A Carlson Septuplets Story
It was a sunny spring Saturday in June, and the temperature outside was nearly perfect. The Septuplets and several of their friends were outside playing various activities. Megan and her friend Angela were exploring the woods that were behind the Carlsons' house on the edge of the subdivision. Melissa and Louise were sitting at the table on the patio eating junk food and talking. Monica was in her garden, Michelle was shooting hoops in the driveway, Molly was sprawled on the grass in the side yard reading a book, and Meredith was riding a her bicycle as fast as she could down the road with Mary on rollerblades holding on to a jump rope tied to the back of it.
The two on the bike and rollerblades stopped in the driveway. "Hey, that was fun!" Mary exclaimed. "Are you sure you don't want to try the rollerblades and I'll ride the bike this time?"
"No, that's okay, I'll just stay on the bike," Meredith said.
"Try it, it's not scary!" Mary insisted. "You don't have to be the one pulling all the time."
Meredith hesitated, but then decided that since Mary wasn't in the hospital right now, it was probably safe enough. "Okay," she agreed. "It'll take me a few minutes to go get my rollerblades and put 'em on, though."
"Okay." Mary followed Meredith into the house and to the back of the first floor where Meredith's bedroom was. Right next to the family room that Meredith's and Molly's rooms were connected to was the sunroom, and off of that was the computer room. Mary noticed that no one was on the computer right now. She hadn't checked her E-mail in a long time. (Not since this morning, and it was already late afternoon!) So she decided to check it now while Meredith was looking for her rollerblades.
The computer was already on, as it always was at the Carlsons' house. She opened up Netscape Mail and checked her own personal email. There was nothing there, and Mary was disappointed. So she checked the family's septuplet address, which was on their official Carlson Septuplet page (more official than the ones done by companies that used them in advertising: this one was done by the Septuplets themselves!); as always, there were lots and lots of messages for them to read. Mary sighed. Why didn't her personal E-mail, used by her friends, keypals, and relatives, get this much mail? This public account got too much for them to keep up with, but the Septs hated to throw away messages without reading them; just like anyone else they wrote fan mail to their favorite sites/people, so they knew what it was like to hope that someone got their message. So they tried to keep up with them. Mary read through the first few of the latest batch of fan mail. It was the usual, "Dear Septuplets, I think you're so cool, from your most devoted fan in Milwaukee" type of message. The second was one saying, "Hi M 'n' M's, I heard that you are making another movie, is this true? I hope you are! I can't wait to see it! I loved your other movie but I really want to see one that's new!" The third and fourth were annoying spam ads. Yuck, how annoying.
"What are you doing? Checking your E-mail?" Meredith asked, finding Mary where she had expected: in the computer room.
"Yep. The public addy."
"Don't check it now, that'll take forever! I thought we were going to rollerblade some more."
"Yeah, we are. Just let me read one more message, this one looks a little different." Mary clicked on the fifth message, with the subject "convention". She read it out loud: Dear Carlson family, I hope this is the right address to send important messages to. I couldn't find another one, and your phone number wasn't listed, just as I had expected. This message is to invite you to attend our 'triplets and up' convention in July. We would like to hold it in Detroit; as you know it is called 'Sept City, USA' which is...."
"Westfield is Sept City, USA," Meredith interrupted to correct.
"Well, I guess they didn't realize that. Anyway," she continued, "it is called 'Sept City, USA' which would of course be the idea location for this convention. We would be honored if you would attend our convention, which will take place on July 19, 1997. Please RSVP to this message so we can plan on you attending or not."
"That sounds kinda cool," Meredith commented. "Are we going to go?"
"I don't know," Mary said. "Let's go tell everyone about it." They ran back outside and told everyone about the message. They gathered in the side yard where Molly had been reading.
"That does sound like fun," Michelle said. "I think we should go." Most of the other Septs nodded in agreement.
"Kinda strange though," Molly commented. "Who ever heard of a convention just for multiplets?"
"They've got conventions for everything," Monica said. "Why not one for multiplets?"
"You're not complaining about it, Molly?" Melissa asked. "I thought for sure you'd whine about it being some publicity trap."
Molly glared at Melissa. "I don't whine about anything," Molly retorted. "I just try to avoid it. But anyway, this doesn't seem like someplace where that'd be a problem. I mean, it's all multiplets, so who's going to care?"
All the others stared at her. "Well, you are the only septuplets in the world," Louise observed. "That's a little different from being a quadruplet or quintuplet or something like that."
Molly shrugged. "I just don't think it'd be a big problem." Since the Septuplets had been invited to the convention as some sort of VIPs, the others weren't quite so sure that was right, but no one pointed this out to Molly because they all wanted to go and didn't want Molly to complain about it.
That evening the Septs told their parents about the convention and they said it would be fine if all of them wanted to go. They all did, so it was set. Mary wrote back to the invitation to let the organizers know they were coming. The next day they got an E-mail with information about the event. It would be at Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit (not Westfield, it was too small). Triplets and higher-order multiplets from all over the USA were coming. Although it was only a national event, some multiplets from other countries might show up too, especially from Canada since it was only a mile or so from the border. One thing that the Septuplets found very strange was that the cost was free, but for admission they had to bring their birth certificates. "Maybe it's just to prove that we're the real Carlson Septuplets," Michelle suggested. They couldn't think of any better explanation, so they assumed that was the reason.
It was 11:30 AM on the morning of July 19. They were supposed to be there right now, but as usual the Carlson family was running a few minutes late. "Look, there's Cobo Hall," Monica pointed to the convention center as they drove past it. "Let's hurry up and park and go!"
"There's parking on the roof," Mr. Carlson said. "That's where I'm going."
They drove up a spiral ramp to the roof of the building and parked there. "Hmm, it's kinda crowded here," Mary observed. "I've never been here when there were actually a lot of cars!"
"That means we're late. Hurry up!" Mrs. Carlson hurried her family into the building. There were signs on the wall that read, "Multiplets, this way" with arrows. They followed the arrows which lead downstairs to the main convention center. At the door to the room were three greeters; two girls and one boy, about seventeen years old, who were apparently triplets.
"Hey, look who's here!" one of them said.
"You're the Carlson Septuplets, aren't you? I heard you were coming!" another added.
"Yes, we are," Molly said.
"Wow, that's great that you decided to come. This'll really help the convention out!"
"Can we see your birth certificates or other proof of multipletcation?"
"Multipletcation??" they said at once, exchanging questioning glances.
"You know, proof you're really multiplets."
"Well, you could have just said that. What is this 'multipletcation' thing all about?" Melissa asked.
"Oh, it's just a word we made up for being multiplets, that's all. No, not a real word, of course. Just a funny word, you know? Sorta like 'multiplication' with numbers. But instead it's with people — multiplets. So you get 'multipletcation.' See?"
"Oh." the Septs shrugged.
"Aren't you three a little old to still have your own secret language?" Molly asked jokingly, referring to the fact that some multiplets had their own 'secret language' when they were very young.
"The birth certificates?" one of the triplets asked, impatiently. Mrs. Carlson took them out of the purse and handed them to the triplets to look over.
"I guess you kids really are the Carlson Septuplets!" one of them said.
"Was there ever any doubt?" Melissa asked. "How many sets of seven identical kids have you met today?"
"You can go in, then. Wait a second though, can we have your autographs?" one of the triplets asked.
The Septs consented and signed three sets of T-shirts. The shirts were specially made for this convention. The had some clip art drawings of sets of identical triplets and fraternal quintuplets on them, and said, "MULTIPLETCATION; triplets-and-up convention: Detroit, MI, July 19, 1997" on them.
"Let me guess, you three had something to do with the slogan on those shirts?" Monica assumed.
"Yep. Our dad runs the convention. He liked our special phrase."
"They really should have consulted a writer," Meredith said aside to Mary and Megan, who tried not to laugh.
"Okay, thanks so much for the autographs!!! You can go in now."
"Finally," Melissa mumbled.
"You know, I was just thinking," Mary said. "We always say we're against discrimination and stuff like that, don't we?"
"Yeah, so?" Monica and Michelle replied.
"Well, isn't it sorta discriminating against unituplets not to let them inside? And against twins too, since it's triplets and up."
"I never thought of that," Meredith said.
"Oh, don't worry about it, Mary, I don't think they really care. It's just so that the convention is specially for multiplets," Michelle assured her.
They looked around the convention center. It looked pretty much like any other large gathering, except there were several sets of look-alikes in the crowd. Not all were look-alikes, of course, because most were fraternal multiplets or else parents of multiplets. Thanks to the recent multiple birth boom, there were lots of babies and toddlers, but several sets of older kids and some adults as well. Lots of people were wearing the "Multipletcation" T-shirts. Many people were chatting with each other; others were watching a stage near the back of the room where some identical quadruplets were speaking on a microphone about their experiences as quads.
"Hey!!! You're the Carlson Septuplets, aren't you?!?!?!" two girls and two boys who looked about seven years old approached them from behind.
"Yes," Meredith said.
"Can you sign our T-shirts, please, please, please?! We're your biggest fans!" they shoved some permanent markers and more of the Multipletcation shirts at the Septs.
The Septs didn't want to disappoint the kids, so they all signed each of the shirts. "Thank you SO much, we've always wanted to meet you guys! Thank you!!" they said, and ran back to find their parents and show them their amazing prizes.
"I hope this whole day isn't just signing stuff," Molly complained.
"Hi, girls! You're the Carlsons, right?" this time it was a middle-aged man who approached them.
"Yep," Michelle said.
"Hi, I'm Greg Pauly," he said, shaking each of the girls' hands in turn and their parents' too. "I'm in charge of the convention today. I'm glad you could make it. My kids told me you were here. They're at the door checking to make sure everyone's a multiplet."
"Ah, the 'Multipletcation' triplets," Monica realized.
"That's them. Don't you like the slogan they came up with for the convention?"
"Umm...it's really...um...nice," Melissa said, not admitting that she really thought it was slightly absurd.
"Anyway, I just wanted to welcome you and thank you for coming. And one thing: would you girls mind speaking a little bit on our stage in a while? I know that everyone here would love to hear you! You're sorta the guests of honor."
"We are?" Megan questioned.
"Of course, how many sets of identical septuplets do you think we have here?" Mr. Pauly laughed. "So will you?"
"What do you think, girls?" Mrs. Carlson asked.
"Don't feel pressured if you don't want to," Mr. Carlson told them. "You came here to be entertained, not to entertain everyone else."
The Septs thought for a few moments. "I guess we could," Mary decided. "Right, you guys?" The other Septs nodded.
"Since lots of other people are, I don't see what's wrong with us talking too," Molly added.
"Great! At about 1 o'clock we'll announce you." That was in about an hour. "Thanks, enjoy the convention!"
"So, what now?" Megan asked. "Do we just stand around?"
"No, silly, we talk to people and look around and buy souvenirs, of course. That's what these things are for," Meredith replied.
They did just that. Mr. and Mrs. Carlson went to talk to people without their kids around, and the Septs went to explore. First they took a look at the stand selling the Multipletcation T-shirts and other souvenirs. Besides the shirts, there were calendars with pictures of identical multiplets, coffee mugs with the Multipletcation logo on them, hats with the logo, and many other useless toys and gadgets. Then Melissa noticed some of the posters they were selling. They were Carlson Septuplet posters! The souvenir sellers had purchased them from the distributor who carried the Septuplets' merchandise. One poster had all of them in a bunch smiling and waving at about age eleven, and one had seven individual pictures of all of them at age six, blowing bubbles, eating lollipops, and other cute things like that. Mary discovered that they also had pins with the Septs on them, an album with pictures of them up to about age nine, when they often dressed alike, and many other Septuplet things.
"Oh, look! Look what they have!" Megan pointed to some boxes displayed on top on the top shelf with some other expensive items. There were little collectors' edition dolls of the Septuplets as toddlers, in different poses and dressed in matching outfits with the old Septs' Color Code star patches on them.
"I haven't seen these in the stores in years!" Mary exclaimed. "Where'd you get these?" she asked the lady operating the stand.
The lady had been at the other end of the stand selling T-shirts and hats to some triplets and their parents. She hadn't noticed the Septs standing on the other side. "Oh, you are the Septuplets themselves! I didn't even notice! My gosh, it's amazing to meet you! You're certainly much older than I'm used to seeing you in these pictures! Did you see the dolls we have?"
"Yeah, that's what we were just going to ask you about," Meredith said. "Where'd you get those?!"
"They haven't been sold for a long time!" Molly added.
"Well, we were quite lucky to find them. We have two sets, actually. Mr. Pauly — he's the one running this whole thing — found one set at a collectors' shop a year or so ago, and he asked the people there where they found them. They told him about one company that sold them to the shop that was going out of business. He contacted them and found out they still had one set left in storage and they sold it to him."
"Wow," Megan said. "These are dolls are really hard to find now."
"Yeah, so you know what we're doing with them?" the lady handed them a sign that had been sitting on the opposite end of the counter. "We're raffling one set off, and we're selling the other set to the highest bidder. Both programs are fundraisers; we're donating the proceeds to the Children's Hospital."
"No kidding, really?" Michelle said, amazed, as she looked at the sign that explained the two contests.
"Would you girls like to enter?"
"Oh, no thanks," Megan said. "I mean, it is for a good cause, but we already have these same dolls packed away in our basement somewhere. We should just donate the money to the charity and let someone else win the dolls."
They finished looking at the souvenirs (the lady tried to convince them to buy seven Multipletcation T-shirts but they didn't really want matching shirts, especially these ones) and then they went to look for something else to do. What they ended up doing was talking to other people, and signing things. A set of ten-year-old triplets asked them to sign more Multipletcation T-shirts; some twelve-year-old quadruplets asked them to sign Carlson Septuplet T-shirts they had purchased somewhere else a long time ago and had brought in hopes of meeting the Septs; some identical sixteen-year-old triplets asked them to sign copies of both versions of the Septuplet posters sold at the souvenir stand; a set of thirteen-year-old triplets remembered that the Septuplets' 15th birthday had been one week earlier and had bought a box of candy for each Sept! They too asked for autographs on their T-shirts.
"Is signing stuff all we're going to do?" Molly asked her sisters, annoyed, after the seventh group had asked for autographs. "I thought this would be different than other large gatherings, since it's all multiplets."
"Hi! Are you the Septuplets?" came a voice from behind.
"Not again," Molly groaned.
I'm sorry, but I couldn't help overhearing your conversation," the voice said. It belonged to a college-age girl who was standing behind them. "Don't worry, I won't bug you for autographs. You seem to have a very unique situation here. What I mean is that this convention is for sharing similar experiences about being multiplets with people who have similar lives. But no one has a life like yours."
"It does seem like that," Monica admitted.
"My name's Jackie Mokleski, by the way. I think I know all of yours, but you'll have to forgive me, I don't know which name goes with which one of you."
The Septs named themselves for her, but Jackie said apologetically that she probably wouldn't be able to remember who was who for more than five seconds. "Anyway," she continued, "I guess none of us 'lower-level multiples' know what it's like to be a septuplet."
"You've got that right," Melissa said. Megan and Meredith elbowed her sharply for being so rudely blunt.
"It is a little different, I guess, than being one of quads or triplets," Michelle said. "Since we get a lot of attention. For being the world's only septs, ya know?"
"I don't really understand why everyone cares so much," Megan said. "But they do. It really doesn't make sense to me. Just 'cause of the number of siblings we have, everyone thinks we're fascinating?"
"Well, I'll admit I do find it very interesting that you're the world's only septs, and that you all look alike! That's truly amazing," Jackie said. "I'm one of quintuplets, and I thought we got a lot of attention for that, but it's nothing like what you girls deal with. How do you manage?"
"I don't know, we're just used to it," Mary said. "It's always been like this for us."
"There aren't a lot of quintuplets here," Meredith observed. "I think you're the first set we've met. Quints aren't that common, either!"
"No, there's one other set of quints here, I think," Jackie said. "I've been talking to lots of people here. Several sets of quads too but it's really mostly triplets. This crowd's about 85% trios, I think. There was supposed to be a set of sextuplets too but they never showed up, I guess. Probably 'cause the sextuplets were so young, they would be quite a handful at a thing like this. Anyway, I just wanted to say 'hi' to you girls, you can get back to whatever you were doing now. It's been nice chatting with you."
"Yeah, it was nice chatting with you too," Mary said.
"Bye, Jackie, see ya later, maybe," Meredith said. "We'd love to stay, I'm sure, but in five minutes they're making us go on stage and talk."
"Really? They really are using you because you're so different from everyone else. No one here is really like you girls. They're closer to being twins or single babies than they are to knowing what your lives are like. Well, bye."
The Septs said good-bye and then ran off towards the stage. Fortunately no one had a chance to ask them for autographs.
"Hey, is it true that the Carlson Septuplets are in there?" demanded a ten-year-old boy, a unituplet, who was standing outside the entrance to the convention center. The Multipletcation triplets were still playing guard duty at the gates.
"That's right, they're in there right now. In five minutes they're supposed to go on stage," one of the triplets said.
"Oh please, oh please, let us in there!!" the boy's younger sister begged. "I love the Septs so much, I've always wanted to meet them!"
"Sorry, no triplet-or-more siblings, no entry."
"Please!!!!" the girl was desperate.
"That's not fair!" the boy exclaimed.
Another family approached the gates. "I heard they had two sets of the 1984 collectors' limited edition Carlson Septuplet dolls!" one older girl cried. "Please let me inside, I've been looking for those dolls so long! I've got to see them!"
"I'm sorry, this convention is for triplets, quadruplets, or higher, and their immediate families."
"Please! Let me inside! You've just got to! It's not my fault I'm not a triplet!"
"Hey, we're twins!" shouted a boy and a girl who had joined the small crowd that was forming at the entrance. "Can't we go in?"
"I'm sorry," one of the triplets repeated, "but no twins or singletons are allowed."
"Who are you calling a simpleton?" said the ten-year-old boy.
"She said singleton, not simpleton," another of the guard triplets said.
"The boy's got a point, it does sound sort of like a derogatory comment," a mother said. "Some multiplet who thought single birth babies were stupid or asked too many silly questions probably came up with it."
"Let us in, please!!" several members of the crowd begged. "It's not fair that they get to see the Septuplets just because they happened to be born in large bunches. And they're still not in as large groups as the Carlsons!"
"C'mon, I've been looking for those collectors' edition dolls for so long. I don't see why we can't go in and enter the drawing. It wouldn't hurt anything!"
The triplets exchanged glances. This small crowd was becoming a bit more than they could handle.
"Look, I'm sorry, but rules are rules, okay? So you can't come in!" one of them yelled.
After this, some of the people decided it wasn't worth fighting over. The group began to disperse. But some of the diehard Septuplet memento collectors would not give up so easily.
"You people are so selfish," one of them said. "All we want to do is enter your little drawing, contribute some money to your charity, and just 'cause we're not part of your little in-crowd you won't let us. Who cares about your convention anyway? You think you're so special 'cause you're triplets and that entitles you to see the Septuplets? Well, that's not so special at all, there are a gazillion sets of triplets in the world."
"Umm...okay, I think someone's overreacting here," one of the triplets said to himself. Fortunately for them though, after the angry collectors had vented a little they sulked off again to find something else to do. They did stay in the convention center, however; they didn't want to seem like they were completely defeated.
The other groups of multiplets who were talking on stage were running behind. The Septs had to stand around backstage and wait for a few more minutes. This wasn't a problem, however, because they didn't have anything to say anyway. Now they had a chance to think of something.
"This is so stupid, how come we have to talk?" Molly asked.
"Lots of people here have gone on stage and talked about themselves," Meredith observed. "I guess that's what we're supposed to do."
"Oh, fun," Michelle said. "Just talk about ourselves for ten minutes? That will be thrilling."
After that they were distracted by some other people standing around talking. They were saying something about people who weren't invited trying to get in to the convention.
"What's that? People are trying to get in and they won't let then?" Mary asked, overhearing the conversation.
"Yeah, some people who aren't supertwins. I hear they want a chance to win those Sept dolls, and they want to get a chance to see you seven talk, too."
"Why not just let them in, then?" Monica suggested.
"They're not supertwins, which is who this convention is for."
"Hmmm," Mary said. "I guess they have a point, it's not really fair."
"Why not?" the people were obviously surprised at her reaction. "It's Mr. Pauly's convention and he can let whomever he wants in."
"Maybe he can," Mary said. "But it's kinda discrimination, isn't it? I mean, only people with certain birth certificates can come in? That's not really fair. I thought of that before, but I guess it's really silly. Oh well."
"No, you're right, Mary," Megan agreed. "This isn't a private convention for a club or something like that. It's a public gathering that you don't even need to pay to get into. They're just picking and choosing certain people to get it. It's not really any more fair that saying only Americans can come, or only girls, or only people who own chihuahuas!"
"But they can do that, can't they? It is legal, isn't it?" Monica wondered.
No one knew if it was legal or not. "It doesn't matter if it's legal or not though," Meredith said. "It's still not very nice, even if it is legal. And I don't even know if it is or not."
"So what you're saying is you actually think we should let those people in?" asked one of the people who had brought up the topic.
All the Septs nodded. "Yeah, I think you should," Mary said.
The other people glanced at each other as if to ask, what do you think? "I guess you've got a point there," one of them agreed. "But there's nothing we can do about it. Oh well." He wandered off.
"I think we should let them in so the twins and singles can talk to us about what it's like to be multiplets," commented someone else.
"Not me, I say keep 'em out! This convention is for triplets-and-up only!" Everyone else glared at this negative person. He glared back at everyone else. No one else seemed to agree with him.
"I have an idea," Meredith said. She whispered it to the other Septs, who all nodded and grinned.
"Okay girls, it's your turn," the stage manager told the Septs.
"Great," Melissa said. They walked out on stage. The audience applauded. Here were some people they finally knew!
Outside the entrance to the convention hall, the small group of people who had tried to get in were now standing near the door, trying to at least hear the Septs talk if they couldn't see them. The triplets had tried to get them to leave, but they had to accept that at least they weren't demanding admittance anymore, and that was the best they were going to get. (Unless they called security, but that hadn't occurred to the triplets.)
Monica took the microphone first. "Umm...it's very nice to be here today. This convention has been a lot of fun for everyone, I'm sure. From talking to some of you, we've learned that all multiplets have very different experiences. One set of identical triplets might be nothing like each other, but a set of fraternal quints might all be very much alike in the ways they think and act. Some multiplets might get lots of attention, and some might just blend in and not think it's anything special."
Monica paused so Meredith grabbed the microphone from her. "The thing is that everyone is different and no set of multiplets knows everything about 'what it's like,' because it's different for everyone. Since we're the only set of septuplets in the world, we've had a pretty unique experience. We really don't know what it's like to be a quadruplet or a quintuplet. That's just about as different as quints are from twins."
Next it was Molly's turn to talk. "But everyone here has really interesting experiences to share, whether they're triplets, quints, or septs. The number of people you were born with doesn't determine how special or interesting an individual is."
Now for the climax of the speech. "That's why we thought it might be nice to let the twins and unituplets who are gathered outside the door into the convention," Mary explained.
There was a silent pause. Everyone was thinking about this surprising idea. Then sounds of talking rose from the crowd as they discussed it amongst themselves.
"We're not better than them because we're triplets, quads, or even septuplets. I think since that's the case, we should let them in," Mary continued.
Across the room, Mr. Pauly was starting to get a little nervous. Should he do what the Septuplets suggested? Lots of people seemed to agree with them. But this was supposed to be just for multiplets!
Outside the gates, the unituplets and twins started clapping and cheering. The guard triplets started to worry.
Some of the people inside the convention center applauded. Some of them thought the Septs were right, some didn't think the Septs were exactly right but that it would be nice anyway, some of them would do whatever the Septuplets suggested because they were famous, and some just clapped because the people around them were clapping. Soon almost everyone was applauding, except a few stubborn people who thought the unituplets and twins should not be allowed in.
"I've heard that some people want to come in so they can enter the raffle and the auction for the sets of Septuplet dolls. Well, if even more people are allowed in, that will mean even more money for the Children's Hospital charity!" Megan said. Now everyone was clapping; who could be so selfish as to not want to help the Children's Hospital? If anyone was, they dared not show it!
This was enough for Mr. Pauly. He headed to the entrance and instructed his son and daughters to let anyone in regardless of what it said on their birth certificate. The people outside cheered. The people inside did too.
The Septs had nothing more to say so they jumped off the stage to where their mom and dad were waiting. "Good job, girls!" their mom congratulated them.
"Where did you get an idea like that?" their dad asked them.
"Oh, I don't know, just listening to what people were saying, I guess," Meredith said.
Of course, a few people were mad at the Septs. Two people sought them out and told them they ahd completely ruined the convention, but the other people standing around told those people to get lost before the Septuplets even had a chance to reply. Just about everyone thought what they had done was pretty nice, whether it was right or not.
Now that even more people were here, the Septuplets had to sign even more souvenirs. They didn't mind, though. Everyone got autographs whether they were born one at a time or five at a time! They signed mostly the Carlson Septuplet merchandise, and among the multiplets, the Multipletcation shirts were very popular too. Mr. Pauly gave each of the Septs a complimentary T-shirt to thank them for signing stuff for everyone, so they did end up with the shirts after all. The twins who had been outside the gates found the Septuplets and thanked them for getting them inside, they were so grateful! As for the dolls, the doll collecting unituplet won the auction by bidding $1,300! She was a real die-hard, obviously, and she had a large fund stored away for collecting dolls (not to mention that her family was extremely well off). A set of eleven-year-old fraternal quadruplets, two boys and two girls, won the raffle for the other set. They were so excited, even the boys were happy about winning the dolls! The raffle raised an additional $6,000. Mr. Pauly asked the Septuplets if they would consider being the ones to present the check to the Children's Hospital, and of course they agreed. They also visited some of the kids at the hospital (and signed more autographs) which really brightened the kids' day.
"Multipletcation" © 1998 by Jessie Mannisto.