I love Sarah Vowell, as y'all might know or remember, so I was very excited to go see her read from her new book, Lafayette in the Somewhat United States. We got two tickets, but Mike wasn't feeling well, so I took my sister instead. She'd never heard of Sarah Vowell, but Vowell is funny, so I was pretty sure it was worth Marsha's time. We ran into my friend Kris there, and it was a good reading--dry, witty, etc.
Now, you may all remember the worst Q&A I've ever been to was the last Sarah Vowell reading I went to. It was humorously bad and kind of embarrassing (though there was a Lafayette callout there that predicted this book, which is kind of cool). Anyway, that was more than made up for on Friday with the BEST Q&A I have ever attended.
Sarah (I'm going to call her Sarah now; we're tight like that) finished her reading and then said that the problem with a Q&A is that when you have a microphone, the only people who ask questions are the ones who are willing to walk up to a microphone, but when you don't, no one can hear the questions. So she was going to have a special guest come up and repeat the questions into the microphone.
And lo, from out of the crowd rose Nick Offerman, to stand beside Sarah on the podium with his own mic. Apparently they're old friends, and since he's in town rehearsing a new production of Confederacy of Dunces, he showed up to support her.
It was hilarious. When the questioners were too quiet to hear, he repeated the questions helpfully. When they were full on loud enough, he would interpret them amusingly. The question about her trips to France to research the book he repeated as, "Speak to us of cheese." The one about the Puritans was, "Speak to us of corn." When Sarah asked if he'd ever been to France, he talked about a trip he'd taken with his wife in which they scouted the guard patrol patterns in the sculpture garden at the Louvre so that they could take a photo of him posing naked with one of the statues. He was charming and effusive in his love of the book, and she answered questions in her self-effacing but really smart way, and it was just delightful. Marsha totally got her money's worth.
So now I'm not only enthusiastically awaiting my copy of Lafayette, but I have to rush out and get Paddle Your Own Canoe, to figure out what Nick Offerman writes about when he writes a book. Poor me!