at the MouthHouse
What this job lacks in pay, it makes up in perks.

I mean, how many people get to go out to their own kitchen and hear Mayer Shevin sing? How many people get to call up a great cartoon artiste, tell him a story, and get a cartoon back a few days later?

Mayer Shevin, seen right, is the guy whose poem we bastardized to make the fish poster, seen below. Its order number is 2-DO because when we published it the first time, as facing pages in Mouth #10 or so, he called to gripe. I think he even threatened a lawsuit. We've been friends ever since.

Mayer works with the Facilitated Communication Institute in Syracuse. He's also one of those "disability consultants" you hear me carp about. But then I got to watch him do that "consultant" thing at a Missouri Partners in Policymaking event.

It's cool to see old friends teach things you never knewlet alone knew they knew. Even cooler, I got to see the actual light go on in people's eyes as the small, interactive audience got Mayer's message about "behaviors." Four different times during his two-hour presentation, I heard people say it out loud:

"Oh, I get it!"

Dig it. We got it, stuff we never knew. Learning is possible. Life is good.

Mayer, bless him, came back to the MouthHouse for a couple of days before he left for home. I got to hear some songs, and a poem, and the strange history of DD Councils plus more about autism. Mayer got to look through a fat file of new Scott Chambers cartoons, and hear Peter Leidy's new CD. He read a whole lot of stuff I've written lately, and gave me some actual

mayer shevin in mouth's back yard. photo by cal grandy
The Differences are Obvious, our best-selling poster, inspired by Mayer Shevin's poem. Black on ivory, 11" x 17", laminated. $7 each or $12 for two Order # 2-DO (Use order form, p. 46.)
feedback. Heaven.

During the warm-up at Partners, Mayer told about a boy scout bragging to his mother how his whole troop had helped a little old lady cross the street. His mother asked why it took so many to help.

"Because she didn't want to go."

I called Scott Chambers to thank him for another fat packet of cartoons. (He's so prolific, now that he and the lovely Elnora finally finished moving, that we could fill an issue with Scott stuff every time.) I told him Mayer's boy scout story too and next thing you know here's another fat pack of cartoons including the one at right.

Not the same story, but

that's the thing about art, isn't it?

It will find its own way.

page 40 sept - oct 2002 mouth