On Sunday we do beginnings. Since we’ve already done the beginning of Up On The Woof Top (the new Chet and Bernie Christmas/holiday novel, which perhaps would look nice under someone’s tree) how about we do the beginning of the second chapter?

Aside from Bernie, I’ve heard other speakers, Senator Wray, for example, although maybe not a senator anymore – can you still be a senator when you’re wearing an orange jumpsuit and breaking rocks in the hot sun? Right there is the kind of thing I don’t know, but we’re way off course because what I was getting to was the fact that every single one of those speakers had notes in hand, sometimes cards, sometimes – as in Bernie’s case, a bunch of papers, which had gotten away from him, perhaps more than once, but that might have been his sense of humor, and there’d certainly been lots of laughter, especially the first few times it happened – but I’d never seen a speaker with no notes at all, not until now.

Dame Ariadne Carlisle held no notes. All she had was a gold pen, a big fat one, dangling from the fingers of one hand. Here’s something crazy. I wanted that big fat gold pen, wanted it bad. Normally I don’t chew on metal, but I was sure that this gold pen would be charmingly springy to chew on, as long as I didn’t really chew but just sort of held it in my mouth, not too hard, not too soft, but just right. That, by the way, is the kind of thing I do know.