Saturday, 2 July 2011


This Tuesday saw me doing one of those things I haven't done in a long while - go to a book reading and signing. The reading and signing in question was by Danny Wallace, and it was the second of his Awkward Situations For Men books, featuring articles as appeared over many many many weeks in Shortlist magazine. As seen here:

Danny Wallace is, indeed, a man. And for a while he was a man very much in my own situation, married, recently upgraded to fatherhood, and experiencing everything such situations have to throw at you. And then I became significantly less married, if not quite officially, and the kids are a little less a presence on my life, so now these awkward situations have less of a bearing on my own life. However that just puts me into a larger category of audience of people, for a significant number of people are not married, do not have kids around their feet and, specifically, are not men.

It's also worth pointing out that Danny is pretty unique in that he is a husband and father that stumbles across more pretty random situations than most of us. And hence more entertaining awkwardness.

The reading amazing. An exercise in multi-media brilliance. The event began with a short video. With some singing (sort of). Danny then came into the room once the video had instructed us to applaud him. Not just one person, mind. But multi-media brilliance is not just a video and some singing (sort of). Oh no.

Danny introduced us to the Wheel of Awkwardness, wherein a little application on his laptop allowed members of the public to revolve a wheel and randomly pick one of the articles to be read out, from one of the two books. Some results had pictures. Some results were, essentially, pictures - albeit with an imagined quote to explain the picture. More audience participation came about with Danny inviting someone to part read out a recent email exchange you may have seen, between Danny and someone calling him a douchebag. And at the end, after a brief Q&A, during which Danny was asked what his favourite cheese was, and someone introduced us all to the idea of 'laugh hangovers' (when you remember a joke or funny event some time after it has occurred, and have a little chuckle to yourself, often in public surrounded by people who have no idea why you just laughed), he got out a karaoke machine, and lots of people had a really good go at not singing Don't Stop Beleiving, until someone actually admited to knowing the words.

We then got books signed. Me and my friend Claire joined the queue, talked, met Danny, talked with him (as we go WAY back, as far back as 2003, since joining his 'cult'), then the two of us retired somewhere to go drink beer, eat chips, and discuss porn and discovering it on other people's computers. Naming no names. Not here, anyway. It's all kinda... awkward...

Sorry. I said 'kinda'. I've got to stop saying that.

All in all a very entertaining night and perhaps the best book reading I've ever been to. So... that's Monday covered...

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