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P. Fanatics Presents: Hair Reading Recap

Literary Chicago talked about last night’s event a bit, check it out.

My thoughts:

- The Bulls game was, well, an interruption. How was I supposed to predict over a month ago that they’d have a play-off game? It was funny when they’d clap for the Bulls near the end of the game though in that it seemed like they were clapping for Mark Schettler as he read.

- The zine looked really great, partially due in part to Natalie Hurtenbach who designed it. It’ll be up on the internets soon to view in entirety, but here’s sample:

- Dan Shapiro offended a woman so much so that she stopped me later in that night to say, “you really offended me with your Aushwitz joke, it was inappropriate.” When I explained to her that Dan Shapiro and I are not the same person, she replied, “No. No excuses.” I started to say that people are allowed to read whatever they’d like on stage, but she cut me of. “No excuses.”

- The sound sucks in that place. The quality, the volume, all of it. Oddly enough, the sound is best when near the speakers in the very back of the rather large bar. Horrible in the middle, and kinda alright while up front. Nobody was near the stage as everyone read, which really gave the night an odd feeling.

- When I put a finger to my mouth and said, “Shh,” to some young men in back playing pool, they merely looked at me and told me that they don’t speak English. And here I was under the impression that “shh” was universal for “Shut the fuck up, assholes.”

- There was a man with a rottweiler, a very sweet dog. When I asked him if he could please speak softer, he asked, “What?! Why are you telling me to do this?” When I pointed out he was interrupting the reading he said, “Oh, yeah, okay.”

- There were two other men who, when I asked politely that they be quieter, replied, “Why? What are you gonna do? You gonna kick me out?” One was an acquaintance and was joking, we laughed. One was not and intimidated me greatly, but shut up when I replied, “yeeeeaaaaah. I will.”

- All the readers were great. Matt Rowan, Mary Hamiliton, Mairead Case, Ian Jones, Samantha Irby, Mark Schettler, Dan shapiro – everyone. Anything that may have marred their reading was not their fault, but probably mine.

All in all, it was a fun night. This is not the kind of bar you’d expect a reading at, and it shows. The regulars don’t understand. Some do like it though, and it’s rewarding when they seem to enjoy themselves, while others ignore it… loudly. I’m going to seriously think about changing venues in the future.

<3 Mason

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