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Thursday, February 9, 2012

"Don't Call Her Vagina A Beautiful Flower. Please Don't."

Posted by Alison Hallett on Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 10:57 AM

So begins one of Scott Poole's poems from his new poetry collection Sliding Glass Door, which he read from at last night's Planned Parenthood storytelling benefit "It's Not Me, It's You." I bought the book for my mother as a thank-you present for not actually attending the event, because his poems are hilarious and poignant and I think she would like them, and also because I am very grateful she didn't show up to hear any of the mom-unfriendly stories I told during my lightening-round face-off with Sarah Mirk. Sarah won our portion of events, unsurprisingly (she has some of the worst dating stories ever, and in fact I think she should share some of them in the comments... Sarah?), taking home a copy of fellow storyteller Sarah Wexler's Awful First Dates as her victory spoils. And in a stroke of divine, hilarious coincidence, the story Wexler read was about going on a date with the author of a cookbook called How to Get Laid—attentive readers will recognize that as a thinly veiled reference to the Cook to Bang guy, whom I got into an email fight with a couple years ago. I still can't believe she actually went on a date with the dude who invented "Get Stuffed and Bust-a-Nut Squash." Amazing.

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The best part of what was a really great night all around, though, was Kevin Sampsell's story about losing his virginity to a prostitute. I admit that before the show I gave Kevin some shit for reading a pre-published excerpt from his memoir A Common Pornography instead of telling a new story—but that's because it's been a while since I've read it, and kinda forgotten how brutally funny and soul-baring parts of it are. He killed the entire room with his story, which transitions beautifully from the comic awkwardness of two teenaged boys idly checking out prostitutes as they cruise small-town Washington streets, to the grimy, empty sadness of Kevin actually buying one. It was a great, great reading, and because I don't think anyone actually promoted the book last night—it's called A Common Pornography, and if you want to get it you should buy it at Powell's 'cause Kevin works there.

Thanks to everybody who turned up last night, and to hosts Cort and Fatboy for being their typical hilarious selves, boner jokes and all. It was a great crowd and doubtless raised some serious cash for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon. And hey, if you missed it? You can still give 'em some money right here.

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