The other night I was in need of some inspiration, so I took myself to “Cheap Beer and Prose”, a spin-off of the popular “Cheap Wine and Poetry” series. I didn’t do any imbibing, but I did get nice and satiated with a couple of hours of extremely good dramatic monologue. It was “ladies’ night”, featuring four local mistresses of the written word, and they were absolutely hilarious, sending the crowd into manic fits of Homeric laughter repeatedly throughout the evening.
Up first was Paullette Gaudet, a “licensed barber” (turns out you actually have to be licensed in order to shave a few heads and trim guys' bird nests) who got the crowd roaring with her story about a nudist ex-boyfriend. She was a humoristic little pugilist behind the podium, sending out belly-busting, wind-expunging jabs with nearly every other sentence.
Margot Kahn’s story about meeting a physically perfect yet mentally boorish Brooklyn hunk was slower-paced and more introspective than Gaudet’s aggressively hilarious tale, but it was a nice change of pace. At least it allowed me to catch my breath and recover from Gaudet’s blows.
Wilson Diehl set the best pace of the evening, combining the sharp wit of Gaudet with the quieter introspects of Kahn, making her the perfect comedienne. Her essay about marathons and giving birth (“shooting an eight-pound being out of my once-demure lady parts”) struck the perfect balance of lightness and depth, humor and weightiness – and it definitely made me steadfastly recommit to my decision to never but never have babies.
Finally, Karen Finneyfrock read some chapters from her young adult novel Celia the Dark and Weird, to be released next year. I’d already heard of Finneyfrock before attending the event and I was expecting a lot from her, but she was sadly disappointing. I think it was because her selection just didn’t match the tone of the evening, as it was serious and well, juvenile, being a young adult novel. I know Ff’s good, but I’ll have to explore her other writings.
All in all those ladies provided one frolicking evening, and I certainly got the inspiration I needed. Seattle has a rich cache of local writers, which just gladdens my little bookworm heart, so I’ll be attending many more book events in the coming months – and of course, telling you all about them.