A couple of years back — 2003? — I subscribed to John Cleese’s website. This meant I could watch subscriber-only content on the site, humorous videos and such, and participate in chats with Mr. Cleese. I found the site hard to navigate and the content sort of uneven. I was impressed that he was experimenting with online media though, so I was happy to support that effort.
The Friday before Valentine’s Day of that year, I receive a message on my cellphone. A woman with a lovely British accent said she was “checking my coordinates” because I’d been chosen to receive a phone call from John Cleese on Monday. I called back just as fast as my fingers could dial, and spoke with an assistant who confirmed my address and phone number, and who assured me that John Cleese would be calling me on Monday.
Monday was Valentine’s Day. That morning, a delivery guy from The Bloomery brought me a basket with two plants in it, and a note:
FROM JOHN CLEESE,DO BE SHURE TO
HAVE A LAUGHTER FILLED
VALENTINE DAY.AND I LOOK FORWARD TO SPEAKING TO YOU ON THE TELEPHONE
I spent the next few hours muddling around my house, working a bit and waiting for the phone to ring.
Eventually, it did, and on the other end was the very recognizable voice of John Cleese.
He was pleasant and inquisitive, asking where I lived and what I did. We talked about his website and my recommendations for improving it (arrogant web designer that I am, unable to keep opinions to myself for even a phone call). He told me about the one-man show he was developing, how he would be trying it out in Australia, and how he was looking for other ways to work besides dealing with Hollywood. He talked about being the voice of God for Spamalot, which had just opened or was about to open on Broadway….
It was a delightful phone call, and he wished me Happy Valentine’s Day.
So here you see my drawing of the plants that John Cleese sent me. (OK, that his assistant sent me. Whatever.) I nearly killed one of the plants earlier this year due to my terrible lack of plant care. They need to be replanted in larger, nicer pots, and that basket should be thrown far, far away. The ribbon is now faded to the lightest possible pink — not nearly as bright as what I’ve drawn here. But as you can guess, I adore these plants, and I show them off to anyone who visits my home.
I’m several days behind in drawing. I’ll work on squeezing in a few extra drawings each of the remaining days this week.
I’m about to try and write at least something for NaNoWriMo. Of the challenges I’ve undertaken this month, the novel is the hardest by far. I haven’t lost hope, but I admit to being a little concerned.