Your 1 Thing for Today: Thursday, Nov 16


This footnote-laden doorstopper is turning ten tonight. How might you fete it? Excellent question. First of all, tell it you need it to accompany you on an errand tonight and then make sure all its friends have come up with stories about where they're going to be. Make it think you've all forgotten. Get it good and sad—it's really the only way. Then pack that sad (but probably a little embarrassed that it's sad because it thinks by age ten it should be beyond birthdays) book into your bag and head out on your "errand." Now Infinite Jest may confess to you that it's kind of glum because no one remembered its birthday. Whatever you do, don't crack. Just sit there, safe in the knowledge that what you have planned is going to surprise the book so much it may pee its pages and suffer PTSD for years to come but that's a small price to pay for those priceless pictures, you know. And aside from the one being surprised, everyone loves surprise parties.

Then take that depressed book down to Housing Works at 7pm tonight for its birthday party, Jest Fest '06—a big wingding featuring brainiac novelists, journalists and also John Krasinksi, the awfully cute actor from The Office who is in town filming DFW's Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. Yell SURPRISE! Don't forget to make the book feel bad for doubting you.

Need a funny but true story which is more than tangentially related but not about surprise parties but includes a picture of Scott Baio? Ok sure. I'm game.

So hotpoop author David Foster Wallace, and yes I say hotpoop because I'm a lady who doesn't swear, teaches at my alma mater. In my senior year we read him and speculated about what was under his bandana, seeing as he didn't yet teach there and he was just an author's photo to us, and then after we graduated he took a job there which was truly bittersweet for the screwed graduating English majors, because you can just imagine the nerdgasms which were rippling through that campus like electricity through Scott Baio in Zapped. Wait, was it electricity? Well, you get the point.
So anyway there's a lecture in the summer after graduation and all us Infinite Jest toting lemmings, who were still close enough to campus, flooded the lecture hall to hear David Foster Wallace read from his short stories, one of which had pretty horrid burn imagery. I was sitting on the floor—it was that packed—and I tried to scoot forward at one point but there was resistance. I looked back and noticed that one of my ex professors had his foot on my coat. Did I say anything for the duration of the lecture which was pretty long? Of course not. I literally let him step on me. And that, my tender cherubs, is why I have to be such a loud bitch today. Well, it's one of the reasons.