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P. Fanatics Reading Series Presents:

Fame is brilliant?

Cole’s Bar
January 8th
7:30 pm

With Daniel Shapiro, Jac Jemc, Kathleen Rooney, Benicia Blue, Vanessa Pegram, Patrick Allen Carberry, and Jason Bredle.

Hosted by Mason Johnson.

Music by house band Hawaiian Death Folk Presents.

See ya there!

P. Fanatics Presents: Choose Your Own Adventure

Scrub’s Digest: Know a Busta Newsletter

Scrub’s Digest: Know a Busta Newsletter

Week 46, Justin Jeremy Jones

Why I’m fly:

* My Dad owns a dealership. He lets me test drive all the cars. It’s so cool. I drive at top speed. I’ll pass anyone. I even passed a Mercedes in a Toyota once.

* I dress fly as hell. Polo shirt, golf shorts, backwards cap tilted slightly to the side.

* I was into Insane Clown Posse before anyone. Even Jack White.

* When I go to a restaurant, I always order the most expensive thing on the menu. If I’m at Wendy’s, I’ll get the chicken nuggets AND a burger.

* I go to all the parties.

* I was breastfed… ladies.

* I have a ton of cool friends.

* But I’m the coolest out of, like, all the people I know.

* The ladies love my sense of humor. They say I’m funnier than Dane Cook. Whenever I say something, people say, “Hoo-wee! That’s funny!”

* I do cool shit: I am the king of keg stands. I smoke cigarettes dipped in embalming fluid. I can no longer count to ten, but it’s worth it.

* I get my car washed every day. I get my car washed every day. I get my war cashed every way. I met guy mar mashed every day.

* My friend, Max Adams, you don’t wanna fuck with him. He could kick your ass. He was breastfed as well. You know the puppeteer that does Alf? Max Adams kicked his ass. You know the guy that created Strawberry Shortcake? They had a fistfight at a Weird Al Yankovic concert. Who won? My friend Max.

So in submarine, those are just a few reasons why I’m fly.

by Dan Shapiro with help from Barbara Shapiro. Edited by Mason Johnson

Why is this here? Because I, Mason Johnson, print out a zine every P. Fanatics. This last reading was no different, with one exception: I forgot to hand it out. Yes. I printed a zine, brought it to the bar, and never handed the thing out. I am an idiot.

<3 Mason

P. Fanatics: No Bustas

Sunday, September 11
Cole’s Bar
2338 N. Milwaukee

Featured Readers:

Dan Shapiro
Keith Ecker
Ian Belknap
Stephanie Lane Sutton
Emily Rose
Samantha Irby
The Crusty Cunt
and hosted by Mason Johnson

What’s a busta? Are you serious? Here’s one example:


With that said, bustas come in all shapes and sizes. They need not only fit Lisa Left Eye Lopez’s definition of a scrub, but can run the gamut of busta-ness.

Here are some bustas that ain’t allowed:

Chris Brown
Drew Carey
New York
Harold Ray
John Wayne Gacy
Vietnam War
Air Bud
The woman at the corner store who still IDs me.

And yeah, I’m aware there’s a bajillion other readings this night. Honestly, I don’t even care if you skip out on this, as long as you go to a different reading. Anyone who stays in, or does something non-reading oriented with their time, will get eviscerated by Dan Shapiro though.

P. Fanatics: Circle Jerk

P. Fanatics Reading Series Presents: Circle Jerk
August 14th at Cole’s. See the poster:

Miss me?

You have undoubtedly noticed that the place has gone to shambles. Or not, you’ve never been too observant. Regardless, it’s time you’ve found out why I’ve been gone:

Karaoke. I been doin’ a lot of it.

A new job! I work full time for CBS Chicago now. While my job has many facets, part of it is to write articles. Some boring, some not so much. You can see them here.

What little I have been writing outside of that has been put up other places, like Literary Chicago. So if you want to see any reading reviews from me, it’s best to go there.

This site will basically be used to inform you about upcoming P. Fanatics readings from here on out. They’re now permanently at Cole’s Bar every second Sunday. Yay! The next one is August 14th. Before that I’m reading at Ray’s Tap (August 12th), and before THAT I’m presenting at Dil Pickle Club (August 7th). More news when I got it.

<3 Mason

Karaoke with Tom and Dan

P. Fanatics Reading Series Presents: Cats

July 10th, event starts at 7:30, readings start at 8. Cole’s bar, 2338 N. Milwaukee.

P. Fanatics Presents: Dads

Monday, May 23rd at Moe’s tap! Confirmed readers (probably): Alexis Thomas, Chris Terry, Matt Martin, Jessie Morrison, Stevie Edwards and, as always, Dan Shapiro. Hosted by me, Mason Johnson.


P. Fanatics Presents: Hair Reading Recap

Literary Chicago talked about last night’s event a bit, check it out.

My thoughts:

- The Bulls game was, well, an interruption. How was I supposed to predict over a month ago that they’d have a play-off game? It was funny when they’d clap for the Bulls near the end of the game though in that it seemed like they were clapping for Mark Schettler as he read.

- The zine looked really great, partially due in part to Natalie Hurtenbach who designed it. It’ll be up on the internets soon to view in entirety, but here’s sample:

- Dan Shapiro offended a woman so much so that she stopped me later in that night to say, “you really offended me with your Aushwitz joke, it was inappropriate.” When I explained to her that Dan Shapiro and I are not the same person, she replied, “No. No excuses.” I started to say that people are allowed to read whatever they’d like on stage, but she cut me of. “No excuses.”

- The sound sucks in that place. The quality, the volume, all of it. Oddly enough, the sound is best when near the speakers in the very back of the rather large bar. Horrible in the middle, and kinda alright while up front. Nobody was near the stage as everyone read, which really gave the night an odd feeling.

- When I put a finger to my mouth and said, “Shh,” to some young men in back playing pool, they merely looked at me and told me that they don’t speak English. And here I was under the impression that “shh” was universal for “Shut the fuck up, assholes.”

- There was a man with a rottweiler, a very sweet dog. When I asked him if he could please speak softer, he asked, “What?! Why are you telling me to do this?” When I pointed out he was interrupting the reading he said, “Oh, yeah, okay.”

- There were two other men who, when I asked politely that they be quieter, replied, “Why? What are you gonna do? You gonna kick me out?” One was an acquaintance and was joking, we laughed. One was not and intimidated me greatly, but shut up when I replied, “yeeeeaaaaah. I will.”

- All the readers were great. Matt Rowan, Mary Hamiliton, Mairead Case, Ian Jones, Samantha Irby, Mark Schettler, Dan shapiro – everyone. Anything that may have marred their reading was not their fault, but probably mine.

All in all, it was a fun night. This is not the kind of bar you’d expect a reading at, and it shows. The regulars don’t understand. Some do like it though, and it’s rewarding when they seem to enjoy themselves, while others ignore it… loudly. I’m going to seriously think about changing venues in the future.

<3 Mason


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: