Flagstaff, AZ—Always on the job, I attended the David Sedaris show on Friday April 27th over at glamorous NAU. Sedaris is supposed to be an autograph-friendly-legend (AFL), but one person was clearly gypped. You might be wondering who? I was supposed to ask him some questions that I scribbled down on the ride over. The plan was to ask him as many of these questions as possible until his bodyguards dragged me or him away. Then I would categorize our brief, yet turbulent encounter as "an interview"...you know, the usual.
I figured the signing would suit my needs, but man the line was long—the director’s cut of Twilight long. I was about to head back to my seat when I realized the line was down to one person, presumably because they announced, "The show is starting, so piss off." But I managed to sneak behind the last person in line. Once I was standing before the comedic legend himself, I did my traditional unfolding of the biggest receipt in my wallet. I smoothed it out all nice like and then slid it over for him to sign. Then one of his evil minions said, "That’s it. The other guy was last." I was shirked, rudely shirked! Now you see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I’m being repressed! I recovered quickly, because I am a professional, after all, and I told Dave, "Hey, I’m looking forward to the show." He ignored my comment and zipped up his little bag of Sharpies and walked showard. The bastard! So I did the only thing a self-respecting blogger would do...I picked up the one Sharpie that had dropped on the floor and huffed the thing dry.
Actually, this was my small revenge:
That’ll teach him to mess with an important voice of the press.
Before I continue with the Sedaris character assassination, I will state for the record, he’s a comedic genius and a talented author. I enjoy his work immensely. Let’s face it, he’s approaching nearly a Zano level of talent (NZLOT). What really impressed me was his natural wit during the question and answer phase of the night’s festivities. Now, having said that, onward with the personal assault!
The show was very funny, but I had already read one of the selections he chose to recite. It was a story from The New Yorker. In fact, I think they were all recycled excerpts. Then he did the same snail joke he used on The Jon Stewart show. Sure it’s a funny joke, but the second time....?
Guy gets woken up at 2AM by his doorbell. He opens the door and sees a snail perched on his porch.
The snail says, "Hi, I'm going door-to-door selling magazines. Could I interest you in a subscription?"
Enraged, the guy boots the snail off his porch, sending him sailing.
Two years later, doorbell rings again, and one more time it's the snail.
"What the fuck was that all about?"
OK, if he can do it, I can do it. Is that his secret to success? You want a great recycled joke?
So this koala bear walks into a bar...No, I can’t do it. Only original jokes here at the Discord. I have higher standards.
I was sitting waaaay in the back of the auditorium, so far back I think it would have taken me longer to get in a question than that snail. And, for all of my trouble, it would have probably ended similarly for me. The show was sold out and packed to the gills with a variety of college students, professors, and locals. Since the whole question and answer thing wasn’t working for me, I decided to catch him after the show, but, again, the line ended up being waaaay too long. Besides, I had places to go and people to see. Parole officers expect punctuality.
I decided to get on David Sedaris’ official Facebook site the next day, as I was still desperately trying to salvage some kind of a story. You see, when Mr. Winslow wants a story, he gets a story. Not a very accurate or well written one—it’s more about deadlines with him. And, for us contributors, it’s more about missing those deadlines. My boss needs to understand I have other offers in the industry. I’m just simply omitting exactly what industry (hint: it rhymes with corn).
So I resolved to ask my thoughtfully prepared question on Dave’s official FB site. Here’s what I asked:
Thanks for coming to Flagstaff, Dave! Enjoyed the show. You were great during the Q&A section. I was in the back so I didn’t get to ask you this important question: was your latest book Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk inspired by Rick Man-On-Dog Santorum?
It’s not a gottcha question. It’s a legitimate enquiry, right?
Fact Check: Mr. Santorum’s statement during the Republican Primaries, wherein he suggested homosexuality led to bestiality, was made nearly two years after the release of Mr. Sedaris’ book. You asked the question, because you are a juvenile proto-journalist with an ego the size of our defense budget.
Damn you Fact Check! Damn you! Can we disable this feature, Mr. Winslow? Otherwise I’m applying at The Onion......again.
Then I check back on the site the next morning and my comment is gone... utterly wiped from our virtual world as if it had never existed! Stripped from the comment thread like it was simply some Constitutional Amendment. Very neighborly, Dave. I think he was afraid of the question. Apparently, my cutting edge journalistic endeavors frighten him.
Well, if you tune in to his Facebook site on 5/29, I will be posting this very question on his site:
Here’s another question I never got to ask you in Flagstaff. Was your book When You Are Engulfed in Flames inspired by Michael Jackson or Richard Pryor? Take your time. Oh, and check out my complete grilling of you and your overrated career right here on The Daily Discord.
You’ll have to have near perfect timing, because his Facebook Nazis are fast on the draw. Maybe my next post should be Blogger Seeks Interview. How about an interview with the Discord, Mr. Sedaris? You will be given a fair shake. Or maybe I’ll just boot you off my porch, sending you sailing. Then I will receive an email in about two years asking, "What the fuck was that all about?"
Come on Dave. You don’t want to risk being downgraded to somewhat-near-Zano-level of talent (SNZLoT).