I’m not a brat

by lulujane on January 2, 2009

A few years ago my brother Greg was commenting on childhood things.  I remember the word ‘brat’ coming up and don’t have specific memory of  the brat reference; thinking that perhaps he, or someone else, perceived him as a brat when he was a kid.

A short while later I saw a reference in a local magazine promoting the book by a local author, former schoolteacher Arnie McCallum entitled “I’m not a brat”  http://www.notabrat.com. I made a mental note of this, thinking I might buy it for Greg as a Christmas stocking stuffer.  I cut the piece from the magazine and taped it on the ledge around my desk, beside my computer where it was in my line of vision every day, even if I didn’t look directly at it, for many months.

bratOne day I went to lunch with a friend at a Tim Horton coffee shop a short distance from where I worked.  A man sat at a table near us.  A brown manilla envelope sat in front of him.  A short while later he opened the envelope, removed papers from it, pushed back his chair, got up and walked around the room handing them out .  As I took the paper from his hand I noticed his name on the paper.  Arnie McCallum.  I also noticed a reference to “I’m not a brat”.

I approached him at his table questioning whether he had any of the books with him.  He said he had some in the trunk of his car and went out to get one for me.  We exchanged money for book. I walked back to my table, book in hand, a happy person.

I wanted to buy it.  I ceased looking at and seeing the clipping beside my desk. I took no action toward seeking the book out.  I think this was one of those cases – if Mohammed won’t go to the mountain, the mountain would come to him, and so this book came to me.

The best part of this – the magic of it all.

Update to original post – February 19, 2009


On Monday this week I went to Belle River with my sister and her husband for a visit with our brother Greg and his wife Sue.  Greg has a welding business called Steel Wonders www.gardenroutes.com/members where he creates steel art for garden and home decor, so it is always interesting to visit and see if any new creations are on the bench, or complete and ready to go out for rustproof painting.  About an hour into our visit I was drawn to the lettering on his blue sweatshirt.  In our home town of Windsor, Ontario we have a Value Village resale store.  He often goes there to get ‘new’ clothes for welding, knowing that all of them end up wearing grease and sporting lots of holes.  The sweatshirt he was wearing, which I display here with a photograph was emblazoned with the words “notabrat.com’ .  I burst into laughter and reminded him of the book I bought for him a few years back.  When he bought the shirt he had no awareness of his connection with this phrase.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Arnot McCallum 06.13.11 at 6:12 pm

Well I never thought I would see somebody in one of those BRAT- T-SHIRT.
I am the author of the book you have. I hope you enjoyed the poems as much as I did writing them.
Here’s a short poem just for you. t will be in my new book coming out in November.
All the best you little Brat.
Arnot McCallum


A python is eating my teacher.
All we can see is her shoe.
This is our very first field trip
Our class is here at the zoo.

My teacher must be a mouthful.
She’s big, she’s tall and she’s strong.
The python is munching and crunching.
This really won’t take very long.

But there is one thing to remember
When we witness this terrible sight.
The python will be plump and happy.
We won’t have homework tonight.

© Arnot McCallum

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