WEbooker of the WEek KellyNPaterson Will Never See These People Again


What do you do with a WEbooker who has started four WEbook projects and written in six more,
for a total of 24 submissions, including a story
about a Tanzanian bus
and another about a
trip to a swinger’s club

A: You name her WEbooker of the WEek, of
course! In keeping with this newly-minted
tradition, KellyNPaterson
will receive the respect and admiration of her peers, along with a crisp new WEbook T-shirt. One glance at KellyNPaterson’s profile
makes it clear that her life story is far too varied and fascinating to be
summarized here, so I decided to ask her a few Qs of my own.


Q:  KellyNPaterson, you’re
the WEbooker of the WEek! How does that make you feel?

A: Oh, Vishnu!  Does this mean I have
to write a “Thank You” speech?!  Wow!  Where do I start?  Well,
I am going to have to start with all my creditors, because if it weren’t for
you, well, I would not have to write for a living…

Q: When was the last time you got into a
fight?  Who was it with, and what was it about?

A: About a week ago in London, with a British
woman in a wheelchair.  Yes, I fought with a woman in a wheelchair!
The woman called me a “spoiled American brat” (to my face—which is NOT very
British, I might add…) and, well, I do not care if you are in a wheelchair or
not, you call me names and I am going to respond!  What—did you expect me
to just WALK away? 

Yes, I know, very bad joke, but I think I already have a
reputation for not being very politically-ERECT. 

Q: In your profile, the title of
your memoir is “Laughing
at Oxygen
.” How did you come up with
this name?

A: In the middle of nowhere, Tanzania, I worked
as a Science Teacher Trainer for the Tanzanian Department of Education.  I
spent a lot of time in makeshift laboratories teaching Tanzanian Science
Teachers how to conduct science lessons without electricity or indoor plumbing.

Just about everything in Tanzania was funny to me (I was 19,
folks!)—from the language (there are 6 ways to say “no problem” in Kiswahili—depending
on the problem), to being charged by a herd of Cape Buffalo or getting a bat
stuck in my hair (and other close encounters of the large mammal kind), to making
an ass out of myself in front of Jane Goodall.  I could not hide my amusement—so the Mhehe (the
Tanzanian tribe I lived with) put my work and my incessant giggling together,
and named me “Anachecka Oxygena”: She
Who Laughs at Oxygen. 

Q:  You find yourself awake at
4:00 in the morning.  Did you just wake up or are you still up from the
night before?  What are you up to?  Are you alone?

A: If I am up at 4 AM, I am either looking for a Taco Bell (after a
night of partying, even if I happen to be in a Bengali village or Prague), or I
waking up to catch a plane to Suriname or such. 

Q:  Anything else you'd like
WEbookers to know?

A: My personal motto:  “I will never see these people
again!”  It works because it enables one to make an ass of oneself just about
anywhere, under any circumstances, and have no regrets.


To learn more about KellyNPaterson, check
out her stories in Ex-Pat Journal, Life Stories, and
What is
Your Dangerous Idea?

-- Melissa

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