by Libby Singleton

Crescent City Con wuz 'eld August 1-3, 1997, in Metairie, Louisiana wit many guests includin' Nigel Bennett wot plays La-Crow on Forever Knight, P.N. (Pat) Elrod wot wrote a book wit' Nigel, n' this 'umble lil Ratpacker wot 'as been known tew write a few comic book-type an' short stories. A gewd time wuz 'ad by all, it wuz, an' this iz an account o' the smashenin' happenin's from a Ratpacker's point o' view.

I rode up there wit' Cousin Annie, Pat Laster, an' Susan Pierce. Ol' Libster knew it wuz gonna be a malinky trip when we got not a 'alf a block from me home an' there wuz a funny noisey-woisey cumin' from the top o' the car. I turned around tew see Susan's library books an' Pat's lemonade twinxt the car an' me 'ouse. As they tried tew gather their be-longin's, I sat in the back an' cackled like a true ratsie type.

Me first thingee, a readin' o' me pro-fession-nal type stories, wuz on Friday. I wuz shakin' in me tennies az I wuz thinkin' since it'd be FK fans in attend-ance, they might be ex-pectin' the Libdroog tew read 'er fanfic. Az it turned out, I read a story tha' iz tew be published in Tandra's "Dragonroc" (issue 12, orderin' info kin be found at an' a bit o' a tale wot hasn't been bought yet. Everyone said they liked wot I penned a whole lot. In betwinxt me lil' tales o' fancies, I pulled out the "Ratsie Wot Kilt Screed" fer a bit o' a pic-ture takin' an' pettin' session.

Next wuz Nigel an' Pat's turn fer fame along wit' writer Barbara Hambly. Pat an' the crowd talked Nigel intew doin' a "blind readin'" ('e not only dinna 'ave 'is glasses, 'e 'adn't read wot she'd scribbled most recently on their next book). 'E wuz dewin' great 'til 'e got tew a line "she was like a fresh peach" or some such jammy-jam. There wuz silence, then we all cracked up az 'e screamed at Pat, "You did that on purpose!" She says she's gonna take tha' line out, but we'se tryin' tew talk 'er out o' it.

I wuzna gonna get a sig-na-ture, already 'avin' plenty. Then I realized I still 'ad THE ratsie wit' me. I pulled it out an' asked 'im if I could get some pic-tures. 'E clowned a'round wit' it, pre-tendin' tew bit it, flippin' it around by it's wee tailsie. Unfor-tunately, me camera wuz set wrong so I dinna get any really good pictures, but 'least I kin tell wot 'e's dewing. Nigel also started makin' fun o' me Southern-style accent an' use o' the word "thingee."

On Sat-ur-day, me panel on "'Ow Tew Get Published" wuz at the same timey az Pat an' Nigel, so I dinna get tew go. By the time I wuz done sellin' me comics an' signin' me scribble fer those wot wanted it, Nigel's auto-graph line wuz pretty small. Cousin Annie 'ad a picture fer me tew get signed, so I hopped in an' asked it tew be signed "To Libby, You are NOT an addict" (a reference to Nunkies Anonymous, a group fer those addict-ed tew Nunkies aka La-Crow -- I ain't an addict but hang wit' them droogs az they'se a fun sort). When all them Nunkies sorts started protestin', 'e said, "Go ahead, Libby, give in. You'll sleep better at night." (I think 'e's jealous cuz I like Screed better'n La-Crow, I dew.)

When I got past Pat, there wuz Renate who's wit' Nigel's fanclub. She 'ad some black n' white photos I couldna resist so I got back in line jest az 'e wuz leavin'. Cuz I wasna payin' attention at the time, I dinna notice 'til later 'e signed me photo "To Libby, Best Wishes, (Give up the fight)...." I did get 'im back when someone asked if 'e'd been tew the Nunkies Anonymous webpage an' 'e said, "I went there once." I said -- knowing there's been over 2000 "hits" at this point -- "Only once? We figgered at least a 1000 o' the 'its were you." 'E dropped 'is chair on 'is foot at tha' point.

Tha' night, Nigel 'eld court in the bar wit' 'is fangirls, 'e did. Turns out 'e dinna 'ave any auto-graph pens wit' 'im so I loaned 'im mine when needed. Then in typi-cal ratsie fashion, I then tried tew open bids on it cuz Nigel 'ad used it. 'E then started signing beer bottles fer fans wot asked. Later, a woman wot 'ad been in me panel earlier asked fer me pic-ture wit' Nigel an' I took off me glasses tew cut down on the glare. 'E put them on so I tried to sell them ('ey, yew don't wont me tew be a couchmonger, dew yew? - hee hee hee). Nigel wuz amused, 'e wuz. Later, 'e asked me wot wuz on me t-shirt wot featured Screed, Vachon, and Urs. I pointed out Screed wuz 'gainst me bare skin. Nigel said, "Then you better take your skin off." Tha's when I ex-claimed Greg Kramer's books 'ad warped me proper, they did.

Yes, Nigel wuz told by someone else 'bout me tendency tew put Screed n' Natalie tew-getter wot tew shock the N&Ners. 'E did a Tracy Vetter imitation - "Eeeeeoooowwwwwww!" 'E duz it well, 'e duz!

On Sunday, though Pat an' Nigel were 'avin' a panel when tha' guy wot plays La-Crow looked straight at this 'ere Ratpacker. 'E went intew 'ow 'e an' John Kapelos 'ad jest filmed an epy-sode o' the upcomin' Once a Thief tv show. Turns out Greg is a re-currin' character! Nigel also went intew (after warning tha' some o' the audience wouldna like this) 'ow when one o' the Forever Knight folks got the script fer "Fever" in which Screed dies, the person went, "They're killing off Screed? They oughta kill off Vachon!" Nigel ex-plained it weren't nuthin' a-gainst Vachy, jest tha' Screed wuz the more ori-gi-nal, inter-estin' character.

Udder 'ighlights in-cluded 'avin' breakfast wit' the Nunkies crowd an' Pat Elrod who jest 'appened tew wander in at the same time. She's an ent-er-tainin' con-ver-sationalist, she is! Not one tew be missed if you ever get the op-por-tun-ity tew talk wi' the Ms. An' there wuz also the Nunkies Shrine wot got set up in me room on account on it bein' me room: A La-Crow pic-ture, battery oper-ated candles, white roses an' udder knick-knack paddy whack thingees. Screed also 'ad 'im a shrine under the table, 'e did: me stuffed animal ratsie puppet in a shoe box marked "on clearance" from Walmart.

Tha's all there iz!

Libby Singleton

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