Author Shawn Underwood’s Book Signing Party At Tin Room June 24th

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Local author Shawn Underwood, known for her humor columns on The B-Town Blog, and also known as “Burien’s Erma Bombeck,” will be holding a book signing party for her first book, “Mommy, Are We French Yet?” at the Tin Room Bar on Thursday, June 24th, from 4pm – 5:30pm.

The book, available for purchase for just $14.95 (if you can’t wait, you can buy one online right now here), is a humorous and oftentimes touching fish-out-of-water story of “an American family who decide to spend a year in the south of France.” Based on her own experiences spending a year in the south of France, Shawn tells true stories of language barriers, haircuts, buying food, children, and all sorts of other hilarious-but-true stories that only a wacky Burienite trying to live in France could pull off.

She also claims that this book signing will be “fabulous,” as well as “better than Dugoni’s (ha ha).”

Shawn will sign books, tell you all about her misadventures, as well as show off her public speaking skills to all who attend this free event, where you’ll also be able to purchase books and support this local Writer.

Here are the details:

WHAT: Shawn Underwood’s “Mommy Are We French Yet?” Book Signing Party.

WHEN: Thursday, June 24th from 4pm – 5:30pm.

WHERE: Tin Room Bar, located at 923 SW 152nd in Olde Burien.

INFO: Shawn will be signing books, which will also be available for sale at the Tin Room as well as Poggi Bonsi.

If you haven’t bought Shawn’s book yet, here’s an excerpt:

The French Ride Bikes—Don’t they?

The bike ride didn’t go according to plan.

Today, we toured the nearby French hospital in Grasse, and I tried to speak at length to some very nice French doctors and six gendarmes (policemen.) Actually, I garbled my caveman French with the doctors, and in my distress waved my hands about with the policeman.  It all started innocently enough.

Enthusiastic to ride our new bikes, Craig planned our ride on the back roads; naturally we wanted to avoid traffic on our first bike ride. At first, we cycle by scenic pastures and old men smoking cigarillos as they stroll along the country roads. The passing cars give us plenty of room, the bikers have complete right of way here. No one honks at bikers; they’re treated with respect in this country. This is the home of the Tour du France.

We approached a roundabout, the very sensible French equivalent of an American stoplight. It takes a bit of nerve to sprint into the roundabout circle as the cars literally race around the loop like some miniature version of the Grand Prix. I feel a bit vulnerable merging with the cars but there are no bike paths, and bikes follow the same rules as the cars. Naturally, I insist that Craig dart out into the traffic circle first.

The next thing I see is Craig’s body flying through the air, arms and legs akimbo. An elderly French driver crossed lanes right in front of him, because she wanted to exit from the roundabout. Craig lands on his butt, his back, and then his head. I scream, “Il est ~moi, il est moi,” which means, “It is me, It is me,” I meant to yell “Aidez- moi, aidez- moi.” The latter translates to “Help me! Help me!”  Under duress, my French comes out completely muddled and none of the good French Samaritans who have stopped to help understand a word I’m saying. A British ex-pat stops to help me; she translates for the police officers and the ambulance personnel who arrive rapidly to the scene of the accident.

For some reason, the police officer draws a chalk mark around my prostrate husband before putting him in the ambulance. I silently wonder (Would they think I’m a raving lunatic if I asked in my one- syllable language?) if they plan to use the scene of the accident for some type of reality show. Either way, the finality of the chalk mark isn’t good for me. Why don’t they pick my poor spouse up and carry him to the ambulance? Determined to help my husband (who of course says he is fine), I firmly speak my caveman lingo and throw in a few hand signals for good effect, but the officers just shake their heads sadly.

The woman who hit my husband is visibly distraught. As Craig slowly rises from his chalk marked position, the first thing he does is comfort the old gal. My still-reeling spouse gently puts an arm around the shaking women, trying to show her that he isn’t seriously injured. She draws away with no eye contact. According to French custom, it’s a national disgrace to run over a bicyclist. She walks with her head down toward the beckoning gendarme.

As the policeman valiantly tries to explain to me (in English) what needs to be done before leaving the scene, Craig is climbing into the ambulance. “Shawn, you stay here and find someplace safe to store the bikes.” So, not only do I have to find a safe place for the bikes, but then I must find my way to the hospital instead of riding in the ambulance as any good spouse would do.

Since I see that Craig doesn’t seem to be seriously injured, I get mad at the whole situation. What am I supposed to do with the bikes? How am I supposed to dictate a police report when I can barely speak the language? How do I get to the hospital? The policemen take pity on me and hand me a business card. We’re supposed to report to the police station tomorrow or as soon as possible, to complete the police report. I heave a sigh of relief and then contemplate where I’m going to store the bikes. As the policemen wait, I run across the street to the poulet roti (roasted chicken) shack. The owner witnessed the accident and thoughtfully agrees to take care of the bikes.

The mostly silent ride to the hospital only takes about 10 minutes; I carefully noted the location of the hospital in case of further disasters. Luckily, the woman at the front desk says “can I help you?” in English and we quickly locate Craig holding court in a private room. Craig immediately asks; “Did you find a place for the bikes?” Men . . . I would have liked to talk about my obvious distress at watching him ride away in the ambulance or ME dealing with the policemen.

The French have National Health Care regardless of citizenship status. Craig received a thorough exam, his cracked helmet being enough proof of a possible head injury. After a clear MRI, the doctor thoughtfully, yet sternly, explained to Craig that he must learn the French language while living here in France. For some reason, this makes me absurdly happy, as he had dismissed my ideas of studying the language before we arrived in France, not that my previous studying helped me this morning in my efforts to communicate my distress.

The hospital receptionist called a cab for us, a huge relief because I had no idea how to use the phone booth and we didn’t have a cell phone. The phone booth needed some sort of card to operate it and I didn’t know where to get a card. Mundane tasks that require no thought in the United States take on immense proportions overseas. On the way home I showed Craig the location of the bikes at poulet roti, relief is evident on his face. The darn bikes are worth a fortune. Luckily, Craig’s bike received only a few dings, proof of his manly escape from the speeding car.

For more information on Shawn and her writing, check out her website here.

Click below to buy her book online:

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