Sunday, September 24, 2017

Tongue Twisted - or - The Time I Met Poppy Tooker


I think most of you are familiar with Poppy Tooker, the radio host for NPR.  She's the one who drawls out the name of her show - Lou-weeee-siana Eats.   It a great program that covers history of local foods, processes and techniques.  She also interviews famous chefs and travels for food related stories.  I like to drive around doing my Saturday morning errands listening to her.

Most of you probably are not familiar with my old, long-lost pug - Took.  Took was my very dear buddy for many years and I still miss him very much.  He was playful all his life - like a puppy.  So I always affectionately called him Puppy Tookie.

Maybe you can already see where this is going.

So one day my friend Pemmie, who owned the Oil & Vinegar store in Covington, invited my friend, Dian, and I to a book signing at the store.  Poppy Tooker was going to be there to sign her newly- released book.  We agreed and showed up.  Dian, who knows everyone in this hemisphere, introduced me to the author.  And then lightening struck.  The verbal disfunction of a lifetime came over me. It was the most bizarre moment.  I opened my mouth and blurted,  "Nice to meet you PUPPY TOOKIE."

I shook my head and laughed, a little embarrasesd.  "Sorry," I said, "I mean, PUPPY TOOKIE."  I laughed again.  "No, wait  I mean PUPPY TOOKIE."

At this point Poppy was staring at me and starting to pull back her hand, a little afraid to shake mine.  I just know she was full-on having thoughts about 'crazed fans' and was thinking of making a break for the door.  I glanced over at my friend Dian.  I felt horrified.  She looked mortified.  Later she told me that she thought I was having a stroke.   I had to wonder myself.

I finally just mumbled something like, "Sorry --I --- I have a dog."  Then I just gave up.  I walked away laughing, red faced and kind of mystified.

Dian said a few words to Poppy and then followed me.  "What is wrong with you?" she hissed.

"I know!  This is even weirder than normal for me!" I said, shaking my head,

A couple of weeks later I learned that Poppy would be doing another book signing at an art show.  I decided to try to make amends.  So I painted a little painting of her in her wonderful, signature fork and knife earrings.  When the art show came around I went and found her.  She saw me coming and looked around for an escape.

But I was ready.  All morning I had practiced her name,  "It's not Puppy Tookie, it's not Puppy Tookie! Just stick with just Poppy and you'll be alright."  I walked up and said loudly, "POPPY!"  Once I got her first name out right, It was like a spell was broken. I explained to her about my dog and gave her the painting.  I think she got a kick out of the whole thing.  She is a pretty gracious person and we were able to laugh about it in the end.

My takeaway from this is that it's not every day you get to fix something you screwed up so when you do, be grateful.  And I am grateful.  Thanks for the do-over,  PUPPY TOOKIE.  Aw Dammit!

Mama Jax
Mama Jax

A blog by Jax Frey, an artist who loves, paints and lives all things New Orleans and writes about life's adventures - artistic and otherwise! I

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Mama Jax from New Orleans, LA.
Jax Frey is an artist who creates bold, colorful, super-textured paintings of all things New Orleans. Look for Jax's line of New Orleans mini paintings, her favorite painting series of New Orleans women called the Gumbeaux Sistahs (I love those chicks!) and other favorite Jax products on her website - www.artbyjax.com I hope you enjoy your visit here and your comments make my day!

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