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P. Fanatics Presents: Terrorisms!

Two shows left before P. Fanatics is dead forever. Go to both!

Poster by Joe Myers:

P. Fanatics Presents: Why Would Anyone Want to Go to a Reading?

P. Fanatics Reading Series Presents: Why Would Anyone Want to Go to a Reading?

June 10th
Cole’s Bar
2338 N. Milwaukee
7:30 pm SHARP (in fact, get there early, hang out with us, nab a seat)

Why would anyone want to go to a reading? It’s a valid goddamn question, alright. It’s not like music, ya know. When you go to see a band, when you witness real talent, real joy, that’s one thing. Readings though, those goddamn things, they’re a totally different story…


Dan Shapiro
Stephen Tully Dierks
Roger Bonair-Agard
Tom Simmons
Cassandra Nguyen
Franki Elliot (maybe???)
Chris Bower
Heiko Julien
and hosted by Mason Johnson

With house band Hawiian Death Folk Presents

So go.

P. Fanatics/Two Cookie April 3rd & 8th

This month, P. Fanatics is teaming up with Two Cookie Minimum to bring you not one, but two shows. Double the fun! Doublemint gum! Can you guys handle the collective sarcasm that is Mason Johnson and Johnny Misift?


Two Cookie Minimum/P. Fanatics
April 3rd
The Hungry Brain, 2319 W Belmont
@ 9:00 pm

Readers include Maggie Ritchie, Laura Szumowski (zoo mouse key press), Dave Snyder, Kieth Rosson (avow zine from Milwaukee), Jill Summers, and Adam Drent. It will be hosted by Johnny and Mason (I like to refer to myself in the third person!), with Dan Shapiro loosening things up at the beginning. Nothing like a tall glass of Shapiro.

No. Really. There’s nothing like it.

P. Fanatics/Two Cookie Minimum
April 8th
Cole’s Bar, 2338 N. Milwaukee

Performers include Lindsay Hunter, Matt Rowan, the father son duo of Fred Sasaki and Fred Sasaki, and musical comedy by Rich Salamander. Mason and Johnny are hosting this shitshow too! Dan will, as always, be opening things up at the beginning. So don’t be late. Oh, Hawaiian Death Folk Presents will be… present… too!


P. Fanatics: I’m Not Racist, But… THIS SUNDAY

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

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: 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!