I’ve always had what one might call a healthy level of self-importance. That is probably why, when I was ten years old, I started practicing signing my autograph. It never once occured to me that it was a possibility that people wouldn’t ask me for it. I wasn’t sure yet why I’d be famous, but I just figured it would happen.
I wish I had the actual pages and pages of my practice signatures. Instead I’ve tried to recreate them for you here.
Let’s start with my earliest version. I enjoyed the feeling of writing it, but it didn’t seem grand enough for a person of my stature. And my “P” kind of looked like Snoopy’s ear.
I later decided that it would be bad ass, if I took the line that came out of the second “E” (or “R” depending on my mood) and then used it to cross my “T.” No wasted penstrokes for this dude. Even then I was economical in my energy outputs.
I wanted to move away from Snoopy’s ear with my next one. And I didn’t want to take the chance that people would somehow miss that fact that I was a star.
A bit on the nose, eh?
At this point, I began to suspect that I’d become a famous athlete. And since Guy LaFleur was incorporating his #10 into his autograph, perhaps I should too. I did end up later wearing #10 when I played basketball. However, a lack of anything resembling jumping ability, and a propensity for elbowing people in the face, probably kept me out of the NBA. That and politics, of course.
The next one was inspired by a grade school teacher who would sign something with her initials and then turn it into a check mark. I was impressed by her multi-taskinicity, so I decided to put my own slant on it. And despite the fact that I thought I was smarter than all of my teachers, I didn’t have much use for an actual check mark.
The important thing to note in this next one is the squigglies underneath. And this example is at the low-end as far as the number of squigglies go. It got worse. Much worse. I would sometimes make 15 squiggles and THEN wrap it around like the one above. Three of those and I would have carpal-tunnelled the crap out of myself.
Around this time I realized that my Dad signed his name with his first two initials and then the last name. I gave this a whirl. However, I quickly scrapped it when I thought that there might be other people with the same initials. How would people know it was actually me? I was horrified by this.
This next one was a case of me anticipating the huge number of people that would want me to sign things. I knew that my hand would sometimes get tired. So, I started practicing what it would look like after I had signed a thousand autographs in an hour. You have to anticipate any eventuality, people.
And this is pretty much what it looks like now.