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Bar #19 – The Note – Post-Mortem

West Chester, PA

I remember standing naked in front of the bathroom mirror at midnight right before "How to Fail" released and my book tour began.  I remember ogling myself and thinking, "You've never looked better, Goldfarb."  I was trim, toned, defined.  Yet, I knew this would only last for about 24 hours.

Now, two-thirds of the way through the book tour, that man that stood naked in front of the bathroom mirror is a distant memory.  I am becoming like the slothful failure and protagonist of my book, Stu Fish, who notes in Chapter 1:

In the decade since college...My body has morphed from a taut athletic figure into one of decadence and sloth.  Cheap one dollar drafts “decadence” and ten cent wings from four-to-seven “sloth.”

Back in my normal life, back before this damn book tour, I used to be healthy.  I used to eat a diet of salads, hummus, fruits, veggies and the like during the day.  And though I'm a bit of an overindulgent foodie, I still maintained a healthy balance.  I loved loved loved my craft beer, but I still only drank a few bottles a week, a few more over the weekends.  I used to run 5-7 miles 5-7 days per week.  Push-ups, sit-ups, and weights every 2-3.  I was INTO it man.

But now, now I drink every night from happy hour til close.  I eat bar food every night--nachos, french fries, sliders, pizza, and anything and everything covered in buffalo sauce--for the last nineteen nights.  I've been running a little, surprisingly 12 of the 19 mornings on tour so far, but shorter runs, just trying to shake the cobwebs off, make sure my heart and lungs still function.  My body is doughy and jiggly.  I can't believe how fast I've degraded.

My face too.  True, I've been almost too busy to do the standard things one does in life to maintain themselves, but my manager Craig also thought it a swell idea to grow "tour beards" and, well, I'm into being peer pressured.  So now my face is again, just like Stu Fish's, who notes in Chapter Two:

Start small and quit shaving.  Who decided:  clean shaven = responsible member of society?  Removing hairs from one’s face is one of the silliest things man has ever made ritualistic (that doesn't involve God).  Plus, razor blades and creams are expensive.

You can justify quitting shaving by reasoning that it will make you into a sexy bad boy.  And, truthfully, it will.  Briefly.  In that three to seven days scruff range.  Women will dig you then, so you best get mad pussy during those four days.

After seven days, assuming you’re not in the top one percentile that can grow luxurious beards (Kenny Rogers, Ice Cube, Sean Connery, Rutherford B. Hayes, et al), the hair on your face will look repellent—uneven, thatchy, and prickly—bringing oils that will make your skin break out, becoming shiny and greasy.  The fuzz on your mug will be like Velcro to foreign objects.  Lint, pizza sauce, and shreds of paper will attach like filings to a magnet.

After ten days without shaving, people will begin noticing.  Your friends will passive-aggressively dance around the subject.  “Soooooo, trying to grow a beard?”  Nope.  Just checking out on life.

Nope.  Just on the most ludicrous book tour ever.

Monday brought me to lovely West Chester, PA for a special event at Bam Magera's rock club The Note.  The kind of event surely no other author and no other book has ever been a part of.  Two bands, Hay Market Riot & The Goodnight Lights, OPENED for me.  An author.  Who has ever heard of such a thing?!  What does opening for a book even look like?  Well, it looked like me MCing the evening, introing the bands, doing some drunken schtick between sets, even sitting in with the Lights for the spoken word portion of Lou Reed's "The Gift," reading a bit of Footchapter 4-B "How to Masturbate at Work."

It was a spectacular event and a night I'll never forget.  But I'm never gonna forget any of these 30 nights on this book tour I'm starting to realize.


Hay Market Riot guitarist Jesse Riddle twice popping a string on stage before later slicing his hand into a bloody mess.  Is he stringing his instrument with razor wire?!


A late night jaunt into Philadelphia to grab some cheesesteaks.  Trite, but delish.


Major props to The Note for a stellar beer list.  It would be easy for them to do what most always-packed hip rock clubs do and simply sell macro swill and cheap cans of PBR--which, don't get me wrong, are also available--but The Note also packed a punch with taps and bottles from Victory, Sixpoint, Great Lakes, Lost Abbey (!), a some super fresh Sierra Nevada Celebration on tap.  An iconic beer I never get sick of, although I got perhaps a little sick from it, polishing off far too many delicious, enamel-peeling pints.

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