Margaret Atwood (kind of) signed books at this year’s Vancouver Word on the Street, and we had the honour of (kind of) seeing the LongPen with which she did it. By the time we got down under the library and through the hallway that always smells of aged cheddar and into the tiny room where the LongPen had performed, the show was over and the LongPen was already back in its box. But the tech guy who was packing up the room showed us the squiggly line that the LongPen had inscribed in his copy of The Year of the Flood, which could be read as: “Thank you, Margaret Atwood.” He said that while testing the LongPen before the show he had had to ask Atwood if the squiggle is what her signature is supposed to look like. The giant screen on which Atwood’s likeness had appeared loomed above us, white and shiny. Atwood’s presence seemed to linger in the room. We could only say things like “Wow” and “This is making my day” and “No, no, the photo of the box is enough.” Outside the room, Nardwuar, the annoying, tartan-wearing interviewer, stood in the hallway that smells of aged cheddar, but we didn’t take a picture of him.