correspondent from Ontario, the job is yours. Maybe for the staff Christmas party I’ll set up a dinner at the local Pizza Hut for you and Graci from Ireland! If we get enough correspondents we could get our own section of the restaurant! I’ll ask for it to be roped off, because I think it could get quite wild and be disruptive to the other patrons.)
P.S. Today I found out a company that is building new subdivision in my town, is called McLeod’s Landing. Does that not remind you of something?
P.P.S I also realized that we have a street called Aubrey Side Road in my small town. It’s so weird, yet neat at the same time.
(Yes, it is. I sort of wish the Aubrey Side Road ran right through the new McLeod’s Landing subdivision. That would be quite poetic.)
Thanks for writing!
All the best,
Susan (Darren) Juby