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The Night of Cussing in Books-A-Million

It would be very strange indeed if it was just a random night and all of a sudden there was an eruption of expletives from somewhere in the stacks. It would be epic to blame the rather askew nature of the magazines of the torrent of hot air carrying naughty words that cause titters even in grown adults.

But no.

It was actually a little better than that, and that requires me to back up a little.

For those of us who have been living under a rock (and yes, I include myself in this, since I only emerged from under mine within the last couple of months or so), the rest of the internet has been following a witty, wonderful woman who uses all these delightfully, decadently bad words in abundance named Jenny Lawson. Of course, most of the internet knows her as “The Bloggess.” She is hilarious, creative, honest, self-deprecating in a charming way, raw, open, snarky, tough…and really, I could go on, but I feel like that would require some kind of spoiler warning.

I blame Wil Wheaton for my discovery of The Bloggess and the introduction to her book. He’d been raving on Twitter, and thanks to the linkage which makes some other people intolerable, reposting those tweets to Facebook about The Bloggess and how much he was enjoying her book. Intrigued, I noted it and decided to soldier on with the homework and being a good little doo-bee.

As we all know, behaving only really lasts for so long and the benefits of being a good little homework-doer are only so gratifying when you feel like your eyeballs are going to fall out of your head. So, when one of these moods hit, I decided to figure out what the hell Wes- err… Wil Wheaton was talking about and I went on a trek to find out about The Bloggess.

I giggled my way through her blog, enchanted by her arguments with Victor and recognizing glimpses of myself through her arguments and just outlandish conversations. Yes, people, it is something like this in my head as well, but somewhat more violent. Mingle this with a horror movie or slasher film where you’re giggling at the overused tropes and conventions and you’re counting down the moments until the busty blonde who made the mistake of getting her itch scratched (brown-chicken-brown-cow) is gonna have to pay for her transgressions. (It’s not exactly a tourist destination, if you know what I mean…)

So I blame Wil Wheaton for my purchase of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.

What was entirely awesome and I can only say was destiny was the fact that after I started listening to the audiobook (which you should totally buy because it is more awesome than Reese’s peanut butter cups and because Jenny Lawson is the one reading it in a way that no other ever could), I found out that she was going to be doing a reading at a close-enough-to-be-local Books-A-Million. So I made plans to go and see her read since I was already planning on buying a copy of the book for my shelves anyway.

And that was the night that we packed the BAM in Concord, NC and totally flabbergasted Jenny Lawson with the turn out. Seriously. We were packed in there, but it was a great experience. Books-A-Million definitely underestimated the turn out (I don’t think the philistines had read the book because if they had, well, there would have been more room and a sign on the door with a parental advisory warning.)

Even packed in like sardines in folding chairs with books clutched in our flippery little hands, the crowd was excited and energized and nary a cranky word heard (at least by me). I was somewhat surprised to see the cult following Lawson has already, but perhaps only in the expressive and inventive ways they showed their enthusiasm. There were lots of metal chickens, taxidermied critters, and even a cake with Hamlet von Schnitzel brought in by one fan. Though being somewhat overwhelmed by the number of attendees, Lawson was smiling, cheerful and took the time to chat and take pictures with the legion of fans lined up to get her personal touch on the books. She handled it with a southern grace and charm I think few people can really pull off while still being genuine and endearing. But that’s just the thing – in person, she was just as wonderful and funny and REAL as she is in her blog and in her book, and her in-person reading was fantastic. I giggled all the way through it and I was not the only one. I had the opportunity to get her author-graph on my book and tell her that she did the impossible – and made the ride in to work something I looked forward to. There will be Something Like a Review available on Sunday for Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, but I’ll give a minor spoiler: GO. BUY. IT. If you have the misfortune of living somewhere you can’t get your reader-ly little paws on it immediately, order it and go read her blog. Even if you can get it immediately, go read her blog. You won’t regret joining the rest of us. (And I promise, you get used to how bright the sun is after a while.)

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