Christopher Moore's Blog

Miscellany from the Author Guy

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REVENGE! Because that’s the way I Roll!

February 22nd, 2009 · 19 Comments

So, yesterday I told you how I made a complete asshat of myself by yelling at an old lady in a wheelchair.

And until last night, that was really the only person in 18 years of touring, that I could ever consider a heckler. Until last night, but more about that later…

So a couple of years pass, and I’ve gotten over the fact that I’m a horrible human being for yelling at an old lady in a wheelchair, even if her hat was clearly stupid, which it was.

And I’m in San Francisco when Terry Pratchett is coming to town to promote his new book. And I’ve had the same editor as Terry for years, but we’ve never met. But in talking to my editor, she says, you should go by the event and say hi. He’d love to meet you. So I did.

So I’m sitting in a good sized crowd, with my lovely and talented wife-like girlfriend Chuck (yes, she was a girl we called Chuck long before Pushing Daisies –R.I.P.) and Terry gets up and starts to speak. But before he gets three words out, someone behind us yells.

“Speak up, you’re mumbling.”

And Terry is visibly shaken, and he was also not mumbling. In fact, he was enunciating quite clearly.

But he begins again, and two sentences in, someone yells,
“Would you speak up?! You’re talking into your chest!”

Which he wasn’t. He was speaking clearly and powerfully into the microphone.

And I bend over and whisper to Chuck, “It’s like that old lady in the hat at Yerba Buena.”

And Chuck looks back. Then turns around and says, “It is.”


And I turn around, and it’s her. The old lady in the stupid cowboy hat who sapped my public-speaking confidence, but this time I know three things: 1)Terry was not mumbling 2)the yelling is coming from an old lady in a wheelchair and 3)I could probably take her.
But I didn’t. I took the example of my British colleague in letters, and gallantly buggered on, ignoring the malevolent mechanized hag altogether.

No wonder Terry is the best-selling author in the U.K.

That said, I’m doing an event in the Bay Area next month. And Hat Lady, let it be known, I’m coming for you.

Oh, no, I won’t roll you down the steps like Richard Widmark in that noir film where he rolls the old lady down the steps, no matter how much you may deserve it. But I have one of those portable air horns. Those ones that can be heard from miles away. And when you least expect it, when you’re sitting there, warming up your raspy pipes to shout, “You’re mumbling!” I will sneak up behind you, and you WILL hear my message. You may not walk again, but you will stand. Oh yes. You will stand up.

Mumble that, grandma.

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19 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kevin Melnychuk // Feb 22, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Good stuff! I think you would enjoy Dee Sniders best story ever from The Hour. (A Canadian talk show) It will make you feel not so bad about yelling at an old lady in a wheel chair. I’ll give the youtube link.

  • 2 Rob L. // Feb 22, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    OK, first of all: BWAAAAH HA HAA HAA. Please capture this on videotape.

    2nd: I was in the crowd at Bookpeople today and on the way out I kept wanting to body-check the other patrons just so I could do the little British “sorry!” that was a running theme of your talk.

    3rd: Pushing Daisies fan? Surely you must have the connections and the pull to save the series; get on it, author guy!

  • 3 Chip // Feb 22, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Great gig today at Bookpeople! Meant to tell you, when I offered to get you a tamale and you told me you were out of hats, that I would take the sunscreen (overheard you saying to someone you were signing for earlier that you couldn’t find what you were looking for in your manbag for that person but you did have some sunscreen if she wanted it). However I found myself surprisingly a little tongue-tied at actually talking with you.

    You were a delight to get to spend some time with today. Thanks for coming to Austin, and for all of your wonderful books. I look forward to reading Fool, as well as to your next offering.

    Chip Waldron

  • 4 Kelli // Feb 23, 2009 at 3:39 am

    OMFG that is hilarious. I am reading before heading out to work at 530 am and I sincerely laughed out loud, scared the bat-crap out of the cat, and I think I woke the child upstairs.

    I am so looking forward to DC next week.

    Yeah, and could you get on that Pushing Daiseies thing? 🙂

  • 5 Heather // Feb 23, 2009 at 11:35 am

    I had to forward this entry on, I’m laughing so hard I’m crying over here.

    Your parting threat is what did me in. Jeebus.

  • 6 Mary // Feb 23, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    This story and yesterday’s were so hilarious that I fell into a coughing fit. Then, I posted them on Twitter. Too good not to share.

  • 7 LorrieOC // Feb 23, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Heather did forward on…my fave part, which I hope to memorize and use later, is


    That’s better than the “Sweet Tap Dancin Christ” we use now!

  • 8 Stefan Jones // Feb 23, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Hmnm! I’ve been introducing friends to Christopher Moore by saying “He’s kind of a raunchy American version of Terry Pratchett.”

    * * *

    Mr. Moore, have you considered “tuckerizing” the old bat? You know, make her a character in a book and then do something awful to her, like drowning in a flood of processed American cheese food?

  • 9 Picard // Feb 23, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    I-like-the way-Stephan-Jones-thinks!–But,-you-could-have-screwy things-happen-to-her-all-through-the-book.–She-obviously-needs-more-than-one-fictional-“incident”.–There’s-stairways,-subway-trains,-elevators,-pianos-being-lifted in-the-air,-coyotes,-(let’s-see-how-fast-she-can-wheel),-giant-shaved,-vampire-cats,-and-all-kinds-of-dangers-lurking-about-old-ladies-in-red-cowboy-hats,-as-they-roll-along. I-just-sayin’.–
    Sorry-about-the-dashes,-my-keyboard-has-lost-it’s-mind.- That’s-the-space-bar-doing-that.

  • 10 Seanjangles // Feb 23, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    I think someone needs a sweet Cowboy hat for their next talk. That would show her.

  • 11 Brenda // Feb 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Could present her with a Cowboy hat…one that says “The Taster”…Poor little ole deaf soul…mean as a snake.

  • 12 Brenda // Feb 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Heeheehee…and a pair of fuckstockings.

  • 13 Amanda W // Feb 23, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    I love the idea of having the lady in a book and smacking her around. Request!

  • 14 Tommy // Feb 24, 2009 at 2:22 am

    Great job at Bookpeople last night! (Sorry!) My fiance and I drove up from Houston to get to meet you and visit my grandparents. Your stories are that much more hilarious when you get to tell them in person. We thought afterwards that it must have been a bit odd too see three character names go by in a row (Abbi [who was way too bright and shiney to be Abbi Normal], Tommy, and Kendra), and that next time we get to see you I’m getting Bloodsucking Fiends signed, since when I first read it I was 20 or 21 and managing a night crew at a grocery store. I felt a bit connected to the character, to say the least.

  • 15 albertriehle // Feb 24, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    If only those of us in Chicago had the chance to heckle you! Oh, the fun we’d have saying things like sausage and Blagojevich while you tried to speak!

    But alas, we are to be ignored.

  • 16 Picard // Feb 25, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Wonder if the red hat bat is from Kittysnoggin?

  • 17 Charlie // Feb 25, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Hey, she may be deaf, but at least she has good taste in literature. She could be reading that Vietnamese/James Patterson dreck. I fear that I may one day be that fashion challenged little old lady, wrapped in a snuggie screaming at the unsuspecting and undeserving.

  • 18 litchick2066 // Feb 26, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    You are not alone my friend; you are not alone.

  • 19 Apuch // Feb 26, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Most enjoyable meeting you tonight. I think if I had to choose a favorite character I would go with your Charlie Asher or Rincewind. Hope you like the brownies. Sorry, no great gift of Jah in them, maybe next time. Thanks for the hat and the book signing. That signing tour must be difficult. It would bother me. I am sure I will love this book as much as the others. Thank you for making reading such a joy.

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