First of all, I wanted to let you know that you have been one of my very favorite authors for a long time. I remember reading “Fat Men from Outer Space” as a kid in summer camp. I actually faked being sick so I could finish it, instead of hiking in the wonderful Alps. As I grew older my family and I would borrow your books on tape/CD from the library and listen to them around the radio as if it were 1945 instead of the late 1990’s.
Often times I would come home to a little cassette tape on my bed or desk with “Pinkie Baby” written on it, and it would be a broadcast from NPR that my mother or father somehow managed to tape while I was at school, karate or doing whatever.
Your dog stories helped me get through college, when all I wanted was to bring my pet (even though he was a cat) to my dorm to cuddle. I would listen to many of your tapes at night. And when I would come home to visit, I would sneak into my parent’s room and see if there were any new yellow cassette tapes with the words “NPR: PINKIE BABY!”
My first husband did not find you funny, at all. Which should have been a sign from the get go. I still remember when I kept saying “eat pudding” as a response to a lecture he gave me about something that I did wrong. But to be honest, I did do so many things wrong, I was bound to get tired of hearing it. When I asked him to leave, I remember hiding all my yellow cassettes, for fear he’d break them. When I went home to visit my parents there was no “Pinkie Baby” cassette anywhere. My parents had entered the digital age (finally) and were all about the podcasts. I had no idea how to even get a podcast because my now ex-husband was in control of all of those things. So I learned how to do it.
Since then I have remarried someone who does not mind hearing your podcasts (that I can get on my own), and laughs when I say “Eat Pudding” at various times. Often times I find myself in my school library, I teach 7th grade, suggesting your books to kids who want something different, who have a sharp wit, or who just want to know what I read when I was their age.
Thank you ever so much for being more than slightly silly, and ever uplifting.