Back to previous post: Angels and dinosaurs

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: Bound to happen

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

June 6, 2005

There’s glory for you
Posted by Teresa at 08:04 AM * 75 comments

The New York Times reports on the just-ended BookExpoAmerica. It’s a classic piece of business as usual being reported as though it were news:

There wasn’t so much buzz as buzzing at this year’s BookExpo America. Editors pushing their titles at the book industry trade show’s Buzz Forum on Thursday at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan outdid each other with hyperbole.
Well, yeah. That’s what the BEA is for. This isn’t information trying to be free; it’s a rampant swarming flood of information-about-information-about-information that can overwhelm the unwary. More amusingly:
On Friday afternoon, four young publicists from Tor Books were spotted in a corner trying to get one of them, Melissa Broder, into an 8-foot-tall hot-dog costume; it did have an air pump so the wearer could breathe. They were promoting “Invasion of the Road Weenies” (Starscape/Tor Books) by David Lubar. Finally, they zipped Ms. Broder up. Fiona Lee took her hand, or paw, or whatever, and led her across the convention floor. “Would you like your photo taken with a giant weenie?” Ms. Lee asked, over and over again.
They shoot, they score! Way to go, guys.

Again, that’s business as usual. Somewhere in my papers I have, thanks to publicist Susan Roegge of Avon Books during one long-ago ABA, a Polaroid photo of me standing next to Fabio. It was the exact same deal: “Would you like your photo taken with Fabio?” (Honest, I was just trying to get close enough to see whether he resolved into color-separation dots.)

Fabio, giant weenie—what’s the diff?

Addenda: Fiona Lee, in the comment thread, says:
Never in my entire life did Melissa and I think we would be mentioned in the New York Times for this of all things. There is a photo here at the BEA blog.
The caption at the BEA site says “Road Weenie invades BEA, with publicists Fiona Lee, Melissa Broder and David Moench. INVASION OF THE ROAD WEENIES by David Lubar comes out from Starscape in September 2005.” Since Melissa Broder’s in the photo, I think that must be Jodi Rosoff in the weenie.

Kathryn Cramer has more weenie photos.

Comments on There's glory for you:
#1 ::: Andy Ihmatko ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 08:53 AM:

Does Oscar Mayer rent out the Weinermobile for special events?

Because if someone approached me at a trade show and asked "Would you like to have your picture taken behind the wheel of the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile?" I mean, that'd totally work with me. Jaded veteran of shows and conferences that I am, I'd be tagging along faithfully and happily agreeing to a forty-minute product briefing.

#2 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 09:15 AM:

Geez, Teresa, you must've gotten to know Fabio pretty well to use such synecdoche to describe him.

#3 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 10:34 AM:

My mother read that article this morning, and found the weenie section derogatory to Tor and all involved.

Now that I've read it, I can see how it could be interpreted that way, but it was written in the same tone as the rest of the piece, which was intentionally a bit snarky/fun, and not to be taken too seriously.

Far more interesting was the story in yesterday's book review about paying for display space.

Some pertinent bits:

"If you walk around any Barnes & Noble or other large bookseller right about now, there's a good chance you will notice prominent stacks of a thick hardcover with an eye-catching jacket and the title ''Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power.'' . . . Like many other customers, you might have thought the book was on display simply because the booksellers believed it was important, particularly relevant now and would practically sell itself.

This is also what Peter Osnos, the chief executive of PublicAffairs, would like to think. But he has been in the publishing business long enough to know that it's never that simple. In order to ensure the book was on display on the front tables, his company had to pay a total of about $11,000 to the large bookstore chains.

[In the last 15 years,] the amount of retail space devoted to selling books has quadrupled -- from superstores like Barnes & Noble and Borders to the growing book sections of big-box stores like Wal-Mart and Costco, and even of supermarkets. And with this expansion the once humble conventions of book display -- the neighborhood bookstore window, the recommended-books table near the cash register -- have also been supersized beyond recognition. In fact, many publishers say that the tables and flashy cardboard displays that crowd the front of chain bookstores have emerged as a marketing force fully as powerful as the traditional ways of trying to bring a book to the public's hard-won attention -- through newspaper and magazine ads, reviews, author tours and radio and television interviews.

But this promotional device, like most others, comes with a cost. It is known, somewhat deceptively, as a cooperative advertising agreement. In plain terms, it means that many of the books on display at the front of a store or placed face out at the end of an aisle are there because the publisher paid for them to be there, not necessarily because anyone at the bookstore thought the book was noteworthy or interesting."

While much in the article ("Cash Up Front") is not new news, it was surprising to see it all laid out for the Book Review's readers. It's worth a read if you've any interest in the business parts of publishing.

#4 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 10:51 AM:

> it did have an air pump so the
> wearer could breathe.

good grief, what if the batteries to the pump went dead? What's the backup plan? Is there some failsafe response? Was she escorted by someone with a switchblade who could cut her out of the suit before she suffocated? Gah!

#5 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 11:00 AM:

Indeed, Melissa (Singer), I had that article on "co-op" flagged for a forthcoming carnival-o'-links post.

Back to Fiona, Melissa (Broder), and the giant weenie costume: John Scalzi has pertinent commentary here.

#6 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 11:08 AM:

That hot dog costume, excuse me, weenie costume couldn't really rely on an air pump to keep it's wearer breathing, could it? If so, the publishing industry labor market must be exceptionally brutal right now.

As far as placement in bookstores go, I don't know anyone who thinks that displays are there for any other reason than a marketing agreement. Then again, I'm in marketing.

The "Staff Recommends" shelf (when it lists specific staffers) is pretty much the only display I think represents what people in the store think is interesting.

#7 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 11:12 AM:

years of failsafe design for aircraft and satelites have suddenly pushed me into weenie obsession. I need photographs so I can convince myself that a couple of D-cell batteries wasn't all that kept this woman from dying in a most embarrasing way. They were taking pictures right? Someone's got to have a photo, don't they?

#8 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 11:28 AM:

The other publicists were with her. If she'd started having problems, they'd have gotten her out of the suit posthaste.

Publicists are a resourceful lot.

#9 ::: Georgiana ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 11:34 AM:

That could have been a fun one to explain to the workers comp people.

She's braver than I am. I'm geting claustrophic and reaching for my inhaler just thinking about it.

#10 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 11:35 AM:

Re: the air pump

Actually, the air pump was to keep the weenie costume inflated as well as to provide air and cooling to the wearer. I saw Melissa B. getting into it--it's not one of those plushie "head character" type-costumes but an inflatable thingie. Without the air pump, it would have been a much smaller weenie, more like the giant Pillsbury doughboy I also saw walking the floor. The air pump gave the weenie a stiffie, basically.

#11 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 11:37 AM:

Liz Gorinsky, back from BEA, reports overhearing someone telling the story of the poor soul in the oversize Curious George costume, who apparently had some kind of gross physical crisis and couldn't manage to get out of the costume before collapsing. Making matters worse, when her fellow publishing employees managed to pry the costume open, it transpired that the woman inside was (quite sensibly) not really wearing an excess of clothes. Thus the sight of dozens of children watching as Curious George was cut open to reveal a collapsing, upset, and half-naked woman inside...

#12 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 11:42 AM:

What I really love are those ToyFair moments when you get plushie-headed Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Spawn hanging out together in front of the Toy Building.

#13 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 11:48 AM:

TNH - One of the things about NY is that nobody really takes notice of giant plush-headed Archies or Spawn. Junior New Yorkers might get excited about a giant Dora the Explorer, but older demos are already too jaded.

The blase background makes such moments all the more wonderful.

#14 ::: Fiona Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 11:50 AM:

Thanks very much for the mention, Teresa! Never in my entire life did Melissa and I think we would be mentioned in the New York Times for this of all things.

There is a photo here at the BEA blog: http://www.flickr.com/photos/publishersmarketplace/17271095/

The weenie costume had a very heavy battery pack that was strapped around whoever was the weenie at that time. If there had been any problems, I would have gotten Jodi or Melissa out of there very quickly, since the costume simply unzips.

#15 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 11:57 AM:

I take it that's Jodi in the Weenie?

#16 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 11:58 AM:

BTW, in this context, does "glory" mean "a nice knock-down argument", or some other value of just what you choose it to mean? I can think of several, but "a nice knock-down argument" fits pretty well in some places here :)

#17 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 01:19 PM:

OK, I'm looking at the photo. The costume appears to be made entirely out of air-tight plastic balloon material. is the weenie mouth a breathing hole? the person inside must be about a foot taller than everyone around her in the photo. That or she had a snorkel. Did the weenie have a "safe word" if things started going bad? I don't think this thing would ever get FAA approval. we're looking at a terrestrial-only weenie costume.

#18 ::: Greg Ioannou ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 01:37 PM:

Melissa, the highlight of BEA for me was watching that giant Pillsbury doughboy squabbling with the even larger triangle-headed Dummies guy over the patch of floor between their two booths. It looked for a minute like they would actually come to blows. I envisioned the Dummies guy puncturing the doughboy with his chin.

#19 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 01:37 PM:

Once, during Library Week, I volunteered to dress up in a Miss Piggy outfit, complete with foam padding, foam head, purple velour dress and long gloves, out of doors in central Oklahoma in late April. I thought it would be fun. Aha ha ha.

Added to the heat-stroke potential was all the little kids who thought that the best way to determine whether Miss Piggy was real was to pinch me. Hard.

I'm happy to say I have learned my lesson and have never again volunteered to wear a foam head.

MKK

#20 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 01:58 PM:

Greg Ioannou: The highlight of BEA for me was watching that giant Pillsbury doughboy squabbling with the even larger triangle-headed Dummies guy over the patch of floor between their two booths.

Triangle Man, Triangle Man
Triangle Man hates Doughboy Man
They have a fight, Triangle wins
Triangle Man

Thus proving that life does imitate art.

#21 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 02:27 PM:

Greg, I think you and I passed the Dummies/doughboy area at the same time.

alas, if only I had known . . . .

BEA had an unusually con-like feeling for me; I kept running into people I knew, which is very strange when you think about the size of the hall, the number of people in attendance, the fact that I was only there for 5 hours (and spent one of them in the booth, shilling for one of my authors).

Still, it was fun, and I got some nice pelf for my kid.

#22 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 03:23 PM:

Mary Kay, the Doughboy had an experience similar to yours, as people kept poking the costume, presumably to make it squeak and giggle. Whoever was in there must be made of much more phlegmatic stuff than I, to have endured it, and I salute them.

Melissa, I was also there to witness the Dummies/Doughboy altercation.

Fiona, it was nice to see you again, though I'm sorry to have missed your moment of weenie fame.

It was...big...busy...bustling...buzzy...a bookstravaganza. I'm certain it's like that every year, but this was my first, and I was somewhat overwhelmed by the whole thing.

#23 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 03:54 PM:

I'll skip past the obvious jokes (viagra, ha ha; you may already be a wiener, ho ho) and just wish that the costume could have been pumped up by Thompson and Thomson on a two-man hand-crank mounted to a small flatbed that followed it around. With an Elvis lookalike singing, "You ain't nothin' but a hot dog."

I wonder if the Oscar Meyer vehicle is available. Didn't Little Oscar just pass away in the last twelvemonth? If so, a moment of silence.

#24 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 03:59 PM:

"In the unlikely event of a water landing, the gigantic weenie standing over there can be used as a flotation device...."

#25 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 04:27 PM:

Tor has four (or more?) publicists??! My, how things have changed....

#26 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 04:35 PM:

Hey, time-traveller. Tor has seven people in its publicity department.

#27 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 04:37 PM:

Kip, what would have been really cool is if they could have kept the weenie costume filled with helium.

Can't you just imagine? The gigantic anthropomorphic weenie bobbing gently above the show floor, waving and smiling beatifically, calling out to passers-by in its squeaky little voice...it would have been magnificent, I tell you.

What?

#28 ::: Mris ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 05:09 PM:

For Thespian Society initiation in my high school, the new Thespians were required to go to class in costumes all day. One of the boys was given a banana suit to wear. It was basically a cage of wire with the banana suit stretched over it, and some of his "friends" assumed it was padded and pummeled him purple, with the 15-year-old logic that of course he was protesting; who would want to be stuck in a banana suit and punched, even if it didn't hurt?

#29 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 05:19 PM:

"Now listen carefully, 007. Bloomsbury put a great deal of thought and effort into this costume before deciding to put you into it. First, the wand. Fires 7.62 NATO, single-shot or cyclic, switching here to 20mm HE or APDS. This is your owl release. The owl contains internal GPS and multispectral scanning, and can drop acoustic mice with satellite uplink. I'd describe the pen, but it doesn't seem like your style.

"Pay attention. These are twin Rolls-Royce 'Petrel' vectored-thrust engines. Rainstorms have been known to develop inside the Javits Centre, so I trust you'll use your customary caution, ha bloody ha. This switch is afterburner. Finally, the moment everyone has been waiting for: the emergency egress system. Once activated, the explosive bolts are on a five-second delay, and once Dame Judi's recorded voice starts counting down, neither God nor Tony Blair can abort the cycle."

#30 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 05:33 PM:

Although I cannot imagine writing a book that would require my Tor publicist to get into an inflatable costume for BEA, I am not surprised that Tor has publicists willing to take (or perhaps be) an inflatable bullet for the greater glory of the Books.

Wishing (again) that I lived on the East Coast and could have gone to BEA...

#31 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 05:50 PM:

I once had to dress up as Henry Hudson to promote a new home computer called "The Explorer."

The costume was rented from an outfit in Brooklyn. It was shabby and stained with . . . stains, in the worst place you can find stains, and my Coke-bottle lensed aviator frame glasses didn't quite complement the ensemble.

My appearance was in a Newmark & Lewis store on 45th Street. I demonstrated the computer to customers, and inadvertantly scared away others.

Man, that was bad. But I can still muster some sympathy for the poor bastard who went to a mall in Minnesota dressed as Leif Ericson, complete with horn helmet.

#32 ::: Janeyolen ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 06:39 PM:

Adam and I missed the large weenie, but Fiona regaled us with wiener stories all evening and the next day. (Thanks, Fiona, you lovely Irish lass!)

However, nobody has asked the REAL question: How the hell did they find a giant wiener? In the yellow pages?

(I know, I know--this is New York! is the answer everyone will give. But I still want to know.

Jane

#33 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 07:30 PM:

Getchyer hot Giant Weenie photo right here!

(Photo by David G. Hartwell..)

#34 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 07:39 PM:

[falls off chair laughing]

Thanks, Kathryn. :-)

#35 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 09:19 PM:

I've been a Santa Claus, driving across the Pali Highway on Oahu in my red suit. I had no qualms about that. A giant wiener suit takes more courage than I'm afraid I have.

Speaking of glory, did y'all notice the Literary Map in the Sunday NYT Books section? I know this belongs in an open thread, but the last one was days ago.

#36 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 09:40 PM:

I've had jobs for the past 21 years that required me to dress up like a respectable person.

#37 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 09:48 PM:

Linkmeister: A giant wiener suit takes more courage than I'm afraid I have.

Why? It's not as if anyone could tell it was you. ;)

--Mary Aileen

#38 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2005, 09:53 PM:

Mary Aileen, good point. I might have looked striking in the Triumph Spitfire I drove at the time had I had on the wiener suit, come to think. ;) I'd have had to lower the top for the full effect, though.

#39 ::: Nancy Hanger ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2005, 02:08 AM:

My favorite past-ABA moment was, after two full days working the floor for a publisher that was located on the boundary of the children's book area, watching three neighborhood booth workers surround the big purple plush dinosaur-who-shall-not-be-named and engaging in a lively session to bribe the wearer to turn off the incredibly loud tape recorder inside the head, which blared "I love you! You love me!" for hours on end each day. I think when they reached $50, the dinosaur succumbed to temptation, as I later aw the poor schlub taking unusually long (and multiple) breaks that day, much to the dismay of the publicist of said dinosaur books, who kept coming around to our area to see if she could find her human-sized plushie.

If only I'd known, I think we would have contributed to the bribe. It was a public service.

(TNH -- I treasure my "I-look-awfully-short-standing-next-to-Fabio" Polaroid from that same ABA. I kept making him try to stand further away from me, though, because the publisher had a live backdrop of a simply gorgeous bright red Indian motorcycle. I wanted a photo of the cycle, and Fabio was in the way. Poor guy didn't understand why I kept asking him to scoot over and not put an arm around me!)

#40 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2005, 02:24 AM:

"Who was that Masked Wiener, anyway?"

"I don't know. And I wanted to frank him."

"Seein' Oscar Wilde speak at the Opry House changed you forever, didn't it, Buck?"

#41 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2005, 09:54 AM:

Madeleine -- it doesn't create in you a new ambition of writing a book containing... something... that Tor would make the publicists dress up as next year?

As new ambitions go, don't you think it has a certain something?

I'd consider it myself, but I'm still shocked, shocked, that anyone could think Tooth and Claw was a talking animals book.

#42 ::: Fiona Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2005, 10:25 AM:

Jane is being gracious. I'm surprised that she and Adam didn't smack me for all of the endless wiener tales they had to put up with!

We found the wiener through our friend Google. The company is based somewhere in the Midwest, the exact location slipping my mind. Of course the Midwest would have giant inflatable weenies sitting around, just waiting for the right promotional opportunity!

Madeleine and Jo, since I was also your publicist on your last books here at Tor, I would like to say that I would be more than happy to dress up as some kind of Regency type chick to promote your next books. As long as you pump me full of tea, I'll be just fine. But a dragon with Trollopian manners would be pushing it. XD

At this point I would also like to point out that I used to live right over Crif Dogs in the East Village. Hanging outside my window was a giant hot dog that said "Eat Me." My friends say that I'm a wee bit obsessed.

#43 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2005, 10:30 AM:

Perhaps what BEA needs is a masquerade. I'm sure the assembled wisdom of this blog could point them at just the right people to manage such an event.

#44 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2005, 10:45 AM:

> "Who was that Masked Wiener, anyway?"

"All he left was this silver toothpick."

#45 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2005, 10:56 AM:

"Is that an air pump in your weiner or are you happy to see me?"

#46 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2005, 11:33 AM:

I kept making him try to stand further away from me, though, because the publisher had a live backdrop of a simply gorgeous bright red Indian motorcycle.

"He was tall, handsome, famous, rich. He couldn't understand why she only had eyes for a red Indian who hardly spoke a single word!"

#47 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2005, 11:44 AM:

The various tales of costume wearing in this thread irresistibly conjured up this concept: "Fear Factor -- the Publicists' Edition"

#48 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2005, 01:45 PM:

Perhaps what BEA needs is a masquerade. I'm sure the assembled wisdom of this blog could point them at just the right people to manage such an event.

Heeeeee. This is going to keep me happy and giggly all day.

Thanks Kathryn!

MKK

#49 ::: TChem ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2005, 01:48 PM:

Of course the Midwest would have giant inflatable weenies sitting around, just waiting for the right promotional opportunity!

You might not be that far off. There's a bratwurst that wanders around downtown here (Madison WI) on a regular basis. When I initially read the description up top, I wondered if they were kin.

#50 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2005, 02:14 PM:

Of course the Midwest would have giant inflatable weenies sitting around, just waiting for the right promotional opportunity!

Let us not forget the infamous racing sausages at Milwaukee's ballpark, which go well beyond the common frankfurter.

#51 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2005, 03:29 PM:

One of the filkers of alt.fan.pratchett eventually became a little tired of purple dinosaurdom...

"I love you, you love me,
it's called bestiality"

#53 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2005, 04:29 PM:

Christopher, I didn't want to mention that part, what with the Doughboy/Dummies altercation, and MKK's past experience, and all the rest. But seince you brought it up, what's the progress on the campaign to add Soysage to the line-up?

#54 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2005, 07:12 PM:

Greg: OK, I'm looking at the photo. The costume appears to be made entirely out of air-tight plastic balloon material. is the weenie mouth a breathing hole? the person inside must be about a foot taller than everyone around her in the photo. That or she had a snorkel.

Absent a firm explanation from the people responsible, I'd point to Kathryn's picture; it looks like there's a piece of thinner material in the center of the weiner, starting at about eye height to the person standing next to it. This is a standard stunt for large costumes; the Pratchett troll that was wandering around Noreascon had something similar.

#55 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2005, 07:48 PM:

I'm sure someone else has realized by now that the Oscar Meyer theme song can easily be adapted for this occasion:

Oh, I wish I were a Tor publicity weiner!
That is what I'd really like to be-eee-ee. . .

#56 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2005, 08:01 PM:

" . . . there's a piece of thinner material in the center of the weiner . . ."

Must . . . resist . . . anatomical snarkery.

#57 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2005, 08:38 PM:

fidelio: no idea; I'm in the Boston area, and the local media definitely have their focus on the word "local".

#58 ::: Simstim ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2005, 09:59 AM:

There's the case of the mascot of Swansea Town football ("soccer") team being investigated for assaulting a fellow mascot before a mascot race. "Cyril" even considered a career in politics.

#59 ::: Neil Rest ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2005, 12:02 PM:

Fabio, giant weenie—what’s the diff?
. . . the kind of pumping it took.

#60 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2005, 02:40 AM:

On the evening news tonight was a report of someone dressed up in a plushy suit on the beach just down the hill, to draw attention to the amount of sewage dumped in the waters between Vancouver and Victoria. Or something. He was singing and dancing. A six-and-a-half foot tall, singing, dancing, chocolate-brown, plushy poo.

#61 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2005, 09:57 AM:

pericat: Did they have pictures?

--Mary Aileen

#62 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2005, 12:53 PM:

Oh, yes. Audio and video.

#63 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2005, 01:19 PM:

Well, it's better than coating oneself in chunky peanut butter. Cf Scott Shaw as The Turd at a Westercon masquerade too many years ago....

#64 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2005, 04:18 PM:

You know, when it comes down to it, most things are better than coating oneself in chunky peanut butter. Even coating oneself in smooth peanut better is better than coating oneself in chunky peanut butter.

"It's better than coating oneself in chunky peanut butter" is setting the bar pretty low.

#65 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2005, 04:50 PM:

1. And Squirrel Nutkin said unto his brethren, Behold, I have dreamed a dream, and in it I saw a figure like unto a man yet also llike a goo, and it was clad to its uttermost with the butter of the bean whose two names name it not.
2. And I touched it, and my fur did mat, and I was ashamed therefor.
3. But the figure said, Arise thou, Bushtail, and be not disheartened, for I come to prepare the way for another;
4. And He, though his one eye be weak and he shall walk upon a stick, he shall bring into the midst of your people much that is fresh and good.
5. In his days shall the vacuum seal be opened, and manyfold wonders pour as into a dish;
6. But those who prise out the filberts first ye have always with you, and with them the Brazils. It is to be expected.

#66 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2005, 05:08 PM:

In the late 1960s to early 1970s (the '60s ended when Nixon resigned) I sometimes scribbled transcripts of preposterous dialog at drugs, sex, and rock & roll parties, as did Philip K. Dick (or maybe he typed and held the parties at his place). One that I clearly recall was the spontaneous stonerism:

"30 days hath September,
April, June, and No Wonder;
All the rest have Peanut Butter.
Except my grandmother.
She had a red tricycle.
I stole it."

#67 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2005, 05:20 PM:

is coating oneself in chunky peanut butter better than Saddam though?

#68 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2005, 05:25 PM:

bryan:

"is coating oneself in chunky peanut butter better than Saddam though?"

I'd say that coating Saddam in chunky peanut butter is better, but prohibited by the Geneva Convention. Any truth to the rumors that Korans have been coated in peanut butter at Gitmo?

#69 ::: John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2005, 07:20 PM:

Any truth to the rumors that Korans have been coated in peanut butter at Gitmo?

Jonathan,
My understanding is that several Korans have been bottled in some new kind of Cuban tequila (unknown agave). And unlike many other tequilas, these are really good on the rocks.


#70 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2005, 07:35 PM:

I suppose there was glory for Shaw in coating himself in PB -- he was immortalized in one of Rotsler's Rules for Masquerades. It got a lot more liquid as it warmed up. And the oil soaked into his skin, and he smelled like peanut butter for several days.

#71 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2005, 07:56 PM:

"A six-and-a-half foot tall, singing, dancing, chocolate-brown, plushy poo."

Mr. Hankey!

"Hiiiiiideee-Hoh, kids!"

#72 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2005, 09:14 PM:

"And He, though his one eye be weak and he shall walk upon a stick"

He can also tap dance.

#73 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2005, 03:14 AM:

Hey, for the help of a road rally I dressed up as Bud Man... ironically, this was before I was old enough to drink.

And I've also dressed up as Qui-Gon Jinn, doing a rather disturbing imitation that knocked the topic hostess flat for a good ten minutes or so. Granted, timing had something to do with it-- she was at a party explaining that she'd never heard of Obi-Wan/Qui-Gon slash and couldn't imagine such a think, whereby I sidled up to her, placed my arm around her in a sense of camraderie (and as a brace) and said, "Padawan... do you like Sith gladiator movies?"

I saved the followups for later spontaneous examples of narcolepsy: "Do you like the feeling you get when a bantha rubs up and down your leg?" and "Ever been in a Corellian prison?" but Claire Eddy came along and told me to stop tormenting the afflicted.

And even more oddly, I know a guy who drove the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile around for a summer internship. He met a lot of cute girls that way and I believe it (of course, looking like a curly-haired version of Jason Priestly helped.)

#74 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2005, 10:19 AM:

(That would be demonstrations of cataplexy, Glenn -- they're different.)

#75 ::: Stefan Jones sees comment spam ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2005, 02:25 PM:

By user "blind"

Welcome to Making Light's comment section. The moderators are Avram Grumer, Teresa & Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and Abi Sutherland. Abi is the moderator most frequently onsite. She's also the kindest. Teresa is the theoretician. Are you feeling lucky?

Comments containing more than seven URLs will be held for approval. If you want to comment on a thread that's been closed, please post to the most recent "Open Thread" discussion.

You can subscribe (via RSS) to this particular comment thread. (If this option is baffling, here's a quick introduction.)

Post a comment.
(Real e-mail addresses and URLs only, please.)

HTML Tags:
<strong>Strong</strong> = Strong
<em>Emphasized</em> = Emphasized
<a href="http://www.url.com">Linked text</a> = Linked text

Spelling reference:
Tolkien. Minuscule. Gandhi. Millennium. Delany. Embarrassment. Publishers Weekly. Occurrence. Asimov. Weird. Connoisseur. Accommodate. Hierarchy. Deity. Etiquette. Pharaoh. Teresa. Its. Macdonald. Nielsen Hayden. It's. Fluorosphere. Barack. More here.















(You must preview before posting.)

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.