Thursday, December 29, 2011

Oil or gas?

I am watching a television programme about two people competing against one another in buying old things and making a profit from re-selling them when the doorbell rings.
The show is about to announce a winner. I think my champion will win against the other person, neither of whom I know or care anything about.
There is a man in a short blue raincoat standing in the darkness outside my front door. He carries a clipboard and what appears to be an ID tag flapping across his breast on a string.
He hails me and asks: if I use oil or gas to heat my home? I ask why ? and he smiles and says not to worry, he is not selling anything.
He repeats the question with the breeziness of the totally programmed.
I ask his name; he says it does not matter, it is of no account.
I say, I have to close the door if he will not tell me who he is or what he wants.
But, he walks away into the night leaving me with an opened door and a confused mind.
The show is over when I sit down again and I don't know who won.
And I don't know what oil or gas wanted, either.
I ask around, but nobody else saw him.
I wonder if I dreamt him, this man with no name and nothing to sell who called to my home from the darkness when I least expected him.
Storytelling here

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Pyjamas

A man wants to know when the pyjamas will be in?
He is delaying the check-out queue at a discount supermarket.
His trolley has a number of groceries in it, sufficient unto the needs of an older man, which he is, and thin with it, a thinness that an east wind could pass by without too much interference.
He says he was told, two days ago, that a new stock of pyjamas would be in today. He is here now with an earlier purchase to be attended to by someone, anyone.
That others are delayed by him is of no consequence to the pursuit of perfect pyjamas.
The check-out girl is from a country where English is not the first language. Even if it was; she still could not understand his next comment.
"I need different pyjamas today," he tells everyone.
Some people nod in understanding. Pyjamas can be important to a contented life.
The girl says she does not know when new pyjamas will arrive and he may have his money back if he likes?
He accepts the offer for he says he needs a larger pair of pyjamas for two women.
One pair for two women?
He leaves then with refunded money in his pocket in quest of right-sized pyjamas; leaving the check-out girl bewildered, and the rest of us reviewing our own lifestyles.
Something is missing.
And he never even says Happy Christmas as he wanders out into the air.
Storytelling here

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Man called Brush

A man I meet says he used to sit beside me in school.
I don’t know him.
I ask when this was, thinking it might be someone who had a beard in school and is now clean shaven and that is why I don't recognise him.
In junior infants, he says.
I say I can't remember; mainly because my own children have been through senior infants since then and their children after them.
It's a generational thing.
He says he will never forget me and the time I won that spelling competition for a new pencil.
I won by spelling brush, I recall with a chilling flashback.
I put my hand in my pocket to give him some loose change; but stop when he tells me he is now a bank manager.
This he says apologetically as if he was destined for better things and is left on a ledge by a falling tide.
He says he likes my book.
That he has followed my progress since junior infants.
Which book, I ask, I have three published, and another to be published come the springing of the new year, I say immodestly.
Brush, he says and walks away.
I never wrote about a brush in my life.
I still don't know who he is.
Storytelling here

Monday, September 5, 2011

Selling a bestseller

I am in a bookshop. A mother and a daughter are wondering whether to buy my book as a present for an older man.
I wish to encourage them, so I take down a copy of the same book and make for the cash desk as if I am buying a copy myself.
This is a risky strategy for my picture is on the back cover of the book as the author.
My hope is that they will not recognise me for I believe I am a wiser and fuller person than I was when that picture was taken for money by a photographer in the city.
At the cash desk, I simply ask the cashier if the book that I have in my hand is selling well?
I tell her I wrote it. She says it's a bestseller, as far as she knows.
I sense she is lying and wondering how to call security.
I leave the book on a display table inside the door and leave.
I hope the man is happy with his copy of the bestseller. I hope they buy it for him.
He deserves no less.
If they do not, I hope their car gets a puncture on the way home with someone else's book.
Such are the thoughts of a venal author.
Storytelling here

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hen Lover

A woman asks me if I like hens.
Hen whats I ask her, though I know I should not do so.
Hen chickens she replies in that language peculiar to madwomen that makes perfect sense at the time, but none at all when you try to explain what happened to someone else.
She means girl chickens, the ones that lay eggs that we eat for breakfast without concern for the egg-less chicken mother.
I say I don't know any hens personally so I could not venture an opinion, one way or another.
That should have been the end of the matter but the following morning I awake to the sound of a hen pecking her way around my front garden.
Around her neck, when I catch her, is a luggage label, loosely tied with a thin white cord, that says simply: "Enjoy."
I never see the woman again.
The chicken is still alive and lives in the back kitchen on her own where she causes no harm to anyone.
And I have fresh eggs everyday in lieu of rent.
For a hen can produce an egg but she cannot understand a rent book or date due payments.
I call her Elsie.
I like her.
Storytelling here

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Seeking Myself

I look up Google maps to find the venue for the Toastmasters meeting I am to attend as a guest storyteller.
Once found, I am frightened by the level of detail the man in the flying car has captured as he passed by my home.
The hedge is overgrown and the car is not parked properly; it was parked in a hurry that evening as I came in late and rushed to pretend it was really early when I came home from my storytelling evening.
Had I known that someone was going to drive past my house and take photographs when I was away I would have alerted the police to an invasion of my privacy.
As it stands, my overgrown hedge and clumsily parked car may have lowered the value of property in the area.
It is as well that I had hidden the broken down lawnmower under a tree in the back garden.
It doesn't work anymore; but it was part of my life for so long that I don't want to part with it, just yet. So, I parked it under the shelter of the apple tree in the south-west corner so it will not fade into a rusted memory.
Too many people just bury their lawnmowers when they come to the end of their working lives; it's not right.
Old lawnmowers deserve as much respect as do old boots.
So does my old privacy.
You see, at the moment I need a haircut, as well. I have been writing a new book and living like a hermit while I do so.
What if I had looked like this when the man from Google drove past and I had waved at him, or her, and had been immortalised as a man with a rough hedge, an abandoned car, a hidden dead lawnmower, and unkempt appearance?
Guilty as charged.
It's not right.
Storytelling here

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sleepwalking Lovers

A man says I can have a 25 per cent discount on a bag I wish to buy.
I am to have a euro off the real price of four euro because I am wearing the badge of a participant in the 20th storytelling marathon in Guadalajara, Spain.
I have the badge pinned to my shirt with pride for I told a story of my own at 2.30am that morning in the Palace of the Infantry in Guadalajara.
It seemed appropriate to tell the true story of the sleepwalking lovers to the hundreds and hundreds of faces that saw the cool Spanish night through as storytellers from all over Spain and the rest of Europe rose up to tell their stories in ten minute narrations.
In Guadalajara, they make a fuss of you when you come off the stage. And they pin a badge on your clothing to induct you into the storytelling community of the city.
I have travelled here with a coachful of other tellers from a storytelling conference in Toledo.
The organizers think it a good idea to schedule us to tell, one after another, from 1am until 6am, or so.
We all wait, when we have told our story, some wrapped in supplied blankets to stay warm in the chill of early morn, until the last teller of our group ends, at dawn, and we disperse to our beds throughout the city.
So many stories, so many styles, so many languages, so many mad tellers mixed in with the sane sounding voices.
Even the few sane ones sound insane to the ear, for want of sleep.
I walk through the lightening streets to the hotel wondering why I booked a bed at all.
I could have hired a taxi to drive me around the city while I slept in the back for a few hours.
Awake and moving again, I buy a lottery ticket from the bag seller with the euro I saved on my purchase of the bag.
The lottery is in aid of the first anniversary of the founding of a local youth-led environmental group, I am told with pride.
I stay because the draw is in five minutes, I discover the first prize is to be soap and the second prize is to be vinegar.
I win neither; but have had a discount on my new linen bag wherein I now carry my books to sell at storytelling events.
And I have my badge.
All is well.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Haunted Storyteller

They say the Toledo castle I am sleeping in is haunted.
What they don't know is that it is I that haunts the corridors.
I am seeking my allocated room of three snoring men and one quiet sleeper.
When they said it was shared quarters at the conference of the Federation for European Storytelling, FEST, I thought: another man, a stranger. Perhaps.
Instead, there are four of us breathing the same air in our sleep, waiting for the call to arms.
The corridors are lit by sensor lights that illuminate at your approach. I walk too fast, the lights don't know I am there.
So, the halls I pass through remain dark.
I am the unseen presence. I can see nothing.
I beam in like a bat on the cave of the snoring men; and I am safe.
When the work of the conference is over; I tell my workshop group a story from South Africa told to me in Dublin by a storyteller from Arizona, a year ago.
A rooster is trapped by a wolf who will eat him for lunch. The rooster persuades the wolf to pray and while his eyes are closed the rooster runs away to safety.
Each knows a version from their own country and we elect to tell the story in our own languages, though the lingua franca of FEST is English.
We will tell in Portuguese, Austrian, Irish, Italian and Spanish; no English at all.
Luís from Portugal plays melodeon while we tell our versions in the 200-seater baroque theatre in Toledo.
Luís tells first, then plays for us; then Birgit from Vienna, Brendan from Dublin and Giovanna from Italy.
Alfredo from Chile and Madrid sings a song instead and we all rise, bow, and go home to the haunted castle to find the barman has gone home and the bar is closed.
Drink is sent for and we laugh and talk and drink into the morning in a castle garden looking across the valley to the tiered city of Toledo with its yellow light spilling like gold over the quiet streets.
Over there we told our stories.
For now we are happy.
Storytellers all.
And the ghost smiles.

Storytelling here

Sunday, June 19, 2011

In the air under the ground on the rails up a cliff

I fly to Madrid. Well, I fly to the airport and cannot find the Metro which I know is underneath the airport somewhere.
Outside, in the air, I ask a man who speaks no English where it is hidden. I speak no Spanish so he puts me on a shuttle bus and with hand gestures tells me that I am to get off at the next stop.
The bus travels for twenty metres at speed to the stop and I alight. I see a sign for the metro. I ask where it is of a man under a sign that says he gives free directions; but only in Spanish in an international airport.
I find it on my own and am by now armed with a hand map of the entire system. I am to change lines to get to where I want to be, the railway station in Madrid to catch a train to Toledo.
I ask for assistance at every change and am soon connected to many people in camaraderie in transit that I will never meet again. They are all fellow passengers hurrying about under the ground to get to somewhere else that is over ground.
Arrived at the rail terminal I hear the train I want is full and I have to wait another two hours to catch the final train of the night.
I wait.
It is dark when I reach Toledo and I walk up a cliff with a suitcase full of stories in tow.
Roads are steep in Toledo. I will tell a story in a theatre here; but not this story.

Storytelling here

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Talking Dogs

A woman with a dog stops me to talk to me about her dog and about mine.
I don't mind that she coos over my dog and asks me her name and then speaks to my dog in a familiar way without having been first introduced to my free-running companion.
She tells me what her dog's name is and waits. So does her dog, who is on a lead with a little bell on it to remind him at every step that a human owns him.
I don't feel I can enthuse about a dog I have just met on the way to the river. Me and my dog are going for a swim. Well, she is, and I am going to stand there and try not to get wet when she shakes herself dry.
I don't say this to my dog's new best friend.
She may want to come with me and learn our secret way across the grass to the best place to swim.
We get away and I make a note to travel a different route for a year or so to avoid such an encounter being repeated.
People with dogs can be odd creatures if you meet them unexpectedly on the road, on a sunny morning.
Best avoided.
storytelling here

Monday, May 30, 2011

Beware the mad fairies

A man emails me early in the morning following my folk tales presentation in a town several towns away from where I live.
I like best to tell stories of the hatchas that hang about the corners of the town where I live now, my mother's people's town. But last night I went foreign.
He is territorial, like many males in a historical society audience.
It's their history and their geography so agree with them, they say with their mind thoughts.
This can be hard when you don't know what's in their skull even when they eyeball you from the back of the room.
This man says he has consulted official maps and it would appear that the location where the brother disappeared with the fairy gold is not marked thereon. This from a story I told, too well.
I already explained that a large housing estate now grows where once the little people danced. I add the news that the developer went mad as a result. He now digs up footpaths seeking buried treasure when nobody is about.
This man is mad in a different way. He wants the treasure of knowledge he thinks I possess. He wants to know where the fairy rath is located.
I say it is where it is and know then that I have made someone madder with a bad answer.
I could have told him where the rath now lies; but I am scared in a mild class of a way.
You see, it's the fairies you need to stay clear of.
For, they are nuts altogether.
storytelling here

Monday, May 23, 2011

Losing your audience to a dress

I agree to talk about Phoenix Park in Dublin to an active retirement group. My first mistake is accepting an afternoon booking. The second is the fault of a rival attraction.
People would be interested in hearing the author of Phoenix Park: a History and Guidebook speak to them, I am told.
I agree, since I am that author.
The venue is within a complex at a church. I arrive early and see the bride sashay down the aisle to claim her new husband.
Back in my own area I stand on a platform to tell the people about the park. I determine to do well.
As gently as you could imagine, the first row falls asleep like nodding daffodils on a soft spring day. I push on with the second row.
The organiser whispers that I need to finish up soon because Michelle is due in to lead a gentle aerobics session.
Before that, they need to have tea. During the 19th century, the tea committee abandon the second row and leave the room to switch on the water boiler.
I have to shout to the back row when the bridal bells ring out at the conclusion of the wedding ceremony.
They stare at the door in case the groom wanders in seeking advice from the senior citizens on what he is to do next.
When he fails to appear, they rush out to see the bride as she poses for pictures.
I fall into conversation with the sole remaining listener.
When I look up the room is empty, tea is being had elsewhere, so I leave before Michelle arrives and includes me in her aerobics programme.
I am just in time to miss the departure of the active wedding party.
I wish them well and hope they never tire.
storytelling here

Monday, May 16, 2011

Home is where the scandal is

I arrive to tell stories in my hometown pro bono as part of the local homecoming festival.
 But nobody has come home for the festival, except me.
 Those who never left are too busy watching ads on TV to turn up to hear me tell stories about them, lightly disguised.
 The keyholder is nowhere to be seen though I strike the wooden door with my balled fist many times. 
 I wait outside the door wondering whether I should leave town again, and soon. I could always make a call to the organisers tomorrow and assure them I would be available at no cost in the future to tell no stories to no one outside a locked hall.
 But then, a few people wander along and when the crowd waiting outside has swollen to three, including me, the keyholder leans out the top window and says she will be down now.
 Seven seats fill up inside and I tell stories from here there and everywhere to my audience.
 When the town gossip takes a seat she makes mental note as I tell a spare scurrilous tale adapted from 1001 Arabian Nights and bowlderised for local telling.
 She goes away convinced she has heard the truth about her neighbours, which in a way she has --- though not in the way she thinks.
 I finish, I accept the plaudits and go to where I live now.
 Home may be home forever; but it is a hard place to play, without screaming.
storytelling here

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Red lights and happy nights

I am late leaving a meeting in a city hotel.
Outside while walking to my car another lategoer stops me to talk about nothing. He seems afraid to be alone, to go home.
Some people are like that. I grow even more vague in my answers and finally he leaves.

I get the car out of the parking area and drive up to the traffic lights a little way up the street. They go red. I stop.
Sitting in your car at a red light, late at night can be a lonely time, especially when you have just come from a meeting where conversation flowed like water from a burst main.
What happens, I tell myself afterwards was not my fault.

I am looking along the street when a lone woman comes along and nods at me. Being polite and thinking she knows me I nod back.
She smiles, I smile and wonder where I know her from.
Then she is sitting in the passenger seat sighing with her eyes closed like someone who has come a long journey and is just glad to be sitting down.

The light goes green and I drive off, with a woman I realise I do not know in my car. Techically, I have kidnapper her. I ask her what she wants and she asks me the same question.
It is then I realise I am dealing with a professional. The nods and the smiles were an offer to treat and to discuss terms.

I make an illegal U-turn and drive back towards the traffic lights all the while explaining to my companion that it was a mistake and I am tired.
She says she is also tired and as soon as I pay her the 100 per cent cancellation fee we can call it a night and will I give her a lift home?
Which is how I finally settle on a get-out-of-the-car fee just as the other lategoer drives up to the lights in his car.

It is too much to hope that he has not seen me paying off a night worker in my car at a red light.
I have a reputation as a party man ever since and sometimes get calls from men who ask me to say where action might be found.
I just tell them to drive around, it will find them.

Just don't stop for red lights, I say.

storytelling here

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Place a bet

A man stops me on the street outside the local bookies office.
Will you place a bet for me? he asks.
I say I have no change and try to walk past him.
He is not asking for charity. He wants to enrich me. I say what?
He is barred from the bookies he says because he wins too many times. He glances at the street surveillance camera on the shop as he speaks.
I think he looks too shabby to be a big winner; but think he may be in disguise, in working clothes.
What would I have to do I hear myself ask, though I fear I should know better.
Just place this five euro bet for me and add your own bet to it; we can divide the spoils later.
In my hand is a five euro note and two scrawled numbers I take to be the fifth horse in the sixth race.
I add €100 of my own money to the five and place the bet.
The horse loses the race, I lose my money and my sense of justice.
I never see the man again; some say he is the mad son of the country's ruler; others that he does not understand horses; I say he is a teacher of men.
storytelling here

Monday, March 21, 2011

Accordion stories

I agree to tell stories in a day-ward.
Only then do I ask what age they are, the listeners.
Not old, the youngest is 84 years old.
I arrive to find six patients matched with six minders.
The minders do not have much English and I tell local stories to listeners who are locals grown old who will recognise the references.
One man mistakes me for a country and western accordion player with the same first name. He asks me to sing his/my greatest hits.
When I say I am a storyteller he goes into a huff until I finish telling a story to a 90-year-old who thinks she is in nursery school and who would rather be outside playing in the rain.
When I don't sing requests, the man goes off to bed in the middle of my finale and the woman throws a plastic cup at a rival across the room before I leave.
The booker says they had a great time and will I come again?
Not until I learn to play the accordion I say as I step out into the real world.
storytelling here

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wild Times in Phoenix Park

I am on a radio station. Actually, I am on the national radio station at peak listening time.
It is a Monday at the beginning of a year when the Sunday is the public holiday and everyone is on a day off in lieu the following day, even if they are not.
Lots of people are travelling home in their cars and listening to radio when they would usually be doing something else.
I am being interviewed on my book: Phoenix Park: a History and Guidebook.
The interview goes well and I say there is a part of the national park in Dublin that is allowed to run a little wild.
When a branch falls or an old tree topples over it is left there if safe to do so. Natural woodland growth goes on around the fallen tree.
Next day, a listener rings me to ask where this wilderness area is located and is it safe to bring her children there while they are on school holiday?
I say it's wild in the sense that vegetation is allowed grow wild in a controlled way to create natural woodland.
She asks if there are many wild animals there that might attack her kids.
I say no and we finish the call.
Afterwards, I wonder if what she really wants is to find a place where wild animals can eat her school holiday children and she can get some peace.
A little knowledge for wild people is a dangerous thing and I wonder what she did with what I said.
Are there now feral kids in that area and would they attack me if I discover them?
park website

Monday, March 7, 2011

Stop that Barking

It seems like a good idea to self-sell my collection of original stories at fairs and exhibitions.
I decide a good name for the humorous nearly-true stories should be Barking Mad: Tales of Liars, Lovers, Loonies and Layabouts.
A fat man ask if it's a training manual for dogs?
No, it's a book of stories about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, I add in anticipation of a sale.
I need to train my dog, says my huffing customer.
Another wants to know if it will stop his neighbour's dog from barking. Only if you throw it at him, I say beneath my breath as he wanders away.
Who owns the dog a squinting woman asks of the cover model. I do, I lie wondering if that will make a difference?
I don't want to buy a picture of your dog, she says firmly.
Two lovers buy matching copies. I sign for both of them. The gorgeous girl can hardly breathe with excitement in the presence of her lover.
I sell the rest as gifts for your own true love.
I sell a dozen in a full day of blathering and re-load the remainder into my car breathless from hauling books to people who don't understand high literature.
Next time I'll call the book Tales of Mystery and Longing and print with a blank cover.
It might help.
buy the book yourself as a download

Monday, February 28, 2011

Mister Mister

I am crossing between lines of stalled buses and cars on Dame Street when I hear someone shout "Mister, Mister."
I wonder who the Mister is and why he is being called.

The student on the bike with no working brakes comes down the hill between the buses and catches me on the side and over I go in a short sleeved shirt.
The rider comes over the handlebars on top of me and slams my bare arm into the tarmac once more breaking a bone that is attached to other bones and disrupting the lines of communication to my hand as it snaps.
Nonetheless, I pick him and his bike up off the Dublin street and carry the bike with my working hand to place it beneath the Olympia Theatre canopy. I ask if he is alright and he says he shouted Mister to warn me. It seems he thinks it's my fault he ran into me.

I make my way to a busy city post office public phone.
I ring emergency to find where the nearest hospital is and he says he'll send an ambulance.
I say I only want directions. I'll walk, it's my arm that hurts like hell. My feet are working still.
But he insists and I am to wait.
There is nobody with me, I tell him when he asks.
While I wait for the unwanted ambulance I am dizzy and I prop myself against a wall in case I lose consciousness. That way they'll be able to see me, unconscious but upright, when they rush in.
The perplexed paramedic asks me where my bike is? I say a bike hit me, not me it.
He says I look alright and he can't take me in the ambulance for that.
I say I only wanted directions and to take it up with his dispatcher. I have been waiting too long for them and am now somewhat testy.
He says you better get in the ambulance then. I try to get in beside the driver but they insist I get in the back and be strapped into a stretcher.
The siren clears the streets of people.
I try to apologise to the people for the fuss; but they can't hear me inside the ambulance.
In the hospital, a nurse takes my jacket and tells me I am bleeding profusely and there is dried blood on the inside of my jacket.
I say it is a floral motif that is faded and she agrees and we wonder what the flowers were before they faded.
A doctor comes in and says I have a bad sprain to my elbow and to go home and take a warm bath.
I ask if I should stand on my head in the bath since it is my elbow that is hurting even more now and the bath water won't come up that high, unless I submerge and swim for it.
He pretends not to understand English and goes off looking for more polite excitement.
I leave without the promised aspirin for the headache.
I walk back down the street, against the wall, for the ambulance is gone for there is nothing wrong with me, according to medically qualified observers.
I take a bus to my home in suburbia. It is full with commuters.
I have to stand and hold on to the overhead bar with my good hand.
The other arm swings loosely on every corner like a demented scarecrow in a storm.
The next day I go to a different hospital and say I was knocked down and have a sore arm.
They say it's not sore, it's broken.
I knew that already.

storytelling here

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Walking in the city

A man sliding along on an icy city footpath puts out his hand to stop me passing by.
He has an unlit cigarette in his smoking hand and asks what does "sensible footwear" mean? On radio they say he is to wear sensible shoes for snowy conditions.
There is a parallel strip of grass beside us.
I say you could walk on the grass and not slip.
The non-smoker says he does not want to walk on grass; he is in a city. He wants to walk on the path. What are sensible shoes? He places the unlit cigarette between his lips and waits for an answer.
Well, you need shoes with ridges on them to grip the ice, I say.
I haven't got shoes with ridges, says the cigarette man. He waves a lighter in the other hand without sparking it.
I edge away and say you could wear rubber boots like farmer's boots. Ideal for anything.
The cigarette man walks away; I'm not a farmer. I live in a city. I still don't know what sensible footwear is.

storytelling here

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Finding self with story

At a party a 78-year-old inhales and gets so high she staggers across the room to flop into a chair like a rag doll; all arms and legs and disassociated head.
She is a graduate of my Tell your Own Story programme and has taken a hit of snuff for the first time in her life.
In the first session I go home hoarse; having spent two hours telling stories to them and trying to loosen up their inhibitions to tell their own.
Come the final session ten weeks on I can barley raise my voice above the babble. They all want to tell their story and now. Listen.
We discuss "like snuff at a wake" one week but nobody in the group has ever taken snuff.
At the farewell party the senior teller produces a silver snuffbox and invites everyone to take a line of it. No.
She taps a small dormant volcano onto her hand and it almost takes her head off.
"My sinuses have never been as clear as they are now," she tells the wondering others.

Listen to a story now

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Barking Mad goes e

Barking Mad, Tales of Lovers, Liars, Loonies and Layaouts my book of funny radio tales is now a kindle ebook on Amazon.
You can download it now to read and laugh from either or whichever you prefer.
It is a selection of 34 of the most popular stories from my Telling Tales, my radio programme.
You see, with 34 stories you have one a night to read for the longest month and three spare stories for those nights when you cannot sleep. Deadly.
You can also order a signed hard copy directly from the author.
Can I do more for you !!!!
The rest is up to you.