He lives at the far edge of town, in a single wide trailer from 1978. He has a “three season porch” which is really a wood stairway that he wrapped plastic insulation around, and called it good. By the front door is a sign that says, “it’s 4:20 somewhere.” (If you try to correct him on this point, because it’s not always twenty after the hour, he’ll give you a blank stare.) You wish he would just get a washing machine, because every time he goes to the laundromat, he has to tell people about how the Clinton’s had those people killed in the ’90’s, and Hillary is in a coven- “She’s an honest to God witch! No shame about it, neither,” and Benghazi. Just, you know, Benghazi. Then he lights up a smoke and gazes into the distance in that weird way he has.
No one knows how he makes his money, or what happened to his cat. But he does have money, because sometimes, when you were a kid, he would just slip you a hundred dollar bill, just like that. And also there’s these women who hang out at the trailer, and drive him around a lot, because he doesn’t have a car. “It’d get me into too much trouble,” he says. So, what to get him for Christmas?
On a lark, you get him this book about going cross-country on the Greyhound– because you know he’s done it, a few times. (He doesn’t believe in flying because they check your ID. And that’s how they get you, you know. The ID.) And also, it’s a short book, and it has pictures. A few weeks later, he’s all over the Facebook talking about this book he got. His friends all have the same reaction:
“I didn’t know you could read!”
“Yeah,” he says, “I don’t normally, but this one’s got pictures!”
Look what just hit the press! I illustrated this book for my dear old friend, Yosha Bourgea. (Yosha is such an old friend that he is a main character in Exhaust(ed): The 99% true story of a bus trip gone wrong. It’s dangerous business, being an old friend of mine.) Amazon is offering Murgatroyd Buttercups half price ($5.49) for the first week! Next Monday, the price will change to $10.98, so buy it now to save. If you need a gift for a child, this is a good bet. It’s fully illustrated, 84 pages, but still small enough to fit into a large sock. I really put my heart into the illustrations, and I’m super proud of the result. Yosha wrote the story, which is silly and wonderful. The main character reminds me quite a bit of one of my all time favorite characters, Pippi Longstocking.
*Wiscconsin and Illinois friends: Buy this book from Amazon this week, bring it with you to the Jangle Soapworks open house on December second, and I will have a special free gift waiting for you. Also, I’ll sign your copy!
It’s like the Love Boat, only sleazier. Our eighteen-year-old heroine (me, Shoshanah, years and years ago) travels across the United States by Greyhound bus, with only her Grace Kelly coat and her Elements of Style book to protect her. Original art work (by me, again) adds to this eccentric tale of travel on the cheap in 1993. Both terrifying and hilarious, this ill-conceived road trip is doomed from the start. It’s funny because it’s 99% true.
Enter the giveaway at Goodreads: