Friday, March 22, 2013

How Bryant Was Defeated By Oxford, or: How to Not Enjoy Your Vacation

I'd planned to have a report on the reading/signing Owen King was doing in Oxford, Mississippi today.  However, that's not going to happen, on account of how one or more of the following statements are true:

(1)  I am a moron.

(2)  Oxford, Mississippi is as poorly-laid-out a town as I have ever visited, traffic-wise, and is incredibly difficult to navigate unless you already know where you are going.

(3)  Oxford, Mississippi seemingly has no place to park downtown.  (There was a single long-term parking lot, as far as I can tell, and it was totally full.  Say, town planners...?  Here's a helpful hint: when traffic at lunchtime moves to a standstill that consists of people endlessly circling the same square, hoping for a place to park, it might be time to consider erecting a parking garage or two.  Just sayin'.)

(4)  I have invested in neither a smart-phone nor a GPS, and therefore am still living in the wrong era, technologically-speaking.

Take your pick; it's one, or the other, or maybe a mixture of them all.

And that, friends, is the story of how I did not end up actually attending the Owen King-related events that I'd taken PTO for, driven to a different state for, and looked forward to for weeks.

Apologies for the blog fail!


  1. I was going to preface this with the opening lyrics of Dylan's Oxford Town, but changed my mind (wisely, I think).

    In lieu of bad news, here's some good. I go my copy Thrusday night and here are some thoughts on the opening pages.

    The two main characters: The Addams Family in real life (rimshot).

    The protagonist: There is a rare talent that bill Murray has, which is the ability to act like a complete jerk and yet temper in such a way as to remain at least somewhere within the vicinity of likeable. the main character has that same ability, but good gosh, shut up about "Authenticity"!

    I don't think I'll ever be comfortable with the name "Blue Man Group" again.

    Nonetheless, this would make a great Wes Anderson film, preferably with Jason Schwartzman and Bruce Campbell.


    1. You know, I had "Oxford Town" loaded up on my MP3 player, because why WOULDN'T you listen to that while in Oxford...but I never got around to listening to it. Which now seems appropriate.

      It's funny you should mention Wes Anderson. I thought of him several times while reading the book! There's definitely something in Owen King's style that is reminiscent of Anderson's (whimsical-masking-the-tragic) style.

      I was reminded even more strongly of David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, The Fighter, I Heart Huckabees, Three Kings), who has a lot of the same sensibilities as Anderson, but is less prone to some of Anderson's design quirks (the weirdness of his costumes, music, sets, etc.). I love Anderson's work, though, and if he were to make a movie out of "Double Feature," I'd be down with that.

      As for that Blue Man Group reference... dish soap, man... *shudder*