Where can you go to see a world-famous author drink himself silly on stage, throw inflatable items at the audience, listen to upcoming Sled Island bands and hear a slew of dirty jokes that you pray you will forget before you go to bed that night? A WordFest event of course!
If you were not one of the 400 people who were lucky enough to attend Chuck Palahniuk’s only Canadian stop on his tour here in Calgary, you truly missed out on a fun night. Everything listed above, plus many more funny and slightly disturbing things happened in the unassuming John Dutton Theatre on May 12th. I doubt the (lovely) staff of Central Library will ever be the same.
With people lined up as early as 10:30 that morning, flying in from as far as London, England, I knew this would be a night to remember. That afternoon, I was lucky enough to dodge the job of blowing up huge turkeys and focused on setting up the books that came with every ticket.
One staff member commented on the Tell-All cover being so beautiful, it looked like a “unicorn had thrown up on them”. Covered in bright colourful lettering and a sparkly book jacket, it was hard to disagree.
Before and after his performance, Chuck spent over three hours signing for the 100 wrist banded-fans who spent hours waiting for their hero. I must also pause for a moment to mention the wonderful cut-out that he brought along with him, a mock-up of a tabloid magazine with the face cut out of a bikini ready-body stretched across the front.
Around 10:30pm the last book was signed, and everyone was ready to head home. Surprisingly, the only disastrous events of the evening included a few clogged toilets in the men’s’ room, and a trash can fire.
Chuck Palahniuk’s performance took WordFest in a new direction, and everyone was excited by the line up of super-fans. I’m positive Calgary will never be the same after this momentous affair.