Karen Spears and I had a grand time reading the entries for the AUTHOR and HOST HUMILIATION contest. All we can say, dear authors and booksellers, is hang in there.
Who knew angst could be so very funny?! Many thanks to all who entered; I’ll be posting several of the write-ups over the coming weeks.
Just so they’re not on tenterhooks, the dual winners of AUTHOR HUMILIATION are Stephen Friedman of San Raphael, CA, and Suzan Herskowitz of Winchester, VA. Each will be invited to choose a date for spending a week in Wendy’s Writing Cabin, no expenses paid, but the place is free and we comp you a couple of kittens. (Jack and I rescue cats, in case anyone’s wondering.)
We’ll be blogging Stephen and Suzan’s entries this Friday.
Congratulations, Kathy Siress, on winning the HOST HUMILIATION category. We literally spit tea across the keyboard, reading this one.
Seattle, large chain bookstore, 1997. Celebrity chef, (now deceased) long running PBS show, recently subject of a number of sexual abuse allegations by young boys.
He showed up to book signing with his (very young) male assistant, and they immediately demanded a bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin. (I was dispatched to the local liquor store.)
Both filled their tall water glasses with gin (STRAIGHT!) and set themselves up at the signing table.
Turnout for this heavily promoted event was very poor – he had been in the news a lot lately. We also had a small but vocal group of protesters outside.
Bookstore manager was embarrassed,so she had all the booksellers take off their name badges, pretend to be customers, and line up for books. He caught on pretty quickly since we all asked for generic signatures – no names, just “Best Wishes…” etc. Weirdly, he had his assistant sign all the books too.
long uncomfortable evening for everyone. and yes, they finished the gin bottle.
Ha, my mother loved him. I inherited three of his cook books.
I have his books too and wasn’t aware of these charges until now.
I’ve been a big fan of this blog and your bookstore but I’m appalled that this incident is considered humorous.
Sex offenders are skilled at hiding their identity, all the while manipulating and molesting young boys/girls.
Rather than seeing their mistake as personal humiliation, the managerial staff and booksellers should have turned him out of their store to face the protesters. And they should have then stood with the protesters.
Granted, I’m not a fan of “dark humour” and sometimes just don’t “get it”, but I’m really sorry this was chosen as a winner.
I didn’t consider it humorous as much as I did appalling. This is a humiliation-themed contest. And I couldn’t help but feel for that bookstore owner and her employees as this arrogant and ohsooffensive celebrity acted the arse in this store. I don’t know who the chef is – haven’t Googled him yet – but out of the entries we received, I could think of nothing more appalling and humiliating than what this person but this bookstore owner and her staff through. That’s why this essay was chosen. Not because it is funny. Some of the entries were funny – such as the lawyer whose mom was her only guest at her event. But this? No. Not the least bit funny. Just simply humiliating.
Definitely humiliating if you are the bookstore hosting this author. Between signing on and the author appearing a lawsuit pops up? He walks in demanding liquor to get through a book-signing? People outside your store protesting and low turn-out after you hope for so much more?
Although written with a sense of humor (how could you NOT try to find some humor if you are writing about this well after the fact?) I agree it would have been humiliating and I do think the essay deserves to win.
I would hope that everyone would be appalled by the allegations and I think most of us understand it’s not an issue to make light of. But for it’s humorous take I enjoyed it. For it’s humiliating truth…I am glad that it wasn’t MY bookstore!