In between readings from the other authors Monica Drake and Chelsea Cain, we had a couple ball mix ups, where everyone threw their balls in the air. When the frenzy subsided, everyone had someone else's ball. The purpose of the ball mix ups were a mystery until the very end, where it turned out to be a giant Mad Lib which wasn't that funny. Drake's reading was told in the format of an "I'm sorry" confessional, presumably to a partner of some sort. Cain's involved a prop of a baby doll. She told us a tale of a baby that wouldn't stop crying and the wonderful, caring, hardworking mother who just couldn't take it anymore and shook Baby. She buries Baby, but if course it comes back and cries for food. She kills it several more times, and it keeps coming back and crying until one time it comes back while Mom is watching daytime TV. She sees Baby, runs into the kitchen to get a cleaver, but Baby is not crying. Baby is entranced by the TV, and the moral of that story is that mothers have a very good reason to let their children watch TV.
In the midst of all this, Palahniuk asks the crowd, "Do we want questions, a reading, or pussy?" As if we had any choice. Everyone shouts, "Pussy!" And pussy it was. Palahniuk, Drake, and Caine got a bag full of 150 stuffed kittens and tossed them out into the crowd. Palahniuk said that we'd understand if we'd read his new book, Doomed, which the tour was promoting. That was the only mention of it. It was refreshing, not being hit over the head with promotional stuff the whole time. When he got to the Q&A, it was funny, as one would hope, even though the questions for the most part were pleas for writerly advice and enlightenment on plot points. One guy asked him to play the game of Marry, Fuck, Kill with the three people on the stage with him (Caine, Drake, and a man who was helping to throw stuff at the crowd). He seems stumped for a moment, but then goes on to give a piece of advice that he says all writers and politicians know. "Never answer the question they asked. Answer the question you wish they'd asked." He goes on to tell a story about Max Brooks, author of World War Z and how he turned the story of his mother's battle with cancer into a story about the zombie apocalypse. The feeling of the event was like a showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show. It was cultish and rowdy and nothing like a typical writer's talk. Palahniuk is not the typical writer, so it works. Love him or hate him, he does have a poetic way of writing about dicks and gore. Courtesy photo