A few years ago, I attended a ‘meet the author’ event at the Blum Arpel Library of Toronto. I had been invited to the event by the well-known Canadian humorist Terry Fallis.
The conference hall was lively with excited visitors, each eager to see and hear Fallis speak. I had already dealt with Fallis a number of times and this was going to be the culmination of our virtual meetings with a person-to-person meeting.
People stood everywhere, like sardines in parade stance, standing side by side looking for said humorist. We spotted him. Dressed in a black shirt, not far away from a giant plate glass window.
“Hello, Terry,” my opening gambit to what I expected would be a short but memorable conversation with the author. Fallis’ response was warm, friendly and encouraging. We talked about his family, his kids, his wife and other sundry things and I marvelled at how the conversation flowed so freely. But there were ebbs, most especially every time we started talking about our online interactions, about my website, about what I had published there.
Something began to nag at me. This guy is personable, very approachable, quite engaging but he’s got memory problems about our online communication. Strange because he had written so much for me.
Finally, the limits of my patience were reached. This conversation was making little sense. It flowed when we talked about many things but it ebbed each time it approached anything we had communicated to one another. This was not right…
“You’re not Terry Fallis,” I dared.
“Nope. I’m Tim, his twin brother.”
Exact twin, I learned. In fact, so much so, the uncle used to tease his nieces and nephews by very successfully impersonating the father when the kids were very young. I am certain the Fallis boys have had many hilarious experiences to relate because they are so identical.
Time has passed and my interest and devotion to reading good books have not waned. Terry Fallis is steadfastly one of my favourite authors, the favourite when it comes to Canadian humorists. In fact, I would not hesitate to predict he will supplant Canada’s pre-eminent humorist Stephen Leacock very soon. The only reason why he has not done so to date is that it would not look right to award Terry Fallis with the Terry Fallis Award for humour writing. So for a while longer, we will praise him as Canada’s premier writer of humorous stories and winner of multiple Stephen Leacock awards.
Ladies and gentlemen, may we present Terry Fallis…
The real McCoy: Terry Fallis