Roadog: The Dog Howls Again
(A brief compendium of the Dog's travels on his somewhat-pathetic-but-still-technically-a-tour paperback tour)
1. Number of times the Dog was offered a "full-body massage" by a lovely female
member of the audience: 3
2. Number of times the Dog said "anal sex" to an audience: 37
3. Consecutive number of karaoke performers encountered in Portland, Oregon unable to hit a single note: 6
4. Number of hot lesbians the Dog hung out with in Chicago: 17
5. Email received by the Dog following a recent reading: "…So here is the real
reason I am writing to you. It is kind of a manipulative reason, kind of ridiculous,
but I don't know you terribly well and I figure that the worst that can happen
is you post the entire body of this email on your Web page. I want to have sex
with (Name Deleted). Steve, I am not an ugly woman. I look good naked; my skin
is very soft; (Name Deleted) and I are friends and I love sex. I am not sure
how much more it takes. Other than maybe a bookplate. A book plate from you
that says," Jesus, [Name Deleted] fuck me already!" or something to that end.
Please say yes."
6. Number of times the Dog used the term "Dirty Dirty South" in Atlanta: 13
7. Number of times the Dog performed after a naked woman performer: 1
Found dialogue (recovered from the Printer's Row Book Fair): "So then they had a bidding war for my book, which lasted, like three days. It was crazy! They kept faxing in these offers to my agent's office. That's how they do it - by fax. And in the end, by the way, I didn't choose the highest bidder. I chose the second highest bidder, St. Martin's. When they told me they saw my book as the next 'Nanny Diaries' that was all I needed to hear."
8. Department of Learn to Drink:
8a. Number of times the Dog did not choke on his vomit: 1
9. Number of people who dozed off during the Dog's reading in Brookline: 2
10. Roadog: "This next excerpt is from a story is called 'How to Love a Republican.' If any of you have any ideas on this, please let me know." Audience member: "Anal sex!"
Shoutouts to those who made bed for the Dog
& To all those who came out to play, who read, write
& give a shit about their internal lives.
"You always were the king of bullshit."
1. # of empty beer bottles the author found in his kitchen, upon his return: 167
2. # of times the author said fuck on his tour: 791
3. Pounds gained on the road: 11
4. Largest # of rock stars to attend a reading: 5 (Austin, TX)
4a. Largest # of psychoanalysts to attend a reading: 12 (Palo Alto)
4b. Largest # of rock star/psychoanalysts to attend a reading: 0
Kritics Korner: "And here is where some of Almond's stories run into
real trouble. In what are otherwise well-crafted stories stories bathed
in nostalgia, a modern day version of, say, Fitzgerald's early 'Saturday
Evening Post' pieces, Almond includes passages of sloppy erotica that
may strike readers as vulgar and out of place. It's as if you were reading
'The Great Gatsby' and Nick Carraway suddenly launched into a lengthy
aside on anal sex.
5. # of babies who urinated on the author during his tour: 3
5a. # of babies the author urinated on: N/A
6. # of readings the Roadog gave stoned: 1.5
"You look different. Fatter."
7. # of pretty much crazy guys who showed up at a reading and asked long, incoherent questions that scared the rest of the crowd and who then presented the author with a "tone poem" scrawled in red ink (blood?) on a napkin: 1
8. Ratio of bills-to-fan-letters the author received upon opening his mail: 23/1
9. Number of people who asked the author if he got laid on tour: 47
9a. Number of these people who had penises: 46
"Oh, were you gone?"
10. Howlouts to the following badasses for putting me up and putting up with me: Nathan "Chickenbutt" Morris, Seanie Rowe, Lucy Corin, Stevie Kistulentz, Margo "Money Shot" Rabb, Ana Jamolca Fudge, Jena Hair Salon, Timbo Huggybear, John Evans, David and Shani Goldstein, Jamie Kornegay, Kirk Nielson, Pingey Tetavicho, Paddy O'Flood, Mary & John Fournier, Steve Amick, Matt & Jenae Batt, Tom & Teddy Finkel, Matt Miller, Clay Martini, Peaches Pappas, Rock Olsen & Karen Hirsch, Ma & Pa Almond, Jonna Tamases, Markie Mark Sutz, Emily & Adam Sweet Chiles, Lo Lo Almond & Fam, Mark Mainwaering & Robin Russell, Johnny & Traci Goudie.
10a. Howlouts to the rest of you bookselling mofos out there doing the work of angels and fools. You need anything from the Dog, you just holler.
10b. Bless you all for reading, for rising, through art, to the occasion of your own hearts.
May Day! May Day! 2002 Special South Florida Crime Edition
"Robert Blake is an object lesson in what happens to guys who fetishize
1) Number of times the author has been pulled over by City of Miami police officers & told to "step out of the vehicle & place your hands on the car," while transporting two very spongy buds of Mary J. Wanna in the pocket of his khakis: 1
1a) Number of times the author complied: 1
2) Number of times the author has been patted down for explosives thus far: 7
3) Number of times the author has been patted down by a comely young security lass who lingers pointedly on his most sensitive parts before winking meaningfully & ushering the author into a tiny, hidden room used exclusively for the full-body-hot-grease-cavity probe: 0
4) Percentage of license plate tags expired in Dade County: 47
4a) Percentage of Victor Cruz's license plate tags expired: 100
4b) Year they expired: 1999
"I've been with guys like you -- little swizzle sticks."
5) Number of audience members who have left a reading in order to go strip: 1
6) Number of times the author has said fuck on his tour so far: 561
7) Number of times he's said fuck to an audience: 109
8) Number of times women have speculated as to the size of author's manmeat: 6
8a) Consensus: Small to average
9) Number of lady babies the author has kissed on tour: 1
9a) Number of actual babies he has kissed: 9
Kritic's Corner: "In the title story of Steve Almond's debut collection
of short fiction, My Life in Heavy Metal, the narrator attends a Metallica
concert, where the bassist introduces himself by farting into his microphone.
It was, Almond writes, 'the heavy metal equivalent of a bon mot.' It is
also an apt epigraph for this volume, which begins with a story that manages
to be simultaneously weird, offensive, and banal... Never mind Almond's
woefully inaccurate rendering of the female anatomy and its capabilities
-- call it literary license ... worse is that Almond wraps up this story,
as he does many others, with a preachy little summary of the preceding
tale that leaves the reader with Something to Think About. 'I was doing
something even noble in the eyes of youth,' David says. 'Radical, kickass,
seeking love on all fronts, transporting myself beyond the reach of loneliness
and failure, into the blessed province of poontang.' In a word: Yuck."
10) Number of cold weather garments the author sent back to Boston while laying down a base tan in Miami: 4
10a) Average temperature of subsequent mid-western readings: 41F
All love to the peeps whose bodies rock the party.
1. "Naw, it don't hurt at all. It's beautiful, man. Just silence. Silence all over the place." -- Tony "The KO King" Gardner, former USBA Welterweight Champ, describing what it's like to get knocked out, over B-52 shooters, on Beale Street in Memphis.
2. Number of pornography factories toured: 1
3. Highest turnout thus far: 137 people the Oxford Conference for the Book, Oxford, MS.
4. Lowest turnout: 1 person (Eric). Memphis, TN.
5. Fast Food Tally: Domino's Pizza: 1 Whopper: 1 Supersize Fries: 2
6. Current reading weight: 152 pounds
Kritics Korner: "Almond's first-person narrators are always saying
embarrassingly arty things ... Though they're not the same people, they
talk as if they are, one character after another indulging in the same
effete verbal tics ("taking" lunch or "supper" rather than eating it,
the implicit entitlement in the phrase not fitting the people talking).
Almond can't write dialogue by instinct, and he doesn't think his language
7. "Coherence is vastly overrated as an index of sociability." -- Peter O. Almond dispenses some avuncular advice to the Roadog
8. On Sunday, April 28, the New York Times will be running a full-page review of the book. Complaints about the review -- sure to fault my incessant emotionalism & tendency toward the use of bodily fluids as leit motifs -- can be directed to Barbara Almond, the Roadog's manager.
Colloquy between the author & Red Bull Promotional Girls Julie & April, transcribed Tuesday, April 16, at Beaucoup Books in Nawlins:
Julie: Hey! That was really fun. This is, like, the first reading
we've ever been to. We saw a thing about it in the paper.
9. From the department of poor planning: A) Pairs of long underwear packed by Steve: 2 B) Average temperature of the cities visited by Steve: 77 degrees.
10. For God's sake: want something.
Rock and roll will save your life, Rdog
Early April, 2002
1. Colloquy between Steve and Nathan Morris (age 4) of Clemson, S.C.:
S: Hey Nathan, you know what?
2. # of times Steve has been asked whether he's ever slept with a woman who ejaculates: 1.
3. # of times Steve has been asked why he writes about his penis so much: 1.
Critics Corner (This week's episode: Oh God, you like me. You really
like me) "Every couple of years, a writer comes along who tries so
desperately to show that he's got his finger on the pulse of his times
that it makes you wish the times would just die already. Bret Easton Ellis,
Amy Tan, Jay McInerney -- they keep on appearing, up-and-comers who wear
zeitgeist like Armani and whose sole mission in life seems to be to fill
us in on the difficulties of being young, affluent, pampered, and (horrors!)
oversexed. Steve Almond, whose new short story collection is called My
Life in Heavy Metal, wants to join the list ... Almond writes nice sentences
... unfortunately, his frequent recourse to shallow epiphanies is just
plain annoying. Almond complains at 7 pm, Monday at Olsson's Books & Records."
4. # of times Steve has said fuck so far on this tour: 213.
5. # of times Steve has said fuck so far on this tour in front of an audience: 73.
6. "You can't do a keg stand in a prom dress, cuz your dress will
fall up over the keg and no one will know how much you drank."
7. # of tattoos Angel Lynette Johnson showed Steve: 2.
8. Steve's chief calorie source on the road: Skittles.
9. "If my son had a vagina, he'd write about that."
All love to the peeps, sdog