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March, 2011:

P. Fanatics Presents: Hair!

Thursday, April 21st is the next Piss Fanatics reading. The theme is one that is close to my heart: hair. Moe’s Tavern again, so go.

Featuring Mairead Case, Mary Hamilton, Mark Schettler, Matt Rowan, Ian Dick Jones, Dan Shapiro, and Samantha Irby. Hosted by me.

<3 Mason

P. Fanatics Podcast: Episode 0

Apparently iTunes doesn’t want to accept the Piss Fanatics podcast. Maybe they don’t like the name…

Anyways, here’s episode 0! Not a proper episode, but a small sliver of what it will eventually be.

In this fine audio thingy majiger you will here Dan Shapiro and I conversing. This was taken from recordings of Dan and I writing material together, but is mostly the moments where we are off task, talking about a wide array of things. The episodes in the future will hopefully make sense. The fact is, we weren’t aware we’d be putting this up from the get go, and it has been edited heavily for the sake of the innocent, so we weren’t exactly pandering to an audience, or making sense.

Here’s a link to the podcast RSS feed. Here’s a link to the individual file of the episode. Or, listen to it right here and now:

Things covered include:


A young woman named Abby being insane

Dicks hanging out

Moist women

Among many, many other things.


P. Fanatics: Sup, Bro? Recap

Saturday we had the first ever Piss Fanatics reading, and it went superb. It’d be a bit uncouth to do a review of my own reading series, so I’ll just do a quick recap in show of appreciation of all the talent that was nice enough to come out and read.

Dan Shapiro, my partner in crime, actually read twice, killing both times. I had him open up the reading, no introductions or explanations, just Dan reading one of the funniest stories I’ve ever heard about a man and a monkey. Don’t think for a moment that this is some sort of Any Which Way But Loose, Dan ain’t no Clint Eastwood, and Eastwood ain’t no Shapiro. Still, monkeys are cool.

Dave Snyder took the stage and did the theme proud as he read poems he composed with his bros, like William Blake for example, who, along with Dave, coined some of my favorite bro-terms of the night: Brobocop, Broseidon. Many thanks go out to Dave, Dave’s beard, Wordsworth, Blake, and Keates for pioneering Broetry.

I forgot that you’re supposed to take pictures at events for most of the night, but here’s one of the crowd, just a little too chill for their own good:

Kevin Kern took the stage after Dave and apparently impressed everyone. I was so nervous at this point I found myself downing beer as fast as possible, and missed at least half of his poem. It’s just Kevin, I thought, I can miss this. He definitely insulted me in it though, which was nice of him. I felt guilty for missing bits afterward as people came up to me and said, “What was that guy’s name again? That was good.”

I’m just kdding, I totally heard all of Kevin’s piece, and it was definitely great. People were really coming up to me afterward and complimenting me though. Why not him, I wonder? Maybe it’s the New Jersey accent.

(Mason & Kevin, besties.)

After a short break Jacob Knabb was nice enough to introduce Dan Shapiro, singing a little ditty to get Dan in the mood to read for a second time. Jacob sings a lot. Everyone seems to hate it at least a little. I’m not going to weigh in on the matter in general, suffice to say, it seemed to have a thorough effect on Dan, who didn’t move for the entire ordeal, not even when Jacob coyly slid his finger down Dan’s back.

Dan’s second piece was funny. As funny as his first piece? Probably not, it’s hard to top such perfection, but this one, a piece about God and the Devil meeting in a bathroom in limbo, is definitely a precious piece of comedy that just about anyone would laugh at.

Chris Bower read next and was another guy where people would come up to me afterward to tell me how great he was, as if they couldn’t walk up to him and do so themselves. He was typically only a few feet away from me as they did so. Now, I didn’t pass these messages on to him. Never in a million years would I pass praise on to him. I definitely do not want it to go to the guys head. Thankfully, I can compliment him here, since I know for a fact he doesn’t read this website. I don’t think he knows how to work the “damn fangled internets.”

With that said, Chris’ piece, almost every piece by Chris I’ve heard, gives you chills. These chills are accompanied by laughing, but the chills are still there. I don’t really know how to describe the bastard, he’s some sort of genius, infusing his prose with everything awkward going on in your mind. He has his way with your suspension of disbelief, he accosts it, he kidnaps it, he gets it laid, he gets it crabs, then chlamydia, he gets it to mouth off to its mother…

… I donno. He’s just great, okay? I’ve never been disappointed in anything done by the man.

Next time you see Chris, ask him what Brokakke is.

Jill finished off the show in what was easily the most well put together story of the night. A lot of readers at readings will typically create a series of jokes, or a feeble frame of a story to deliver a couple jokes with, ensuring that the comedy will come before things like pacing and movement, character development and story, things that make a story great, but don’t always communicate well when read aloud. Jill did not settle for just making jokes. She created a full piece of work, including all the elements of a great short story, while also making you laugh. She’s like, a real writer or something. Intimidating, right?

All in all, it was a great night! Thanks go out one more time to Dan Shapiro, Dave Snyder, Kevin Kern, Chris Bower, and Jill Summers!

Read Dan’s Story

The first ever P. Fanatics reading went amazingly last night. More on that later. I just wanted to mention that the story Dan Shapiro opened with is up on Untoward Magazine’s website. It’s hysterical, go read it!

First P. Fanatics Reading EVAR

Come to it. Moe’s Tavern. 8:30. Saturday the 19th. First ever Piss Fanatics reading.


There is only one reason not to go to the reading Saturday, and only Ian Dick Jones, the asshole of assholes, can use it:

Yep. Like I said, an asshole.



Posts have been sparse around here as I’ve been busy eating cereal and doing readings and probably other, very important things, maybe.

I took on Harold Ray at Nerves of Steel recently. But you know this, Matt Rowan has gone into great detail about this, so I won’t go on about it, except to say that Harold Ray’s a cheat.

I also read at Sunday Night Sex Show recently, showcasing the power of the Transformers Movie (1986). You see, every time I’ve watched this wonderful animated film with a woman, she has given me head. Sometimes I’ve even gone down on her (I’m a gentleman)! The crowd was a bit surly (drunk) by the time I approached the mic, but it went well. Not only that, but everyone else who took part was awesome, especially Samantha Irby, who read about anal sex, among other things.

There was also Ray’s Tap, which has been horribly reviewed by Ian Jones below. Ray’s is always, and was that night, a great show. My favorite moments were Dave Snyder teaching everyone about rhetoric, and getting to do a piece with Dan Shapiro.


Sunday, March 13th

TWW Rx Reading Series at Beauty Bar 1444 W. Chicago Ave. @ 7:00 Facebook Event

Beauty Bar, if you’re an awkward white male like myself, can be a bit uncomfortable. If you’re hip and cool, you’ll love it. Being so manly, I get a bit put off when I walk into a bar to see someone getting a manicure, with old hair-drying-seat-things (those chairs with the giant domes that lower onto your head) against the walls, and mirrors occasionally hanging so you can check out your pretty self at any moment. I’m not saying I don’t go here, I do on occasion, I just make sure I’m drunk before I walk in the door.

ANYWAYS, it’ll still be a great reading. Readers include Mairead Case (yay!), Harold Ray (boo!), Joshua Sinason, and Avery R. Young.

A very good lineup, with the exception of Harold Ray, that is. Mairead Case is one of my favorite people ever, and Avery R. Young is an intensely amazing man. I’m sad I can’t go.

Monday, March 14th (and onward)

Story Week!!!!!!!

Story Week, if you don’t know, is a week of awesome authors talking about stories. Hosted by Columbia College Chicago’s Fiction Department, which I was lucky enough to be a part of, it’s basically a week of partying with authors you never thought you’d be lucky enough to meet. Some of the authors this year are Irvine Welsh, Jenniger Egan, and Karen Tei Yamashita (and more!!!). I can’t emphasize enough how cool the shit they put on is in the Fiction Department.

Alba Machado over at Literary Chicago does a great job of detailing all the events. So go check that out.

Tuesday, March 15th

Write Club The Hideout 1354 W Wabansia @ 7:00 Facebook Event

You know what they say, “write is right.” Or something like that… I should probably delete this paragraph.

I’ve plugged Write Club a dozen times now and will continue to plug Write Club. I like it. It’s a good series. It’s fun and rarely disappoints. If you want to hear what I think, read one of my old reviews of it.

This month features Jennifer Bosworth VS Merrie Greenfield, Noelle Krimm VS Caitlin Parrish, and Chris Bower VS Ian Belknap.

I’m especially excited about Bower Vs Belknap, since they’re two people I love to hate, but love to see read too. (I’m probably, in actuality, secretly in love with both of them.) Especially Bower. That guy’s a wild card, who knows what you’ll get from him. You’d be stupid not to go see this. And! It’s in the name of charity. Don’t tell me you hate charity?

Wednesday, March 16th

Black & White Night Presents: Live Journal Reading The Hollywood Lounge 3301 w. Bryn Mawr @ 8:30 Facebook Event

Black & White Night combines visual art with awesome music and the occasional reading – making it a Godsend. This time around they’re hosting an open mic for people to read their Live Journal stories. Remember Live Journal? We all had one in high school. I was under the impression I had obliterated mine from existence, but it’s still around, so you better bet I’ll be there reading from it.

Saturday , March 19th

P. Fanatics Reading Series Presents: Sup, Bro Moe’s Tavern @ 8:30ish

The first Piss Fanatics reading. I’ll be talkin’ about this all freakin’ week. YOU HAVE TO GO. READ DA POSTER MADE BY JOE MYERS:



Ray’s Tap Anti-Sex Reading Review by Ian Dick Jones

Ray’s Anti-Sex show was probably the best Ray’s show that there ever was and since nobody in the human race can outdo themselves I’m pretty sure that, because of the topic at hand, this will go down in history as the “Ray’s reading you should have been to.” A Woodstock of its own.

Chris Bower’s opening speech about how his twin brother raped him in the womb, then molecularly combined himself (the twin) with himself (Chris), brought Chris (the host) into this world as 1) already a victim of sexual violence and 2) with nobody but himself to blame was probably not only 1) the funniest and most honest thing Chris will ever say, but 2) the truth about humanity and the disgusting things we do to each other. He then said since it was the Anti-Erotica reading, that we’d get shot if he saw a boner, or smelled a wet vagina. Good job opening up, Chris.



Quickies! tomorrow, guys! You should go! Haven’t had a whole lot of time to do proper posts lately.

Will kick things up a notch WHEN I FEEL LIKE IT.

Go to Quickies!


Ray’s Tap Anti-Erotic / Sex-Negative Show

Ray’s Tap Reading Series is a badly kept secret (cause there just ain’t enough room in the place to risk it becoming popular). It’s also one of the best readings out there. I’ll be reading a piece I wrote, along with a piece I did with Dan Shapiro. More talented people will also be reading: Matt Test, Dave Snyder, Lindsay Hunter, Tom Vale, Tim Racine, and Tony Mendoza.

Go, but only if you’re cool.