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Thursday, June 11, 2009

FOUND: Ira Glass Passed Out in a Van?

Posted on Thu, Jun 11, 2009 at 2:10 PM

FOUND Magazine hosted a fancy show-and-tell last night at the Doug Fir. Davy Rothbart, the magazine's co-founder and frequent This American Life contributor, read from some of the juiciest found notes in his collection, anonymously spilling people's dirty, inane, profane, frenzied, sometimes criminal secrets. One of my favorites was the receipt that read “1 gun, 1 gun*, 1 ski mask, 1 Nerds.” (*That’s not a typo. There were two guns, which is too bad cause there's only one ski mask.) Or this one:

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In the middle of the show, Davy’s brother Peter Rothbart sang songs inspired by Found objects, and many people found him quite winning. Supposedly “This American Life” leader-supreme Ira Glass was going to stop by, but couldn’t make it because he was passed out in the book-tour van.

Unsubstantiated Claim #1: Ira Glass passed out after smoking a big, fattie blunt.
Unsubstantiated Claim #2: Ira Glass can handle his weed. (Claim #1 seems to contradict this.)

If anyone can substantiate either of these claims, or alternatively, provide evidence to disprove them, I would be grateful.

But back to the sharing. Found magazine is really just a compilation of scraps of paper that people from all over the country send in here. They can be ads, receipts, to-do lists, love notes, hate notes, torn-off pieces of letters, and more. Some say an object must be on the floor or somehow displaced before it can be considered found, while purists claim it must be literally blowing in the wind. The Found guys who actually sift through this detritus for the magazine (they’re up to issue #6) seem most concerned with what’s entertaining. They'll include just about anything worth a laugh, like this note taped to a convenience store door: “Today is my grandmother’s 100 Birthday AND there is a raccoon in my bathroom. Will open at 3pm. Thanks.”

There are also intimate, brutally honest artifacts of awkward teenage passions...

“Last night was terrible! I’m so mad at you. I though we agreed about that thing you do…you know? It's not kinky. It’s gross!!”

And ambitious teenage passions...

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Emcee Davy Rothbart honed the art of making recycled pieces of paper more valuable as a Chicago Bulls ticket scalper. He has since grown into a real writer type though, with The Believer and GQ credits to prove it. In 2005 he wrote a book of short stories called The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas.

Substantiated Claim #1: Steve Buscemi wrote a screenplay based on three of Davy Rothbart’s short stories and is directing it himself.
Substantiated Claim #2: Steve Buscemi is an excellent director, as seen here. (He actually directed that whole episode of 30 Rock.)
Unsubstantiated Claim #3: That is going to be a funny movie if it ever gets made.
Substantiated Claim #3: Found magazine made me laugh.

So here, for making me giggle Found earned itself a plug. Check out the new book, Requiem for a Paper Bag or pick up one of the older books or mags at Powell's. You could also come over here and sift through the Mercury's garbage for a while until you turn up something nasty to submit.

Davy, Peter, and Ira(?) are on a tour of 57 American cities (I know, I thought there were only 12 too). They'll be at Sam's Bond Garage in Eugene this Saturday, the 13th at 8pm.

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