With a big grin, Neil greeted me in his office. We have been friends for over 30 years from when he was knee-high to a surfboard.

“So Neil, I understand you’re out of stock on my book,” I said with a broad smile.

Neil Hasegawa & Dr. Elmo

“How’d you hear that?” he asked.

“A little Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer told me.”

“I LOVE that song!” exclaimed Neil.

“Well…that’s because Elmo sings it and he bought my LAST book!”

“What? Here? Are you kidding me?”

“No, I’m not kidding you.”

“Here? In my store?”

“Yep…’oia nō (that’s right). Right here in your store. Hasegawa’s. And Elmo wants you to know that you’re out of my books.”

“But…he knows you…right? And he came in here to buy your book? Right?”

“No…Neil. He did not know who the heck I was. I’m a for-real Nobody. He just started leafing through your weathered demo Nobody book, saw that it was the last one, thought it looked fun and bought it. You are officially sold out!”


At Hasegawa’s, you can find cane knives next to the Christmas ornaments.

Neil immediately ordered four more. I hopped in the car, zoomed home, signed the books and delivered them back within the hour. Within the course of another hour, Elmo and Shy Pam went back to buy a Hasegawa’s T-shirt and saw my replenished stock. Pam bought all four!

This instantly made my book the “#1 Best Seller” at Hasegawa General Store. The last I saw of Shy Pam, she was hanging out near the huli huli chicken truck, selling my autographed copies at a 50% mark-up—thus removing me from the anonymous category.



Dr. Elmo singing “Grandma” with Shy Pam in our kitchen.