Chuck Palahniuk took the stage at the Dallas Museum of Art with such authority Tuesday night. He stood in front of loyal fans and aspiring writers to, in his words, “blow your brains out.” He came into the auditorium wearing saddle colored leather pants and a blue button down. He guided us on a tour and we were willing and ready to go on his journey. I, of course, was ready for this journey with blackberry in hand to live tweet through the entire event for the Undergrad Society Twitter followers.
His theme for the night was to “blow our brains out” and he wasn’t kidding. He had interactive games for the audience as he threw inflatable brains with his signature and date on one side. The idea was that the first two people to inflate their blow up brain would receive a copy of a book by an author he liked. Luckily, we caught a brain and began to blow…sadly, we did not win.
After he had fun running around the auditorium throwing out brains, Chuck sat down to read the short story he wrote especially for this tour. The story was called, Romance. Oh, it was a Romance, and did it ever live up to the Chuck Palahniuk style of writing. There were twists, turns, profanity, and a level of disgust you can only receive from Palahniuk. We laughed, we identified, we may have been embarrassed at moments but the story touched each of us in different ways.
Chuck finished with a question & answer section. The majority of people asking questions were aspiring writers themselves and wanted to tell Chuck how much his work meant to them. We learned about the release of Choke, the movie, and how his mother was dying of cancer at the same time, and how he handled the situation. We learned that it prompted his newest book, Damned. At the end of the Q&A, he had another game for us. Chuck threw out blow up skeletons and again had books to give away. He made it interactive and fun for everyone in the audience. We left the DMA feeling a little bit more connected to our favorite author and had a better understanding of how and why he is as dark and witty as he is.
The total event cost me a whopping $10. I had to buy a signed copy of Damned, which was $27, but was worth every penny!