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Face Down in San Francisco

Hi. It's Dave again, you know, from yesterday. Today I write to you from lovely San Francisco, where last night I did a show at the Punchline with the great Mike Drucker and Jesse Elias, two hilarious guys with incredible hair. I've been mixing it up between doing readings and comedy shows on my book tour. The readings make me feel like the classy author I wanted my mother to be proud of, and with the comedy shows you get free drink tickets and maybe some chicken wings or something, and — if you play your cards right — there is a very good chance you could wake up on some stranger's bathroom floor the next morning or afternoon. In short, they are both very exciting in very different ways. So far, I am finding the readings to be a bit scarier. I mean, don't get me wrong, I can totally read and have done so in front of a room full of people staring at me many times beforedon't get me wrong, I can totally read and have done so in front of a room full of people staring at me many times before, but for some reason, on this, my first book tour ever, I keep thinking everyone just showed up to the bookstore because they like coming to bookstores in general and they have not entirely ruled out the possibility of lobbing something from the reference section at my head just because. Keeping all that in mind, I just stand up randomly and start talking/reading/shaking for a while until the guy at the front desk tells me they really need to close soon, and maybe I should wrap things up, or he will call the cops. Then I break out my Sharpie and furiously scribble all over assorted copies of my book until the permanent marker fumes send me into a dreamlike state, and I have to be escorted out of the building by some guy or nice lady who claims she is "just doing this for my own good." I'm told that's how it was with Elvis toward the end a lot of the time, so I'm still feeling pretty good about it, even when there is name calling and other surefire feelings-hurters involved.

Getting back to San Francisco, it's my first time here in about a year and, despite the fact that my hotel room window looks out onto some aluminum siding about five feet away from my head, I am really enjoying all the sights, sounds, and smells. The last time I was here, my friend's girlfriend announced after a few drinks that she wanted to show my friend and me where she worked. A few blocks later we found ourselves at a place called the Lusty Lady. As hinted at in the name, the Lusty Lady features women in various states of undress being stared at by guys in Member's Only jackets who appeared to have come there by themselves. More interestingly, though, is that the Lusty Lady is the world's only unionized, worker-owned peep show co-opthe Lusty Lady is the world's only unionized, worker-owned peep show co-op, which is to say, yes, you should absolutely avoid touching anything in the place, but at least the women working there are getting a much fairer shake than the gals down at (fill in name of your favorite adult entertainment establishment whose name is almost impossible to utter without getting all giggly). They also sell nice T-shirts (100% cotton, I'm told. Great for summer).

After sheepishly ducking inside, my friend, her girlfriend, and I were escorted into one of the larger booths they had there by some guy in a green sweatshirt who was loitering around the lobby. Once inside, we waved at the women dancing around behind the glass for a couple minutes before I started to stress out about the dry cleaning bill I'd be stuck with after this visit, and we decided it was time to go. On the way out, we ran into the green sweatshirt guy again, who was now inexplicably brushing his teeth in the hallway.

"Thanks for coming," he said while extending a toothpaste and saliva-drenched hand in my direction. "I hope you had a nice time.”

I declined his minty handshake, and we continued on our way.

"Was that your boss?" I asked my friend's girlfriend.

"No," she answered. "I have no idea who that guy was.”

That's the thing about the Lusty Lady I guess — you never know who you're gonna meet. I hear they do a nice brunch, too.

Alright, that about covers it for now. I'm headed back to New York City tonight for a few days before my Tasteful Nudes book assault on America resumes this Saturday in Philadelphia at Underground Arts, located right there in the heart of it. Come by if you're near. Afterward, we can go get a sandwich or something and then, you know, just see what happens I guess.

÷ ÷ ÷

Dave Hill is a comedian, writer, retired pedicab driver, rock star, actor, and man-about-town. He has been on HBO, written for the New York Times, starred in his own TV show, contributed to This American Life, and has been in at least five rock bands. Tasteful Nudes is his first book.


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Dave Hill is the author of Tasteful Nudes: And Other Misguided Attempts at Personal Growth and Validation

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