The roar of the greasepaint, smell of the crowd is overwhelming as we wander through the Library of Sodding Literary Souls "Take Pity On Our Writerly Woe" Parade. Every year LSLS has this paradade, which, according to the laws of acronyms is abbreviated to TPOOWW in professional circles, but refered to affectionately by us as "To Poo or not too Poo" - or just plain poo. Scatological jokes are just one form of humour we delight in. As we muddle through the crowd of unwashed bodies and the overpowering stench of unwashed hair, damp wool and warm bodies pressed in close, past the loud colors of the painted faces of true devotees, so loud, I imagine them screaming, we come up with other jokes. Your mother wears Army boots today, contrasting with a long, billowing skirt made from a torn parachute we found in a field once. The boots lend a sense of authority to her as she leads the two of us along. Her hair glows blonde in the sun, and we follow it like a beacon, a darting will of the wisp. Your mother's always been an easy target for our jokes. We laugh at the idea of her being so in charge, so responsible, so grown up. She yells for us to catch up, and we mock her, screaming back "Drop everything and give me ten... books" and collapse laughing into the sea of people, old ladies with bunion feet, promenading poodles, and other weird literary types.
Your mother doesn't seem to notice. She keeps striding, her parachute billowing behind her.
She's crazy, you see. And you know what? I wish she was my mom... She's so cool. She's the coolest person I've ever known. She wear stillettos most of the time - except for when we go to library's or bookfairs. She says she's worried about being recognised. Before she got married she used to be an agent, she tells us. I think that means that she was a spy, because said something about gin and slush - and that sounds like secred codenames to me. And it's a secret too. She says that people mustn't know her identity. Sometimes, she calls us by weird nicknames. She has secret names for everything. All poodles are called Killer Yap. Some times she calls me Galley Cat. I'm not sure why. After all, my name's Bat Segundo. Yeah, Bat, not Cat. And sometimes she calls you terrapin, instead of George Junior. We don't mind though, because she takes us to cool places all the time. And we like laughing at angsty writers with her. She always says the funniest things. Finally we catch up to her. She's sniggering behind her hand at a group of earnest young writers who are debating about the merites of SASEs. We laugh too. After all, we may only be eight years old, but we're not nitwits. Then something weird happens. Some one looks up and sees your mom standing there and frowns. The guy advances. You're Miss Snark! He says. And your mom bundles us up and quickly herds us back through the crowd watching the parade. "No, I'm not." She says.
Of course she's not. Miss Snark? No way. Your mom's name is Mrs Clooney.
Spawn of Snark? oh dear dog...this calls for more than one gin.
Scoring to come