"Hi, I'm Peter McCabe. Despite appearances, I'm not a dummy. In fact, I'm Brad Spurgeon's first fiction. See, when he was a little kid, Brad used to talk to himself and make up secret characters. He discovered pretty quickly--this was when he was nine years old--that when you talk to yourself you're considered mad.
"So he bought a ventriloquist's dummy and started making that the recipient of his characters' voices. Book critics sometimes say fiction writers have the gift of the ventriloquist. In Brad's case, it's the literal truth. At least that's what he keeps telling me to say...and he's the one pulling the string.
"I was made by a theatrical props builder in Coventry, England (I tell people I was born there) named Peter Pullen. Aside from me, he made a lot of other dummies, and later, among other things, props for the Monty Python's film, "The Meaning of Life." Oh yeah, and I was born in 1975. That makes me...old.
"What drives me nuts is that Brad doesn't really do any shows with me any more. He discovered he could talk to himself in as many voices as he wants by sitting in front of a computer all day and typing inanities like this. So I'm just a dust collector these days. Though Brad's kids, Paul and Emily and I sit down and have a good rap now and then, and recently I was invited to their school here in France to do a show for them and their classmates. It was a bit complicated doing it all in French, though, when all my old jokes are in English. Brad hadn't thought of that...but it went okay...he said."
"Above is a picture of Brad and me together doing a show to save the rhinos in Africa. It was 1980, in Kenya, and Brad was trying very unsuccessfully to grow whiskers to hide his moving lips."