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In which John drives from Chicago to Waupaca, Wisconsin, where he spoke and signed as part of the first Waupaca Book Festival. Thanks to everyone who came out in Wisconsin; it was great to meet all of you.


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A Bunny
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((') (')
Crowd: "Good morning Hank, it's Monday!" I woke up around eight, in Chicago on my friend Shannon's couch. "Couch sleeping is the best sleeping." I borrowed Shannon's toothbrush--sorry Shannon, it was an emergency--restored the couch to its former glory and then hit the road.

Why do I drive a station wagon? "'Cause I'm a boss." I was headed to a book festival in Waupaca, Wisconsin but first I had to drive through Chicago, which has always been my favorite American city. A city of so many neighborhoods that you can never discover them all. A city as Carl Sandburg wrote "under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs." By the way, that place has great produce.

I made it to the highway and then drove north for three hours. Along the way it all at once became fall. Then I finally made it to Waupaca--a city of 6,000 people with three independent bookstores.

A librarian had recommended that I visit this place called Brainard's Bridge Park and so I headed straight there because I have found over the years that librarians make excellent recommendations. And the park was no exception. There was this beautiful river and this tree that refused to stop being a tree despite considerable challenges.

And then I found this walking path "two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I" I took the road more traveled by because I did not want to get lost in Waupaca, Wisconsin. I walked for a long time. It was really beautiful.

And there I was awash in the majesty of it all thinking, "I need to pee and I can't decide if I'm adequately in the woods right now to pee here or if I need to go back to the park and find a bathroom. So...yeah." Just for the record, I ended up walking back to the park restroom. I am gonna go ahead and wager that this person has Elvis flags for most of the major holidays.

So I drove over to Waupaca High School to speak. (To a group of people) "This is all voice over so you can say whatever you want." Girl: "Yay!" And somebody gave me a cheese head which was nice. It was weird to talk to people after having spent ten hours by myself but it always makes me happy to see, for instance, a handmade DFTBA shirt. I signed books for awhile and then I went to the amazing Waupaca public library's amazing teen room where there is a poster of you on the wall, and a space for gaming, and a chandelier that played your music.

Some teens and I played this incredibly complicated game of bunny murdering. And then I went to a fancy cocktail party for the festival where I met up with noted positive pranker Amy Krouse Rosenthal who's organizing this event--when Amy? Amy: "10/10/10 at 10:10pm." At the bean sculpture in Chicago.

It's a kind of sequel to 8/8/08. I'll be there playing a very minor role. If you want to learn how to participate click this screen or read all about it in the dooblydoo.

Anyway, it was a great party but at one point a 91 year old woman got sick and an ambulance came and took her off to the hospital. For maybe half an hour after the ambulance came it was quiet. And then it got louder and then louder still.

As all of us, under the terrible burden of destiny, found a way to keep laughing. "Bedtime." Hank, I'll see you on Wednesday.