More Information Than You Require (TQP0108)
On Saturday night, I went to the 215 Literary Festival, where I got to see John Hodgman. That’s right: John Hodgman. You’ll have to forgive me if I seem a little unusually enthusiastic about the idea, but it’s the first time in my life that I’ve ever met someone even remotely famous, much less a MINOR TELEVISION PERSONALITY, and frequent guest-star on THE DAILY SHOW.
John Hodgman gave a reading from his new book, More Information Than You Require. He is a lean and virile man, with a dangerous glint in his eye. At all times, even his smallest gestures and movements bespeak both a TERRIBLE CAPACITY FOR VIOLENCE, and likewise the LIMITLESS GENEROSITY with which he conducts his life. It is a thrilling and at times frightening thing to see John Hodgman in person, and I will admit to being a little overwhelmed.
More Information Than You Require is a direct continuation of his book The Areas of My Expertise. It is literally a continuation: the pages of More Information pick up precisely where Areas left off. More Information Than You Require is also a page-a-day calendar, for those readers who feel an experience with a book is incomplete if some pages have not been torn out. They are books full of trivia (including: facts about Mole Men, facts about Teddy Roosevelt, facts about the Electoral College), all of which is made up (for example: Every morning before work, Teddy Roosevelt wrestled his cabinet members and threw them out the window, in the process once killing Secretary of Defense Elihu Root). Both books are hilarious, I recommend that you buy them.
But I want to talk more about John Hodgman. Now, I have a long, illustrious record of heterosexuality, so understand me when I say that “I love John Hodgman,” this does not mean that I want to marry him. It does mean that I want to hang out with him, and also show him some of the paintings I have made of him.
While I was at the reading, a blitzed young man named Mike shouted up from the audience, talking about how he wanted to know about Mole Men. John Hodgman brought him up on the stage, and had him read some questions about the Mole Men, provided in More Information. This infuriated me. Mike could barely read! He was trashed out of his mind, practically unintelligible, barely able to get the sentences out, GOD DAMN IT, WHY WASN’T IT ME UP THERE? Stupid Mike and his stupid drunken face. He didn’t even know what he was doing up there. I’ll bet he doesn’t get John Hodgman’s Twitter feed, even, or compulsively watch the PC/Mac commercials over and over, late into the night…well, whatever, he probably didn’t even know what city he was in.
Waiting in line to get my book signed, I did what I assume everyone does while waiting to get their books signed by popular authors: I tried to think of something clever to say. Not just clever, actually, but the smartest, funniest, MOST CLEVER thing to say. The thing to say that would make John Hodgman realize that we should be best friends, and he’d ask me to have a drink with him at the bar, and then later we’d go to a strip club and have sex WITH ALL THE STRIPPERS, then go out to the park and hunt for moose, and I could finally explain to someone who would understand exactly why the Masons are so dangerous.
Suffice it to say, I did not think of the MOST CLEVER thing to say, and the events that I had hoped for did not occur.
What did happen is that John Hodgman signed my book. The inscription said this: “Chris Braak: Together we will stop the Masons.” He understood. Even though I didn’t say it, he UNDERSTOOD the terrible danger that Masonic lodges pose to every free-thinking, freedom-loving person in America.
Do you see that? Do you know what the means? It means that John Hodgman and I are FRIENDS. We are BEST FRIENDS, and you all can go to hell. While we’re out fighting the Masons, you can sit home alone in the dark, like I know you always do, wondering where I am and whether or not I’m having a good time.
I will tell you now: YES, I AM. I am with John Hodgman, and we are SAVING THE WORLD.
(The Masonic Hall in Philadelphia. It is common knowledge that Philadelphia is not just one city, but FOUR, each one built on top of the others. The Masonic Hall shown here is actually the topmost part of the Masonic Fortress in sub-Philadelphia Three, which is controlled entirely by the Freemasons. They use their command of the Philadelphia train systems to restrict traffic between Philadelphia proper and sub-Philadelphia Two, where the Quakers have built a utopian civilization based on the sale and exchange of luxurious powdered wigs. The trains in Philadelphia are powered entirely by the still-beating heart of Teddy Roosevelt, and are reliable only for persons using the secret Freemason code.
Some would argue that Philadelphia’s notoriously shitty train system is an indictment of Roosevelt’s heart itself, but this is unfair. It turns out, still-beating hearts just aren’t that good at powering trains, and Teddy Roosevelt’s spleen and lungs were already in use, powering the Empire State Building and NORAD, respectively.)