Funny Stuff Giveaway

pat dennis picPlease welcome Pat Dennis, friend, author, and comedienne. Pat, all around funny lady, is giving away copies of Hotdish To Die For to three commenters so feel free to chime in.

Readers often ask me how I come up with the quirky characters or wacky situations included in my short stories and novels.  I usually mumble  “imagination” or some other cliché. Truth be told?  I am as weird as any of my characters, and just as deluded.  I’ve always been that way. From my experience at a Mennonite college where I decided to host a male beauty pageant and somehow convinced three Mennonite young men to burn their underwear in protest —  to  the fact that on my way to a mystery convention  my pants fell to the ground  as soon as I walked into a crowded truck stop.  My art doesn’t just mimic my life, it taunts it. But sometimes writing about the strange things that continually happen to me helps me to heal. Or at least understand. Or, if nothing else, makes someone chuckle. Someday the following will turn into a fiction piece you may recognize. But for now, it’s unfortunately fact.


My husband and I headed to Duluth, Minnesota for the Thanksgiving holiday.  We wanted to celebrate it alone, sequestered in a plush hotel suite that overlooked Lake Superior. The hotel we checked into was a few blocks from the lake, but the HD2D4Coverview was still amazing. The  shimmering lake was in  the distance. The skyline features the lights other small hotels and even the backdoor of the jazz/topless dancer club  had  a really, cool green door.  There was also a parking lot directly across the street from our third floor room.


The night we checked in, I was staring out of the bedroom window. I noticed movement three floors below in a car parked in the parking lot that faced our hotel.  My eyes are getting worse every day as I age, but I was able to make out a tuft of white hair and something black.  Binoculars?  Was the creep using binoculars?  I continued staring for a few minutes.  By now the white head seemed to staring back at me. I moved to the left, he/she moved to  the left.  I moved  to the right, ditto.  At first I was amused because, frankly, I am too old to be ogled.  Then I got annoyed.  Perverts in Duluth?  We came up here to get away from the big city, people and pervs.


I yelled at my husband Steve to come into the bedroom. I pointed out what was happening. He looked out, but couldn’t see very far either. It didn’t help that the fog was rolling in, or it was dark.  He mentioned he saw something, but he wasn’t concerned.  Of course not, I reminded  him, because it wasn’t him being stared at. That started the “If you wouldn’t act like it was Mardi Gras” conversation, comebacks, quips, and eventual rolling of eyes that happens in a 27-year old marriage.


I kept stressing that someone having binoculars in a hotel parking lot was a reason to be concerned.  There were other women staying there as well. Since he was going on a walk, I suggested he check it out.  I didn’t even think of calling the police.

I stepped away from the window, went into the living room to read.  Steve left for his walk.  Ten minutes later he returned.  As soon as he opened the door he demanded, “Follow me.  I want to show you who was peeping at your breasts.”  (I hadn’t said  that but it was kind of nice he thought someone still wanted to look.)


We walked to the bedroom window and he pointed down at the creepy car.  He said, “See that?  That white hair?  It’s a big white dog.  And the black you kept seeing? It was probably his nose.”


My immediate  response, “Did they leave the window open?”


Steve answered, “Yeah, a little.  And actually he’s a pretty friendly dog.  Watch him watch every car and person walking down the street.”  And we did for a bit, now that we knew who the pervert was.


A few hours later I asked Steve, “So did you break out laughing when you saw that it was a dog  that was staring at me?”


Steve always refuses to smile, but I could tell he was forcing himself not to when he answered solemnly, “No, but I was really looking forward to coming back  up here to tell you who was checking  you out.’”

How about you gals? Have you been checked out by any ‘real dogs’ lately?


Pat  Dennis is the author of Hotdish to Die For, a collection of culinary short stories where the weapon of choice is hotdish.  (18 hotdish recipes are included.)  Her latest novel, Murder by Chance will be available March, 2013 from Forty Press. Her fiction and humor have been published in Woman’s World, Minnesota Monthly, The Pioneer Press, Sun Current newspapers, Minnesota Crime Wave’s Resort To Murder, Silence of the Loons, Fifteen Tales of Murder, Mayhem and Malice from the Land of Minnesota Nice,  Anne Frasier’s Deadly Treats, Once Upon A Crime Anthology, Writes of Spring, Who Died in Here?, Standup and Die, and  Hotdish Haiku. Pat Dennis is in high-demand as a humorist ,entertaining at corporate and special events.  Her client list includes Fortune 500 companies such as 3M and Delta Airlines. She’s appeared with Phyliss Diller, David Brenner, Tommy Chong, and Lewis Black.  Visit her at

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12 Responses to Funny Stuff Giveaway

  1. loisgreiman says:

    Thanks for joining us, Pat.

  2. I thought I saw a poodle go by in a car when we were stopped in Hinckley one time. Turned out to be a woman with a fancy hairdo.

  3. michelehauf says:

    Hey, Pat, welcome to the convertible!

  4. Good morning, Pat. Thanks for starting my day at the keyboard with a hearty laugh. What a sweet story–strong woman, good looking straight-faced man, above average dog. So Minnesota! And of course, the hotdish. My little chuckle–the first time this east coast transplant ran into the term “hotdish” (church potluck, of course) I thought I was just supposed to bring something cooked and make sure it was still hot. The mid-westerner’s “hotdish” was my casserole.

    Hey, no harm in offering up a little tail-wagging window dressing for car-bound pooch.

  5. roxanne rustand says:

    I so enjoyed your post! And it was such fun to read a post from a fellow Minnesotan–I knew the moment I saw “hotdish” in your book title. 🙂 I definitely plan too read your book!

  6. Anne says:

    Not real dogs, the human kind, Just sweet dogs that I encounter during my daily walks. The dogs are always a joy and the owners rather reticent and strange at times too.

  7. Cindy Gerard says:

    Welcome Pat and wow … you do seem to be a magnet for funny stuff happening to you LOL the book looks so funny! congratulations

  8. ellie says:

    When dogs are seated on the companion seat in the car and look as if they are human it is always gratifying to know how much the owner loves the dog. they can sense and feel more than humans most of the time.

  9. LOL!! I would have liked to be the fly on the wall (in the air?) when your husband figured that out. My mom just sent our family this dog figurine that has moving arms and legs. He’s wearing boots and has hands and currently is sitting on my sofa. She wants to make him some clothes. We’re all, uh, “Thanks, Grammy.” Frankly, we’re terrified of it.

  10. leannebanks says:

    Haha! I love that dog story! I’ve been in a similar situation where I was growing more and more tense and frightened, headed straight for panic and then found out it was something stupid. Whew! What a relief! Welcome to the vert!:)

  11. Quilt Lady says:

    Welcome Pat to the Top Down. Love your dog story. I can’t say I have had anything like that happen to me lately.

    • Barb Goffman says:

      I once was hanging out with an old boyfriend and his dog. After a bit, my boyfriend and I began to get … busy, shall we say. The dog promptly left the room. It was, I must admit, slightly insulting. He checked us out and decided we even weren’t worth watching. Hmph.

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