You Won't Get Fooled Again Department
Coming up Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2003 — for real! no joke! — the latest installment of the Little Gray Book Lectures, hosted by John Hodgman.
The program for Lecture 24 is as follows (all words quoted directly from Hodgman's e-mail; boldface, hyperlinks, and minor copy editing added by StickFinger):
It is, as they say, that season: time once again for my holiday letter to you, dear friends and members of the world press:
It has been another fun and prosperous year for the members of the Little Gray Book household.
We are very proud of Little Jonathan Coulton who “laid down some tracks” for his first musical compact disk, which includes such seasonal favorites as “Christmas Is Interesting” and “First of May,” and is appropriately stocking-sized and ready for stuffing.
In the Xmas miracle department, Wee Christine Hill, the poor little match girl whom we station at the front door to beg for alms, recently cast aside her crutch and cockney accent to reveal her secret life as a successful artist, announcing the first acquisition of her work by the MOMA, a museum in Queens.
Unfortunately, our holiday cards will be a bit late this year. Potts and Wagner and Graham and McCabe and all the Elves of the Booklyn Artists Alliance are still figuring out how to make cardstock entirely out of frankincense and myrrh (though they say they are right on schedule for the next “Little Gray Book,” so long as Hodgman stays out of the workshop).
Meanwhile, the cranberries have been threaded, the latkes fried according to the old Rapoport family recipe, and the Galapagos reflecting pool filled with eggnog for:
OUR THIRD ANNUAL HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA AND CHARITY AUCTION
Which shall take place at 8 p.m. on December 3, a Wednesday, at Galapagos in Williamsburg (see below for concise details),
and is also known as
LITTLE GRAY BOOK LECTURE NO. 24: STRANGE GIFTS FROM FAR-OFF LANDS
Wherein, like the three kings of old, we shall bring to Galapagos unusual objects acquired in other places, tell stories about them, and sell them to the highest bidder, with all auction proceeds going to City Harvest,
Including lectures from
JON LANGFORD, the renaissance Welshman of Chicago;
ADAM RAPOPORT, searing the traditional holiday foie gras;
ALEXANDRA RINGE, distributing thin mints and sherry;
ADAM SACHS, the circumnavigator;
And BRETT MARTIN, defending his crown as King Or Queen of Wintertime, an honorary title awarded yearly to the person whose unusual object commands the highest price at auction.
Honestly, we are not sure of Brett’s chances, given that his unusual object (some sort of Canadian newspaper) shall be pitted in auction against such lovely items as
-An Italian football jersey from Italy
-Russian circus stamps
-A mysterious typewriter
-The return of the sad headhunter statue
A COMPLETE CASE OF WILD TURKEY RYE WHISKEY
A generous gift from the far off land of Lawrenceburg, KY, from Wild Turkey Bourbon (Jimmy Russell, Master Distiller)
(If you have any questions about the Wild Turkey Rye Whiskey, sample glasses will be available throughout the night at a special price of four dollars, with or without frozen water, and topped in the preferred manner by a few drops of Peychaud’s bitters, which technically makes it “a Gibson.”)
Which we hope is enough to entice you to join us at:
LITTLE GRAY BOOK LECTURE NO. 24: STRANGE GIFTS FROM FAR-OFF LANDS Wed, December 3, 2003, 8PM, Galapagos Art Space, 70 North Sixth Street, bet. Kent and Wythe, L Train to Bedford Avenue, 718-782-5188, www.galapagosartspace.com www.littlegraybooks.com A FIVE DOLLAR DONATION IS REQUESTED AT THE DOOR BY CHRISTINE HILL AND ENTITLES DONOR TO AN ACTUAL LITTLE GRAY BOOK FROM BOOKLYN, THE FINEST GIFT OF ALL. FINER THAN BEAUTIFUL GEMS.
I am John Hodgman and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Otherwise, merry seasons to all and to all:
That is all.
(MORE INFORMATION THAN YOU REQUIRE):
The Little Gray Book Lectures are a series of readings, songs, discussions, contests, and occasional overhead slide projections presented on a single theme (No. 8: How to Throw a Curveball, No. 9: Mystery Cults of North America, No. 16: How to Pour the Perfect Werthmann, etc.).
They occur, more or less, on the first Wednesday of every month and are hosted by John Hodgman, with the generous aid of many others.
The Lectures have included one Sing-Along, two Spelling Bees, one man in a giant seagull costume, an interview with a member of the famous secret society Skull and Bones, and gracious appearances from exciting talents, both emerging and established, including:
+ novelists Elizabeth Gilbert (THE LAST AMERICAN MAN, Viking) and Darin Strauss (CHANG AND ENG, THE REAL MCCOY, Dutton),
+ on the recorder: Sarah Vowell,
+ unscripted storyteller Mike Daisey (21 Dog Years: Doing Time at Amazon.com, off-Broadway and Free Press),
+ tiki-collecting memoirist Amy Fusselman (THE PHARMACIST’S MATE, McSweeney’s),
+ members of the cast of PEOPLE ARE WRONG!, a musical about cults and gardening,
+ columnist and reformed D&D player Joel Stein,
+ master mixologist Dale DeGroff and his amazing Werthmanns,
+ the band Tablature, featuring Gabe Soria and Steve Burns, who once hosted a children’s television program,
+ essayist and inadvertent petty thief Chuck Klosterman (SEX, DRUGS, AND COCOA PUFFS, Scribner),
+ renowned Mekon, Welshman, and member of 1000 rock bands MR. JON LANGFORD,
+ cartoonists Dorothy Gambrell (www.catandgirl.com) and David Rees, the Unstoppable (GET YOUR WAR ON, www.mnftiu.cc).
Original music is provided near-monthly by Jonathan Coulton, whose song "First of May" is an instant classic and sadly may only be sung one day a year (www.jonathancoulton.com).
As well, the LA Times called The Little Gray Book Lectures "increasingly conspicuous,” while Time Out New York calls them “deceptively gentle.” These press clippings are available for your perusal.
Portions of Lecture No. 14 were broadcast on the radio program “This American Life.” Frankly, we want more radio broadcasts, and are investigating short wave transmission for this purpose.
Like the “Little Blue Book” instructional pamphlets of the 20th century that inspired them, the Lectures are theme-specific, brief, accessible, enlightening, unintentionally amusing, disposable to some and collectible to others.
Also: drinks are available from a full bar.
To those who ask, “will there ever be actual, physical Little Gray Books?” we may now say: yes.
For more information on “Little Blue Books,” go here: http://library.pittstate.edu/spcoll/ndxhjulius.html.
For some information on the Little Gray Book Lectures, go here: www.littlegraybooks.com.
That is all.