Saturday, 5 December 2009

Brian Doyle - It seemed like a good idea at the time!

I had noticed that Brian Doyle was coming to do a book reading and signing in the neighbourhood.  He is the author of many award winning books and particularily, "Angel Square" which 2 of 4 is currently reading in school.

A number of  Mr. Doyle's works are set in the neighbourhood during the same time period in which my Father grew up.  One of which is "Angel Square."   Mr. Doyle was also my highschool English teacher about 25 years ago.

The kids and I set off for the pub.  Yes, I said the pub.  At the time I didn't realize we would be going to a reading at a pub, but eventually as we stood outside the door realized, yes, it was indeed in a pub.

His manager assured me, even after one of the waitresses said the kids shouldn't come in, that it would be okay for the four of us to come in because it was also a family restaurant.  He had already started to read as we took our seats. Not long after we were seated he read the name "Lipschitz", one of the names used in his book.

"Well if his Lipschitz....what does his asshole do?" yelled out a patron from the audience.

The bar came alive with laughter.  Mr. Doyles manager went over to let the patrons know that there were children in the establishment.

About halfway through the final reading Mr. Doyle stops, leans over and asks,

"Excuse me, am I disturbing you?" politely to a man sitting square in the center of the pub.

"As a matter of fact you are!" He replies in a heavy French-Canadian accent.

"Just perfect!  This is perfect!" Mr. Doyle laughs and continues on.

"I just want to sit and enjoy my meal without having to listen to you!  Just some common courtesy for me during my meal is all I ask!" the French man continues.  He apparently wanted Mr. Doyle to immediately stop the reading and pack up his books.

Mr. Doyle continued to read as the waitress went over to explain that this event has been booked for weeks and that she's sorry he is not enjoying the reading, but he is welcome to leave should he wish.

He continues to grumble, others get up and start to yell at the French patron.  Brian Doyle jokingly yells,

"Break it up boys!" and continues to read on.

The French patron and his wife leave in a huff, the gentleman tossing his man purse over his shoulder as he leaves.

"Nice Purse!" Another patron from the crowd yells.  The bar breaks out into heavy laughter.  Even Mr. Doyle stops to regain his composure.

Finally as the door slams someone yells,

"And stay out!"

All in all I think it was a good experience for the kids.  They were able to attend their first book reading by a  famous Canadian author.  In a bar (family bar//restaurant).  Now they know what family bar/restaurants are like.   We got a book signed.  He says he remembers me, although I wonder.  I barely remember me from highschool.  And now I have a new joke for the next time I meet someone named "Lipschitz."  I'm sure they'll find in funny when I tell it;-)


Kurt said...

The French Canadian guy should lighten up.

Coincidentally, all the Christmas tree lots in our neighborhood are run by French Canadian hippies who sleep in their vans at night and really give you the hard sell.

Anonymous said...

What an amazing time and hooray for getting rid of grumpy guts,lol!

Thank you so much for your messages, lovely to hear from you and then to visit here and read your adventure with your family.

Yeah, good time by all!



Sandy said...

That story is great! How unique to go to a pub for a reading. I just discovered a great pub in our area, and they have THE best fish and chips. But darn, they only serve beer and wine, and I couldn't get my favorite Long Island Ice Tea.

This reminds me to go back soon.

What was that gent's problem anyway, geez.

BONNIE K said...

The mean man aside, it sounds like a very amusing evening to me!

Serena said...

There's always one in a crowd but, despite the negative attitude, it sounded like a fun time was had by all. The kids probably would have been quite excited to be sitting in the pub too.

Patti said...

I love to go to author readings and signings, and often bring the boys with me. RL Stine once told my little guy he was "a sick kid", and they both laughed. But the pub sounds like real fun, we'll have to try it sometime!

Mrsupole said...

It sounds like a fun time was had by all. I cannot remember my hubby ever saying that he went to any pubs there while growing up. I will have to ask him about it. But I do remember he has said the joke before. So maybe he knew someone by that name.

Although I would say that you should give Mr. Doyle the benefit of the doubt as to if he remembers you or not. He probably does, but not the way you look now. He probably remembers the you as a teenager in high school. On that show "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?", they sometimes have the contestants teachers come on and it is strange how they do remember the contestants and visa versa. I can still remember my kindergarden teachers name. And that was over half a century ago. Strange how one can remember some things.

God bless.

PS...hubby grew up in Niagara Falls, Canadian side, and family is still in Toronto.

Jessie said...

Sounds like a wonderful friendly atmosphere in the pub and so lovely that Mr Doyle had the support from everyone. Thanks so much for your kind comment on my blog, I'm so grateful to you and other bloggie friends who have made me feel like I'm not alone! love Jess xx

Anonymous said...

Holy! Imagine not being able to sit down to a quiet, candle lit dinner in such a classy joint!
Roughing it in the 'hood.

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

Hey! Hot Chocolate, you never told me what kind of a joint it was! Nice!