Last month we hosted Nancy Hiller, the author of “Making Things Work,” for an evening of literary readings, children’s games that got the local prostitutes worked up, and a beating of the “biscuit joiner that refused to die.”
Here are the details of the evening:
This was our first real literary event in our 11 years of doing business. I have found that typically, reading step-by-step instructions out loud from a woodworking book will not get women to throw their bras on stage. So why bother with readings?
Nancy’s book, however, is one of those special books that simply begs to be heard from the tongue of the author, like a David Sedaris book.
So we fed the audience beer and wine (no, we didn’t make cucumber finger sandwiches) and Nancy read selections from her book and answered questions from the audience.
If this were a typical literary event, this is when everyone would stumble home to cuddle with Proust, or cover their naked bodies with pages ripped from Jane Austen’s “Mansfield Park.”
Nancy had other ideas.
She concocted a game of “pin the tail on the dove.” Blindfolded participants had to pin a tail on a large-scale drawing of a dove. During the game, some of the local prostitutes watched us play the game through the window like it was surely a scene from “Eyes Wide Shut.” And as I blindfolded yet another middle-aged man and gently guided him to the back of the room by his shoulders, I got a big thumbs-up from the working women outside.
The finale was a pinata of a biscuit joiner that Nancy had made – filled with tiny plastic bottles of booze and little bits of ephemera that related to “Making Things Work.” Destroying the biscuit joiner took about 30 minutes of effort (and switching to a bigger stick).
And yay – this time the cops didn’t come.
Thanks so much to Nancy for being such a good sport and putting on a great evening. I hope we can publish a book some day that is worthy of another reading.
— Christopher Schwarz, editor, Lost Art Press
Personal site: christophermschwarz.com