In David Sedaris's story "Youth in Asia," he relays the story of how his mother sent him a check to cover the cost of having his cat cremated. He writes:
In the left-hand corner, on the line marked MEMO, she'd written, "Pet burning."
Tonight, I got a check of my own.
It's no secret I'm a big fan of David Sedaris. (I'm just going to skip over the not one, not two, but THREE different random lists I've posted that mention him.) Tonight he was at Borders and since Joe left for Minneapolis to visit his brother today, I took Alex with me to the mall for the reading. He started with a new story (one he said he'd never read) about the preponderance of public making-out in Paris. (Aside 1: I really wanted to say "necking" there because "public making-out" seems awkward, but who on earth says "necking" anymore? Aside 2: I thought I'd turned into a prude when I saw all the public making-out in Paris in March, so it was a relief to know that it isn't just me.) He went on to read a fable about a cat who visits a baboon for some grooming before attending a party and then read a bunch of entries from his diary.
The normal Q&A followed and I asked if he had any good books to recommend, and he did, joking that this was going to seem like a set-up since we were in a bookstore and I went along, laughing and saying I'd pick up my check after the reading. During the Q&A, however, he said he had a project that maybe we could help with. "I need a nerd," he proclaimed. He was going to pick someone and then suggested someone in the crowd might be a better nerd-spotter, but then people wanted clarification. What would this nerd need to do? A job description was in order. Sedaris revealed that someone had said they saw him on Twitter ("Tweeter" he called it), but he is not, in fact, on Twitter. He was disturbed that he had an impostor and needed help putting a stop to this and would pay someone $50 for this service. Being a long-time Twitter-er and having one of its founders as a friend (meaning I can send him a direct message), I immediately piped up "Oh, I can take care of that!"
Brash? Probably. But what the hell - I wasn't positive I could fix it, but I was damn sure I could come closer than anyone else there! Sedaris told me to come up and see him after the reading, so Alex and I marched over and waited in the priority line to talk to him.
And yes, my seven-year-old knows who David Sedaris is. He pronounced the whole event "cool" and said, "As far as I know, I'm the first kid in my whole second grade that has gotten to meet David Sedaris." No offense to Sedaris, but I assured him he's probably the only kid in his whole second grade who even knows who David Sedaris is. Sedaris also seemed impressed when he offered Alex some candy and Alex politely answered, "No, thank you." I'm not sure what was more remarkable to him - the manners or the fact that he turned down chocolate.
Anyhow, we had a short conversation about Twitter and what I would do to help him out and suddenly he pulls out his checkbook. I insisted he didn't need to pay me and he insisted that he did, and then Alex chimed in saying, "Let him pay you, Mommy!" So I let David Sedaris write me a check for $50. Then he pulled out a little note pad from a Ritz-Carlton and wrote his email address on it and gave it to me. It wasn't until after I'd left the bookstore that I noticed the memo line he wrote:
Some people would be most excited about the check. Some would be most thrilled over the email address. (Not that I'm not.) Perhaps I'm easily amused, but it's the check memo that does it for me.