A policeman one time many years ago asked me for my autograph. He was a Blue Rodeo fan and we had become well known then. He was in the middle of giving me a speeding ticket on Annette street where the limit was 50 kilometres but nobody drove that slow, it was a speed trap and I was caught, fair is fair. While issuing the ticket he recognized my name and a light bulb went off and he became excited – are you that guy? yes i’m that guy – can I get an autograph? I looked at him like the way one waits for someone to get the punch line to a joke. in the silence he realized what I was thinking and said no i can’t take back the ticket.
i think autographs are ridiculous. what does that mean? why does anyone want that? the first time someone asked for my autograph it was with everyone else in the band, we were in the dressing room downstairs at the horseshoe. i thought what is wrong with this person? i signed all sorts of other names at first. lawrence welk was my go to. it embarrassed other people, why did you do that bobby? because it’s dumb. i gave up eventually and made a scribble though occasionally i copied cleave or jim because i saw theirs so often on those jackets or napkins. i liked the idea that the person later would have to wonder why there were two similar autographs.
i told the policeman i’m not signing an autograph. i could tell he felt hurt. i think his hurt feelings were unfair.