Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Inigo Hauntman's Ubiquitous Autograph

Inigo Hauntman's Ubiquitous Autograph: Object Post 87

Source? Signed by Inigo Hauntman for Jeremy Archer after a performance of C. George Archer’s play Cupid’s Arrow
Significance? It was ubiquitous
Fate? Eventually stuck in an autograph book with too much Wunda-glu
Author’s inspiration? A joking threat I made to a child at a school book talk. If you just lose that scrap of paper instead of sticking it in your autograph book as promised, I’ll haunt you
Appeared in? One Weird Week


“…. this autograph is for your eyes alone.”

Jeremy Archer offered to get signatures from the stars of Cupid’s Arrow for his friend Sara-Pat Blackwood, who had forgotten her autograph book. Jeremy didn’t have his either, but nevertheless, he took a piece of pad paper instead. He didn’t especially want a signature from Inigo Hauntman, the actor who looked like Dracula’s uncle and who was a menacing but non-speaking presence in the play. He asked anyway, to be polite.
Inigo Hauntman gave him the signature under three conditions.

Mark the conditions, Jeremy Archer. First, this autograph is for your eyes alone.”
I’d meant to give it to Sara-Pat, but I was in a hurry to get away, so I said OK.
“Second, you will glue it into your autograph book immediately.”
I nodded. “Yeah. Soon as I get home.”
I meant it—then.
“Third, you will not boast of your good fortune.”
“No,” I said.
 “Then here it is.” He scrawled his signature on the gold stuff.
…”Jeremy,” he said. “Let me be plain. You must keep your word on this. If you do not, I shall make you sorry.”

A chain of incidents led to Jeremy getting ink all over his school shorts, to the shorts being taken to the charity shop and the subsequent loss of the autograph, which had been in the pocket of the shorts and then in Lost Property at the charity shop, to his enemy Donald Dennis.
Shortly afterwards, Inigo Hauntman’s autograph began to make Jeremy sorry…

When I woke up, the sheet had an autograph on it. Inigo Hauntman’s autograph. I blinked, but it didn’t go away.

Jeremy’s attempt to remove the autograph from the sheet led to an overindulgence in Nanna’s ivory face powder, and a long-lasting allergy for Mocha the cat. The autograph, or as Jeremy began to know it, the hauntograph, turned up on the window, on a shirt pocket, on some rose-pink soap, in the alphabet soup and in a great any other inconvenient places. Jeremy’s attempt to remove it resulted in a buttered window, dissolved soap, and many lectures, but eventually he cornered it stuck to the elbow of a mummy costume containing Donald Dennis. Even that wasn’t the end, but Jeremy did corral the hauntograph and immediately stuck it into his autograph book with so much Wunda-glu the thing never saw the light of day again. And just as well.

Jeremy and Inigo Hauntman’s autograph appear in One Weird Week



Sally is Sally Odgers; author, anthologist and reader. You can find you way into her maze of websites and blogs via the portal here.(Sally is me, by the way.)

The goal for 2017 was to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. 2017 is well behind us, but I ran out of year before running out of books. As of June 2018 I STILL hadn't run out of books, but many of those still to come are MIA by which I mean I don't have copies and remember little about them. There are more new books in the pipeline, and I'm certainly showcasing those, but in between times, I'm profiling some of my characters, places and objects. Thank you so much to everyone who's come along on this journey so far!

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