So MojoFiction knows some people who know some people who have a book club. It’s an all-female book club and we happen to know one of the members and, in fact, sometimes get her husband in trouble when we do things like change their home computer’s default web-browser page to … things we shouldn’t, and then blame it on him. She enjoyed our novel, The Legend of Gerald Arthur McGuinness, well enough to pitch it to her book club. So everyone read it (except the two that didn’t, though they dropped by for cake anyway) and, we just naturally assumed, they really liked it.
This being a book club, they decided it would be fun to invite the author over to discuss the book directly, which sounded like a capital idea. Sounded being the operant word.
DISCLAIMER – Seeing as how MojoFiction knew several of these women or, at least, their husbands, and some very personal talk opened up around the table, we’ve decided to change the names of the book club members to protect their identity. The faux names are noted by the “quotation marks.”
The evening started out pleasant enough, with an introduction of the author to the group and brief handshakes. We discussed how long the book took to write, why we have such a strange pen name, and things like that. But then “Phil” mentioned off-hand that she was pregnant, and though Phil was mostly just getting ahead of her young son who was telling everyone anyway, this immediately brought on a flurry of conversation:
“How far along are you?” asked “Mario.”
“Only eight weeks, so keep it on the down-low for now,” said Phil.
“What if it’s twins?” asked Mario who, of course, has twins of her own.
“If it’s twins,” said Phil, “my mom is moving here to help out.”
Then “Reginald” arrived, just in time to hear the whole twins thing. But she already knew Phil was pregnant so she started another line of conversation because, as you might have guessed, Reginald is also pregnant.
“What have you been craving?” asked Reginald.
“Pasta,” said Phil.
“What have you been hating?”
This went on for a while, with discussions about pregnancy-related acne, something or other being “mucusy,” and whether or not anyone else on the block would be getting pregnant. MojoFiction admitted that he, personally, would not be getting pregnant, but that was our only real contribution to the conversation because, by that point, we had become very afraid. We could feel the testosterone draining from our normally testosterone-rich areas and being replaced by a syrupy substance that made us want to take up knitting and nag someone, anyone, into fixing that leaky toilet. So we quickly brought up ESPN on our smart phone, checked some hockey scores, and immediately felt better.
Eventually, further book discussion took place when “Alphonse” inquired about the two child-birthing scenes in the book – yeah, that’s right, TWO child-birthing scenes (actually there are three, but who’s counting). It turns out that Alphonse is a neonatal nurse and she was impressed by some of the details in the scenes regarding how people act in these kinds of situations (mostly they panic), and she wondered how we knew all this stuff (this, of course, started another round of pregnancy conversation that left us scouring our smart phone for YouTube videos of monster trucks crashing into each other just so we could keep our sanity). We replied that birth is, apparently, a symptom of pregnancy, and we had no choice but to actually witness the birth of our son and we were duly traumatized to the point that we will always remember every single detail.
Funny thing, in the book there is a male nurse in the first birth scene. Our neonatal nurse at the book club meeting informed us that she’s never seen a male nurse in the delivery room. Everyone else at the table agreed. That’s right, MojoFiction is a politically correct, literary trail-blazer. You heard it here first.
In the end, we were not quite sure who actually liked the book or didn’t. But that was actually a good thing. The group talked about the book constructively and didn’t for a moment talk up anything that didn’t deserve it or dump on it just because “it’s not their cup of tea” or something like that. It was a very educational experience and we here at MojoFiction are hoping to do it again.
Just not with so many expectant mothers. Really, for a guy, it’s utter insanity.