Our biggest overall strategic misfire of the "How to Fail" 30 Bars in 30 Days book tour has clearly been in having "football Sunday" events in small towns. True, these events are doing a great job of giving us some much-needed recoup time from the previous six days, but that's an unplanned side effect of these bars being empty, boring, and full of people not really interested in me, my book, and perhaps even American literacy. Cherry Hill, Ithaca, and now Dover--all three major stinker events.
I'd never been to Dover before and was startled at how beautiful of city it is. Massive Victorian-ish mansions on quaint tree-lined streets, even the bar was in a really "cute" part of downtown. Inside told another story. The bar, the Loockerman Exchange, was nice enough, but at 1:00 PM on a football Sunday it was completely empty. In what other American town would said town's biggest sports bar be completely empty at NFL kickoff?! I spent the dead time catching up on some work and enjoying the Loockerman's delicious crab products, before I slowly noticed people finally beginning to mill in. Black clothed, vested, booted, pentagrammed, pierced, mutton chopped, long haired people to be exact. Apparently there was also a hardcore music mini-festival scheduled for four o'clock.
Suffice to say, especially after my braggadocio in the previous post, we finally stumbled upon a demographic not particularly interested in "How to Fail": supremacistic, gun-toting, shrieking, hardcore hatemongerers. Having said that, since they do greatly favor black clothing with profane sayings on it, we still managed to sell some product!
At least leaving the event earlier than expected allowed me to get my first non-bar meal and good night's sleep in seemingly forever.
POWER POLLS (through week three)
1. Philly Cigar Club special happy hour (Philadelphia)
2. Amity Hall (Manhattan)
3. Graney's (Albany)
4. The Irish Pub (Atlantic City)
5. Drinker's Tavern (Philadelphia)
6. Syracuse weekend (Syracuse)
7. A'dam Good Sports Bar (Atlantic City)
8. Brazen Fox (White Plains, NY)
9. Paddy Whacks (Philadelphia)
10. Brooklyn Bowl (Brooklyn)
11. Green Rock Tavern (Hoboken, NJ)
12. P.O.P.E. (Philadelphia)
13. Benchwarmers (Ithaca, NY)
14. P.J. Whelihan's (Cherry Hill, NJ)
15. Old Bay (New Brunswick, NJ)
16. Loockerman Exchange (Dover, DE)
17. Kildare's (Manayunk, PA)
18. Jillian's (Albany)
1. My assistant locking her keys in the tour car (with countless books inside) right before an event was about to start.
2. Spending the night at a Motel 6 in Albany.
3. Booking events in small towns like Manayunk, Cherry Hill, and Dover.
4. Getting duped into giving a free copy of "How to Fail" to a self-proclaimed "important cultural journalist" who we never actually vetted. When he didn't showed up for a scheduled one-on-one interview with me and we realized we didn't actually have his contact info (he only had ours), we knew we'd been snookered for a free book.
5. My manager Craig leaving his credit card and ID at a bar and not realizing it until we were outside of Atlantic City, forcing us to head back to town at 2 in the morning on a night we desperately needed sleep.
6. My assistant quite possibly hitting a bald eagle with the tour SUV somewhere outside of Albany.
7. My assistant accidentally spilling a pint of beer all over the book table (UPDATE: twice!).
8. My assistant resuming smoking after having quit just a week before the tour kicked off.
9. My assistant parking in an illegal spot in Brooklyn and getting a sanitation sticker slapped on her vehicle.
10. Me drinking Miller High Life forties so hardcore at Drinker's that I was so ridiculously hungover all day I was unable to leave my room to find a sports bar to watch my beloved Syracuse Orange clinch a bowl game against dreadful Rutgers for the first time in ages. Shameful.
11. The dean of Newhouse attempting to purchase "How to Fail" via SUpercard, the Syracuse University intra-school debit card, typically used for late-night muchies runs to the dining hall Burger King or Sbarro's.
12. Me eating bar food for 18 consecutive dinners (plus stadium food, plus two late night stops to NJ Turnpike Roy Rogers, and one late night run to Taco Bell) even though I promised myself I would eat healthily on this tour.