The insanity of Sunday’s Book Release Party began a few hours before the event when I happened to find myself standing in line at a local cafe behind former Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee. ‘Here’s just the man,’ I thought as I nervously peeked over my brunch menu, ‘who would appreciate the bizarre humor in a contemporary retelling of Voltaire’s Candide!’
Thinking quickly, I pulled one of my flyers from the cafe’s bulletin board and started chatting him up. He was very friendly and receptive, but confessed to not being able to attend the Release Party, due to the fact that he and his girlfriend were on their way to a local mall to do some shopping. I assured him that this was perfectly understandable, given the last minute nature of our conversation. But for the rest of the afternoon, in the back of my mind, I held on to the slim hope that Gordon would change his mind and appear. After all, couldn’t he do both? Honestly, how long does it take a septuagenarian to buy a bow tie? Or maybe, after reading my synopsis on the flyer, he would decide to forego the shopping excursion entirely, making a tire-squealing U-turn on 315 and arriving breathless at MoJoe Lounge just in time to hear me introduce my first passage.
But alas, E. Gordon Gee didn’t show up. In retrospect, this might not have been a bad thing, seeing how I make repeated jokes about how atrocious Ohio State’s campus smells, claiming that “the stench of scholarship outonioned onions,” mildly insult the university’s student body, comparing students to “Bowling Soldiers,” and describe the school’s beloved sport of college football as “god awful, torturously, infuriatingly, braindestroyingly boring.”