May 06, 2006

Withnail and I


That's my buddy Lane Smith, reading King Dork and being aware of his own mortality.

As I've mentioned, I had a great time hanging out with Lane and playing songs for his big but mostly fairly short audience last week. At the end of the Bay Area mini-tour, we were relaxing with some margaritas at a Mexican restaurant in San Francisco, when I noticed a spate of urgent messages on my cell phone. Quick, they all said, more or less: we need some video of you talking to the camera for Conan, and we need it tomorrow. It was meant to be a kind of audition I guess. Real authors like James Frey, Jane Fonda, and Tucker Carlson apparently already have all sorts of these lying around ready to hand - it's called a "v-roll," if I have that right. I am a man who knows his limitations, one of them being, clearly, that I do not come with v-rolls attached. I was stumped.

Anyhow, it's all a bit hazy right now, but what I believe I said at the time was: "huh?" And that was the margaritas talking, I'm pretty sure.

"I've got a video camera," slurred Lane. It was true. He did. We stared at each other for what seemed like a long, long time.

Maybe the thing to do, we decided, was to try to construct a crude v-roll out of ordinary household materials.

For some reason (and I feel fairly certain that this reason had a bit to do with the margaritas again) we decided that the ideal way to accomplish this was to stumble drunkenly through the Tenderloin interviewing each other on camera and talking to bums. Which we did. Lane edited it down to two minutes of relatively out of control semi-coherence on my part, including a confused conversation with one guy who, I believe, offered to take off his pants for a quarter. I don't know how it compares to Jonathan Safran Foer's v-roll, but I bet it's funnier and less usable anyway, and that's something. Actually, I kind of love it; but I'm informed that I have pretty eccentric tastes, and what do I know from v-rolls?

The following week, Lane express-mailed me the ingredients for a margarita (El Tesoro de Don Felipe, Cointreau, salt in a little sombrero, and a couple of limes) and a note that said "keep the after-party going." No one ever mailed me a drink before. It was delicious.

Posted by Dr. Frank at May 6, 2006 07:13 PM | TrackBack

I bought my copy of KD at Border's today. Sad to say, their computer listed it as being in the YA section, but it wasn't there. I even had 2 different store workers tell me it was, but they failed to find it. I finally located it on the New Fiction shelf, at the very very bottom. It deserves better than that!

Posted by: Don at May 7, 2006 08:33 AM

Absolutely brilliant!

Posted by: coco at May 7, 2006 01:48 PM

Now that's what I like to hear- (semi)nudity at a low, low price.

Posted by: Anarchie at May 7, 2006 10:26 PM