Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How David Rees and John Hodgman Saved My Life: A TRUE STORY

I went to see David Rees and John Hodgman last night at Second City ETC, but got a late start getting out of the house (right before I was going to leave, my 19-month-old fell out of a chair and bit his lip so hard (on both sides!), we were debating whether he needed to go to the emergency room; but also: I am poky) and by the time I got there, they were already over capacity, and I had to get back in my car, pay the parking fee ($10(!)) and drive back home.

TOO BAD: These are some of my favorite Brooklynites.

I have been a fan of JH since the apparently on permanent hiatus Little Gray Book Lectures days* and I am surely the only non-David-Rees-relative to have actually ordered a hard copy of My New Filing Technique Is Unstoppable In: “Horse Races(horse racing as retroactive metaphor for Credit Default Swaps? SIGNS POINT TO MAYBE).

BUT: let’s look at what could have happened had I made it there in time.

(1) I would have enjoyed something life has to offer

(1) I probably would have spent money on books (spending money on books is not in the budget at present)

(2) I would have enjoyed myself so much that I would have gone downstairs to the Starbucks in the Piper’s Alley lobby and had a latte and reflect upon the events of the evening (also not in the budget, both the coffee and the reflecting)

(3) Having enjoyed that latte and the concurrent reflection period, I might have hidden behind a sofa when it was time to close the Starbucks (note that getting to spend the night alone in a coffee shop has recently edged out getting to spend the night alone in a bookstore in my brain-hierarchy of fantasies for lonely people) (also note that this Starbucks is 24 hours, but my fantasy life is stronger than my real life).

(4) Being in that Starbucks after hours I likely would have been HIT BY THIS CAB

What have we learned from this?

(1) If you are falling out of a chair, do not bite your lip.

(1b) Not specific to this, but related in my mind: If you are punching someone, do not tuck your thumb inside your fingers; I learned on, I’m almost positive, Laverne and Shirley (although why (1) a character on that show had to punch someone and (2) a writer for the show thought this was useful information to include, w/r/t punching, I have no idea) that you will break your thumb if you do this.

(2) When you see a sign at a Starbucks that says “Drive Through Window”, before you take action, you should ask yourself: “Is that meant to be imperative or declarative?”

(3) Either John Hodgman or David Rees (or both) were Pavlovianly conditioned by Dr. Laszlo Jamf to host book readings immediately prior to taxi accidents.

(4) Disappointment in Chicago will run you ten dollars.

N.B. Their books, which I have not read due to budgetary restraints, are available here and here.

* Witness this Screenshot of Evidence (tip of the hat to Outlook pst files):

By the way, for what it's worth you can still type in the URL that this email was originally about (I cropped it out by accident, but trust me) and listen to mp3s of Selections of Little Gray Book Lectures, though they're not accessible from the main page.

Note also the reference in this email to a mispost of an mp3 file, a precursor to the current misposting of embedded video, for all you fans of leitmotif.

You’re out there, right? Fans of Leitmotif?
If so, welcome.

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