A Night With Doug

As mentioned in the previous entry myself and around a hundred other people spent a night with Douglas Coupland last night. The evening was quite interesting. From the way he told stories and read sections of his book you could tell that he is always thinking about a dozen things at one time. At times his tales were disjointed and he would wander from the main story but always managed to end up back where he began so he could finish the initial tale. As SMooSH later told me he resembled a math teacher we had in Grade 11. The night started with a brief biographical background on Mr. Coupland by one of the people who set up this event mentioning that he Doug was one of the “hippest writers out there”.Then Douglas came out. He greeted the audience and announced that he wasn’t hip anymore. He was 41. He couldn’t be hip 🙂 He then started talking about interviews and the questions he gets in them. As an example he had thrown together an interview question and answer which he went through. Throughout he threw in Simpsons references (which everyone enjoyed) and told us about the time something that looked like a grape was expelled from his nasal regions. After this he read short passages from his novel. One per chapter. During this he would stop occasional to tell us anecdotes and personal stories. The end of the night is usually reserved for an answer and question period but this particular night he wanted to try something experience. He told us a story about the first police officers who entered the cafeteria at Columbine following the school shootings. They weren’t able to get into the cafeteria until 12 or so hours after everything had happened because of the booby traps laid in the school by the three killers. One of the officers said that as they entered the cafeteria it sounded like tropical birds were singing and making beautiful music. It actually ended up that the symphony of music was being made by the cell phones and pagers strewn about the cafeteria. So Doug asked for everyone with cell phones in the auditorium to get their cell phones ready and then asked for the lights to be turned off. Surprisingly the music made by dozens of cell phones going off at one time was actually beautiful in a way. The first 20 or 30 seconds actually sounded like music and not just a bunch of cell phones going off. It was amazing.
Following this he bid up farewall unless we wanted our books signed. I got in line but sadly I was close to the end and decided I didn’t want to wait that long (since there were three people waiting for me so we could go for dinner). So I didn’t get my book autographed but it was still an amazing experience. All for 5 dollars. That’s what I call a deal!

2 Replies to “A Night With Doug”

  1. How excellent! I found you via anitarowland.com, who pointed to your “odd signs in the UK” page….glad I’m not the only one that saw “To Let” and automatically inserted the “I”. 🙂

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