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Caveat: this two-part story involves me getting drunk in both parts.
Earlier this week, Jeff Kamin, host of Books and Bars, invited me to be a part of the Twitterati Twit-Pit at the Fitzgerald Theater for the Patton Oswalt episode of Minnesota Public Radio's show Wits. Although I wasn't sure what "Twitterati," "Twit-Pit," "Tweet-Up," or Wits were, I agreed to participate because I know who Patton Oswalt is, and he is one funny nerd. Wits is a yearly four-part series of shows hosted by John Moe, with musical accompaniment by John Munson, that features writers and various musical guests.
The first part of the story finds me making an early exit from the live taping of America's Got Talent on Thursday afternoon, drunk from slurping two tall-boy Heinekens from clear plastic cups in front of elementary school kids who were horrified at the site of Howie Mandel ogling a burlesque act on stage, and heading directly over to T-Mobile to purchase a smart phone for the sole purpose of live-tweeting this Patton Oswalt event.
"You won't regret it," my husband said. "You'll seem more professional." He's probably right, but I would like to see the statistics on young professionals purchasing expensive electronics while drunk at two in the afternoon while grumbling about the criminal state of the cell phone industry in front of some goofy dude working for commission. This was not my finest moment.
The second part involves me being incredibly nervous on Friday about live-tweeting an event while sitting next to or near many writers from the Twin Cities who I greatly respect. This anxiety was only compounded by the fact that I was also in the presence of Mystery Science Theater 3000's Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett.
Something that I have noticed about writing in the Twin Cities is that the literati like to drink, and networking usually involves a happy hour—or, in this case, a special on whiskey gingers (at this event they were called "Tina Louises" after Ginger from Gilligan's Island).
As far as I remember, I had a wonderful time. The encouragement of MPR to tweet at this event made me feel that I was part of the future, though—being from Philadelphia—I couldn't shake the feeling that I was going to get shot at any moment for pulling out my phone in a dark theater. It was difficult, trying to keep up with the hilarious jokes that Patton Oswalt and John Moe were making while at the same time trying to type my own hilarious jokes into my new phone. I missed half the show putting on my own show. But, I did get retweeted by John Moe.
For your reading pleasure, I present to you my most hilarious tweets:
"And @pattonoswalt takes the stage, increasing the nerd factor by two hundred percent #wits" (This was the one that scored me a retweet.)
"Does Grant Lee Philips looking like Val Kilmer mean that he also looks like Jim Morrison? #wits"
"Live D&D! This is almost a live sex show! #wits"
Yep, that was it, three good tweets. With the rest, I was just trying to catch up to everyone else, or—being drunk—seeing I had a typo and just giving up on the tweet. It was daunting, being in the room with the MST3K guys who were all tweeting hilarious, chummy things to Patton Oswalt and John Moe, and next to Maggie Ryan Sandford and Jeff Kamin, who practically bleed jokes. Regardless of my sauced, nervous state, I had a really wonderful time, gained about a million followers (and by "about a million," I mean "seven"), and helped to bring the world a moment of perfect stillness by overloading Twitter.
Patton Oswalt's new book Zombie Spaceship Wasteland is out now, and from what I've heard, pretty funny.