I surprised Don Tate today by showing up at his presentation at the Austin Public Library branch that I frequent. He returned the favor, surprising me — while I lurked on the other side of the room divider from the audience — by calling me out from behind the curtain and announcing me and my book.

Now, for this audience of kids, a year and a half — the wait until The Day-Glo Brothers‘ publication date — represents a serious chunk of the total time they’ve logged on this planet so far. It’s forever. Hearing about my book must have been only slightly less exciting than seeing a preview for a musical slated for a Christmas 2007 release. But I appreciated the nod all the same, and next time I just happen to drop by a friend’s reading, I’ll wear my Day-Glo T-shirt (the actual color is Signal Green, to be precise), just in case. That certainly won’t get old.

It should go without saying that Don did a great job, but I’ll say it anyway. He held his own with a fidgety bunch for half an hour, made a couple of days with his on-the-spot portraits, and fielded lots of good questions, my favorite of which was: “Are you an arthur?”

Not yet, but he will be.