To the point: I am going to be in Anchorage, Alaska on January 6th, for one night only, and I’m throwing a party for some friends of mine, and all my fans in the area are invited as well.
So why the fuck am I going to be in Anchorage? And why only one night? Well, it’s a stopover point to my final destination:
The city of Unalaska, out on the Aleutian Islands. Which is the home to Dutch Harbor. Which is where they film one of my favorite TV shows, The Deadliest Catch. And where I will be spending a week, during crab season, hanging out with the crew of the Time Bandit.
How the fuck did I become good enough friends with Jonathan Hilstrand, Mike Fourtner et al, that they invited me and my friends to come hang out with them in Dutch Harbor and ride around on the Time Bandit during crab season? It’s a really good story…but I’m saving it for the next book. Assuming I make it back alive, of course.
To the point: If you are in Anchorage feel free to come out and meet me, the entire Time Bandit crew, as well as Drew Curtis (who runs Fark.com), and my friends Nils and Bunny.
When: Thursday January 6th, starting around 8pm and going to whenever
Where: Chilkoot Charlies [2435 Spenard, Anchorage AK]
Attending: Tucker Max, the crew of the Time Bandit, Drew Curtis, Nils Parker, and Bunny.
Who’s invited: Everyone
[BTW--This post is not a fucking joke at all, not in the least bit. If you don't believe me, email Brad Erickson (email@example.com), the morning show DJ at KFAT 92.9, he set the whole party up (and he'll be there), he'll confirm it for you.]
I went to law school at Duke, and as you may know, basketball is huge there. The demand for tickets, even for grad students, far outstrips the supply. In order to solve this problem, the people in charge make grad students camp out in a field to get into the lottery for the chance to get tickets. They expect you to spend a weekend sleeping in dirt and checking in every time they blow their whistles, like a fucking homeless kindergartener. You think I’m exaggerating, don’t you? This is taken directly from the Duke grad student website:
“Welcome to Duke! Let’s get right to the most important issue on your mind: How can YOU get season tickets to this year’s men’s basketball games in Cameron Indoor Stadium? Eligibility to purchase tickets is determined via the Graduate and Professional Student Council Basketball Ticket Campout. Campout for Duke Men’s Basketball season will be held starting at 7:00pm on Friday, September 8, and runs through Sunday, September 10, at approximately 7am. The rules are simple: make it through the weekend without missing two attendance checks and your name is entered in a lottery. Lottery winners are then drawn and each of these lucky individuals is eligible to buy one of the 700 graduate and professional season tickets… But Campout isn’t just about basketball tickets. With almost 2000 students representing nearly every program and department at the University in attendance, this is also the premier graduate and professional student social event of the year. Campout is an excellent opportunity to bond with your students in your own program and make friends in other programs.”
The bolding is theirs, not mine. Not only do they want grad students to spend their limited free time toiling in a parking lot, they are condescending about it. Either that, or they’re just fucking retarded—do they really think that being stuck in a parking lot with 2,000 nerds is “the premier graduate and professional student social event of the year”? Not going to a bar or to a party with your friends, or, God fucking forbid, ACTUALLY GOING TO THE GAMES. Nope, to them, the coolest thing a grad student can do is to root around in filth. I want tickets, so I have to go.
OK, fine. But if those Duke basketball tools are going to make me sleep outside for two nights, I’m going to make them pay. And not just by getting drunk and fucking their ugly girlfriends. It took me a few days, but I finally figured out how to completely ruin the event for everyone who sucks, while concurrently making it awesome for me and my friends. About two weeks before the grad student campout was to start, I was in the law library, intently focusing on my computer screen when my buddy Hate walked up.
Hate “What are you up to?”
Tucker “Ordering something online.”
Hate “What, a Russian mail-order bride?”
Tucker “Better. A bullhorn.”
Hate “What for?”
Tucker “For Campout. Look at this one, dude: It has a one-mile range! And a 110-decibel siren! It’s made for police use!”
Hate [ten-second blank stare] “Jesus have mercy on our souls.”
I paid extra for 2nd day delivery. When the day of arrival came, I was so excited I stayed home from class. Waiting for the delivery guy felt like Christmas, except without the part where your parents drink all the present money and wrap up things from your room as your gifts. Credit and Hate stayed home that day too, not because they were excited about the bullhorn, but because they are dicks. They wanted to taunt me until it arrived, knowing the anticipation was slowly killing me. (That, and none of us ever went to class anyway because law school is ridiculously easy.)
Credit “Max, I haven’t seen you this excited since Brad Pitt took his shirt off in Fight Club.”
Tucker “Credit, you’re Jewish, your best friend is black, and your girlfriend is a cheating whore. Even if I were gay, I’d still have it better than you.”
When the FedEx truck finally showed up, I sprinted to the front desk. I scribbled my signature, ran back to my room, tore open the package, loaded the batteries I already purchased, then cautiously put the bullhorn up to my lips and whispered:
My voice boomed out of the bullhorn so crisp and loud it shocked me. I felt a strange new power surge through me. It was like I drank from the Holy Grail. I took a deep breath and bellowed:
“WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! CREDIT, I AM THE GREATEST MAN ALIVE!! HATE, I’M FUCKING INVINCIBLE!”
I ran out of my room into the living room. Hate was jolted forward in his recliner, white-knuckling the armrests with a look on his face like he’d just seen the devil. Credit had the same exasperated expression he got when he learned the student parking lot was a full mile away from the law school building.
Tucker “Holy shit! The volume’s only at 6! It goes up to 10!”
Credit “Everyone is going to hate us.”
Hate “Max, you aren’t really taking that thing to Campout are you?”
Tucker [into the bullhorn] “We are friends and roommates, and yet… I feel like you don’t know me at all.”
I turned it down to 2—loud but still a manageable indoor volume—and spoke to everyone exclusively through the bullhorn for the next week. It became a part of me, a natural extension of my arm. I put it down only to shower and masturbate.
You know how when you pine after something really badly, like a cool toy or a new car or whatever, once you get it, it’s never as good as you imagined it would be? This was the opposite. This was so much better than I could’ve ever dreamed. No possession of mine, before or since, has ever completed me the way that bullhorn did; it embodied all of the characteristics that I consider most essential to myself… and amplified them.
Arguing: I was pretty good at debating with people before, but now, I had a permanent trump card. How can you win an argument against someone who is louder than a chain saw? Even if you’re completely right, you’re wrong, because I have the bullhorn.
Humor: Everything you say becomes one level more humorous through a bullhorn. Stupid becomes passable, passable becomes funny, funny becomes hysterical, and hysterical becomes Dave Chappelle doing Rick James. I think this is because a bullhorn makes you so loud that it puts you on an imaginary stage. Just being the center of attention primes people to think you’re funny—how else does Dane Cook get laughs?
Confidence: I was not lacking in confidence beforehand, but add a bullhorn and I became superhuman. It was like having a gun, except better. Walking around with a bullhorn gives all the authority of a gun, without any of the toolishness or danger of it accidentally discharging in your sweatpants. People just assume you’re in charge and defer to you.
It was as if one internet purchase had suddenly made all things right in the world. Maybe the Duke nerds are right. Maybe this will be the premier social event of the year.
Campout started on Friday at 7pm, but me, SlingBlade, Credit, Hate, Jojo, and GoldenBoy got there about 5pm, so we could park our RV in a prime spot. As we pulled in and started to get situated—which for us entailed setting down the cooler and sitting around it drinking—I pondered my tactics.
Tucker “Alright fellas, what should my bullhorn strategy be?”
Hate “Break it. Or set it on fire. Anything that will get that fucking thing out of your hand.”
GoldenBoy “Aren’t you just gonna get drunk, yell at people, and not worry about consequences? Do you know any other way to act?”
Tucker “There is wisdom in your words.”
At 7pm they blew the whistles for the first check-in. The Head Campout Nerd was giving instructions with one of those tiny little megaphones you can buy at Home Depot. He saw me and came over all excited, like we were friends: Nerd “You have a bullhorn! I have one too!” I immediately saw this encounter for what it was: my first chance to assert dominance over Campout. In the most condescending tone possible I said:
Tucker “Aren’t you the cutest! And look at the toy Santa brought you for Christmas! You must have been a good boy this year!”
The dude visibly deflated. Here he was, hoping for a Bullhorn Buddy, and instead he got, well… me:
Tucker “What the fuck is that, a Speak & Spell or a See ’n Say? The frog says ‘Ribbit’!”
He was about to say something, but I put my bullhorn right in his face and hit the siren trigger:
Tucker “Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight, motherfucker. Take your Fisher-Price ‘My First Megaphone’ and get the fuck out of my face. This thing is made for riot control! I run Campout now, bitch!”
The dude sulked off like the old lion that gets his ass handed to him by the younger lion and won’t be seeing any more lion pussy. It was awesome. Only minutes into the start of Campout and I had savaged the only challenger to my authority!
Tucker “To be the man, you gotta beat the man! And now I’m the man! WOOOOOOOOOOO!”
GoldenBoy “Rick Flair quotes? I know we’re in North Carolina, but come on.”
SlingBlade “Tucker is so proud of himself. He just bested a pimply, insecure 130-pound public policy student. Next up, Romper Room Smackdown.”
The testosterone rush of my victory—on top of the beer I’d already drunk—put me into what could be called an “aggressive” state. Conversely, I was surrounded by the type of passive, fearful people who’d chosen to stay in school to avoid the conflict and consequences of real life. This meant I had in front of me a weekend where I could say or do anything I wanted, without worrying about anyone being able to talk over me. This must be what narcissist heaven is like. Beer in one hand and bullhorn in the other, I began my symphony of awesome:
[to a dude in a Star Wars T-shirt] “Be honest, how many times have you jacked off to a picture of Princess Leia in her metal bikini?”
[to a group of grad school students] “You look like the type of people who would criticize a misspelling in a suicide note.”
[to this guy who had blond hair, was kinda fat, and wore thick glasses] “If this were Lord of the Flies, you’d be dead already.”
He foolishly turned to respond.
Tucker “Silence! I’ve got the conch now, Piggy!”
[to some random nerd] “How hard was it choosing between the midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show and Campout?”
[to a chunky girl] “Have you been tested for hoof-and-mouth disease!”
SlingBlade, who at this point was warming up to the idea of the bullhorn, took it from me and piled on: SlingBlade “Tucker, you have it wrong. Clearly she has mad cow disease.”
Chunkygirl “Fuck you!”
Tucker “You’re right! She’s frothing at the udder!”
Some European-looking dudes in Diadora shorts walked by.
Tucker “Fact: Soccer is a game invented by European ladies to pass the time while their husbands cooked dinner. Go practice your throw-ins, you cheese-eating surrender monkey!”
GoldenBoy “You just seamlessly stole a King of the Hill quote and a Simpsons quote to form one insult. I’ve never been this impressed by plagiarism.”
Tucker “I’m awesome even when I steal.”
Many beers later, I saw what looked like a hot girl far over on the other part of the parking lot.
Tucker “Man, look at her!”
Jojo and Credit looked over, and immediately started laughing at me. A lot.
Tucker “What? She’s hot!”
As she walked closer, it became very evident she…was a he.
Tucker “Come on, he has waif legs and those tight skinny jeans and long hair—how was I supposed to know it was a douche Marxist and not a girl?”
Credit “He has a beard, Tucker.”
Tucker “Does he? Shit, maybe I’m drunker than I thought I was.”
Jojo “Yeah, that’s it.”
Everyone had a great time laughing at my expense. To this day, Jojo brings this up approximately once a month. It happened TEN FUCKING YEARS AGO. He’s like a woman; he never forgets anything.
Tooling on idiots is fun, but I still have a penis, and it still demands its pounding of flesh, so we decided to see what good-looking—or at least willing—girls we could find at “the premier graduate and professional student social event of the year.”
Dealing with grad school girls can be tricky. At Duke there were four distinct types: insecure, fearful types hiding from the real world; the super-serious ones so brainwashed by the unreality of academia they aren’t even human anymore; the ones just looking for their Mrs. degree; and the sluts. Of all the types of women, I like sluts the best. Mainly because they are the most receptive to me putting my penis in their vagina.
A group of cute girls who looked like they might be game walked by.
Tucker “Ladies, you can’t be the first, but you can be the next.”
They looked at me suspiciously, as they should. Most of the time I don’t know what’s going to come out of my mouth, and sometimes, well… it’s dumb. I’ve found the best thing to do when you stumble is to pretend that nothing happened and just drive forward.
Tucker “In addition to the bullhorn, we have beer! And we will share it with you!”
They laughed a little but didn’t come over. I decided to go for the high-risk play. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Tucker “Look, here’s the deal: If you’re into immature, sexually compulsive men who drink too much and need to be the center of attention at all times, you are going to find me very attractive.”
SlingBlade [grabbing the bullhorn] “Don’t talk to this man. He has herpes simplex 1, 2 and 3. This was a public service announcement brought to you by SlingBlade.”
Tucker“IT’S IN REMISSION, ASSHOLE!”
The fact that this exchange not only made them laugh out loud, but also got them to come hang out with us, should be all the info you need to know which grad school group they fell into. But there was a bonus: They were in nursing school. We hit the slut jackpot! Slutty nurses not only want to fuck you, they want to take care of you too. They do you, then they do your laundry. This’ll be better than Shark Week!
We talked for a while (without the bullhorn), when, just making conversation, I asked one girl about her favorite movie.
Girl “I love John Cusack, especially in my favorite movie, Better Off Dead.”
Tucker “Oh no…”
SlingBlade “Did we ever establish why Lane Meyer couldn’t be bothered to pay the paperboy? Why he tortured him for the entire movie, without any reason?”
Girl “That was funny. ‘Gimme my two dollars!’ I liked that.”
SlingBlade “So you think that’s cool, to take goods and services from people and not compensate them? Two dollars is a meal! That’s two double cheeseburgers off the McDonald’s dollar menu, which can be the only source of protein for those of us whose parents abandon all financial responsibility for their children at age 18.”
Girl “Umm… calm down. It’s just a movie.”
SlingBlade “Whatever. You’re clearly a selfish whore who would run over a puppy for a guy who shows the mildest interest. I’m sure you and Tucker will get along swimmingly.”
The best part about hanging out with SlingBlade is he makes me look nice by comparison. This girl wore a T-shirt that said FRONT LOADER on it. I couldn’t figure out what it meant. She wouldn’t tell me. This annoyed the fuck out of me, because I am smarter than she is.
Nurse “Well, if you’re so smart, you should be able to figure it out.”
Motherfucker. She leaves me no choice. Now I have to break her self-esteem, sleep with her, and steal the shirt. I use a basic and well-worn tactic: I subtly disapprove of her for various reasons, so that she’ll be forced to seek my validation. By sleeping with me. You know, the classy and mature way to get women. One particular exchange I remember:
Girl “I’m not a slut!”
Tucker “I mean, I want to believe you, you seem like a really nice girl, but… that’s not what those guys over there said about you.”
Girl “They did not! What guys?”
Tucker “I don’t know, they left already.”
Girl “They did not!”
Tucker “Well, let’s try a little test. Now, you know everyone has their price, so how about this: Would you sleep with a guy for, let’s say, 100 million dollars?”
Girl “Well, I mean, I don’t know… yeah, probably… I guess.”
Tucker “OK. Would you sleep with a guy for 10 million dollars?”
Girl “I don’t know, maybe.”
Tucker “OK. Would you sleep with a guy for 10 dollars?”
Girl “No, of course not.”
Tucker “Why not?”
Girl “Are you kidding? I’m not doing that.”
Tucker “We’ve already established that you’d sleep with a guy for money, now we’re just haggling over the price.”
I guess she doesn’t have to learn history to be a nurse, because she thought my little Winston Churchill impression was funny and original. It went on like this for another several hours, me playfully disapproving, her seeking approval, until we snuck off to the back of my SUV and I gave her my full endorsement.
It was about 2am by the time we were done. After we finished, we both wanted to get back up and start drinking more. Plus, I think she was disappointed in my performance. That, or the fact I had been drinking, sweating, and blasting out meat farts all night made me smell like a Pakistani cabdriver. Whichever.
It had been pouring rain for over five hours, everything was soaked, and people were starting to go to bed. Which SlingBlade and I decided meant a prime opportunity to fuck with people.
But before I get into that, let me digress for a second to set the scene. The most important thing you have to know about Campout is that it’s not the same for everyone. There are two places to be: You can rent an RV or U-Haul, park it in the parking lot, and sleep in that, or you can pitch a tent in the field, which is at the bottom of a small hill. Even though the parking lot and field are only yards apart, they are very different worlds. RVs are nice; they have toilets, electricity, TVs, refrigeration, beds—all the comforts of modern life. Tents suck. They are nothing but walls made of thin fabric. You essentially sleep on the ground. Given the choice, most people would take the RV. But it takes money to rent an RV for a weekend, and the vast majority of grad students are broke.
Therefore, a divide develops naturally between the haves and the have-nots. The law students, business school students, and med students tend to be the ones with some excess money, so they rent the RVs and get to sleep in relative luxury in a nice clean parking lot. Pretty much every other grad school student—from political science to divinity school to environmental sciences—is stuck pitching a tent in the field below. If it’s a normal September weekend in North Carolina, this is not really that bad an arrangement. But this weekend it had been raining for days leading up to Campout, including that Friday. This meant the field the poor grad students were camping out in was completely soaked—quite literally a quagmire. It was like a huge mud-wrestling pit, except filled with loser nerds instead of bikini girls.
Which brings us back to the story: SlingBlade and I had, up until this point, spent all of Campout drinking and hanging out in the parking lot. We hadn’t paid any attention to Tent City. That was about to change. This was the moment I had been waiting for all week. I was Tucker Maximus: enslaved camper for an unwanted weekend, coerced supplicant for tickets that should rightfully be mine. And I would have my vengeance, in this life, right now.
Tucker “Tent City! Behold, you live in filth! Your refugee camp for poor nerds is a cesspool of poverty and excrement! You are dirtier than the abandoned children of Bowery whores!”
Some of the people who were out of their tents looked up at me quizzically.
Tucker “Tent City, do you realize how bad you smell? You are swimming in urine and feces. And for what? Crappy tickets to watch a shitty basketball team? You are a Christian Children’s Fund commercial!”
One of them yelled out, “Shut up!”
Tucker “Tent City, query: Was it really worth it? Was it really worth the $30 you saved to spend the weekend mired in squalor and filth? [sniff sniff] I smell poop and bad decisions.”
Someone yelled out from Tent City, “Shut up and go to bed!”
SlingBlade [taking the bullhorn] “Mom, is that you?!? STOP EMBARRASSING ME IN FRONT OF MY FRIENDS!!”
Four or five other law student friends came to join in. These weren’t even my real friends, who were all asleep or being “mature.” These were just guys who knew an awesome idea when they saw one, and they stood around drinking with us and laughing while SlingBlade and I continued to fuck with Tent City.
Tucker “Tent City, you are sleeping in mud and excrement. Don’t believe me? I just pissed on this hill. Do you know what gravity is? Ask the physics grad students, they’re down there with you because studying the underlying mysteries of the universe doesn’t pay for shit!!”
Someone yelled out, “You know, there are things called BATHROOMS!”
Tucker “Toilets are for pussies and poor people!! I am a conquerer!”
Eventually some of the nerds had had enough and started congregating at the base of the hill. At its top, the hill is about 15 feet high and a good 15–30 yards from the people at the bottom. It was far enough away that you could see the people and interact with them, but not so close that you were near them in any physical sense.
RandomNerd “What gives you the right to keep us awake?”
Tucker “Because I have a bullhorn and you do not! Your fancy book learnin’ should’ve taught you that the strong do what they want, and the weak endure what they must. Now bring me your finest meats and cheeses, and be quick about it!”
There were about six of them, and they all kept yammering at me. It was hilarious.
Tucker “I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome I am. Please speak up.”
They actually yelled louder.
Tucker “Again, I can’t hear you, because… I HAVE A BULLHORN.”
They kept jabbering at an even louder volume, and this one dude in particular was fuming. He kinda stepped forward wildly gesticulating at me.
Tucker “I want to keep doing this to see how long you will argue with a man who can speak 100 times louder than you. I bet you are sociology grad students; only an overdeveloped sense of justice can create this kind of indignation.”
A few of them actually chuckled, and one girl nodded her head—I WAS RIGHT! Three of them, including the supermad dude, were soc grad students! And of course, this just made him madder. There is nothing funnier than a disproportionate display of inappropriate and overwrought anger. You know, when someone really fucking loses their cool and completely explodes over something small? To me, that is the height of comedy, and I was determined to make this dude flip his shit.
Tucker “Oh, this is just awesome. Define ‘post-structuralist’ for me.”
He actually started to define it! Like an idiot I laughed instead of letting him finish, and he immediately realized the joke was on him. Fortunately, all of us laughing at him must have taken him to his breaking point, because he walked a few steps up the hill and, shaking with anger, busted out this unforgettable quote:
SociologyNerd “‘Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain!’… Friedrich von Schiller!”
Tucker “HAHAHAHAHAH! Did you just quote a German philosopher at me? You’re standing in mud and piss at 2am, and you just quoted a German philosopher at me?”
SlingBlade “I think he’s calling you out.”
Tucker “OK, I can play this game too. ‘Stop ya cryin’ heifer, I don’t need all dat!’… Mystikal!”
SociologyNerd “‘Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something’… Plato!”
I can quote rap lyrics until the sun comes up. But instead, I opted to come over the top and play the nerd trump card on him:
Tucker “Let’s settle this once and for all. I’ll give you the chance to save Tent City. Throw something at me—anything you want—and if you DON’T throw like a girl, I’ll leave right now. I swear on my bullhorn.”
The Sociology Nerd paused, thought about it, got a look of unbridled hatred on his face, adjusted his glasses, and stormed off in a huff.
SlingBlade “HAHAHAHAHHHAHA!!! IT’S LIKE LITTLE LEAGUE ALL OVER AGAIN!”
Tucker “You can run away to your burlap sack, but it won’t save you from my bullhorn! I am the ruler of Tent City!”
All of the nerds got mad, but their anger never went beyond passive-aggressive complaining. People came and went, some people tried to yell over us, some tried pleading, some tried reasoning, and some just threw things (all like girls). By about 3am, we’d woken up and pissed off enough people that something resembling a mob had assembled. But they STILL wouldn’t do anything other than mill around and be angry. One tool in particular was fed up.
Tool “If we come up there, you’re through!”
Unlike this bald-headed tool, I knew my Greek history, so I said the same thing to him that the Spartans said to Philip of Macedon when he sent them a message saying, “If I enter Laconia, I will level Sparta to the ground.”
Tool “Yeah, IF, buddy, IF!”
It’s frustrating when you make a smart joke, and even a nerd doesn’t get it. OK, fine, let’s see if he can detect condescension:
Tucker [in baby voice] “Who’s dat widdle guy down dere making all dat big noise? He’s jus so leetle! Coochie-coochie-cooo!”
That did it. Four of them got up their courage and ran up the hill. I know the one dude had just “threatened” me, but in the moment, it honestly didn’t even occur to me that they would try to get physical. These grad students had taken our relentless mocking for hours because they were pussies. I mean, pussies are pussies—it’s not just a word.
When they got to the top of the hill, they saw all my friends behind us that they couldn’t see from down below, and they kinda stopped and milled around for a second, unsure of what to do. You know that scene in Braveheart where the two guys pretend to be lost so they can get the English to chase them, and the English take the bait, only to run into a huge group of Scots over the hill, and they become the prey? It was like that. Except with nerds. Seeing their body language completely change, I figured this out… but was in such disbelief, I put the bullhorn down for a second:
Tucker “Wait… did you storm up here… thinking we’d run off?”
The embarrassed silence was all the confirmation I needed.
SlingBlade “HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHHAHHHAHAH! Oh my God, that’s so precious!”
I fucking lit them up:
Tucker “WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO??? NOTHING!! YOU’RE GOING BACK DOWN TO YOUR MUDDY GHETTO! YOU CAN’T BEAT ME! I HAVE A BULLHORN, AND YOU HAVE NOTHING, BECAUSE I AM SMART AND YOU ARE STUPID! NOW GET THE FUCK OFF MY HILL, YOU FUCKING PUSSIES!”
They milled around for a second more, then walked back down the hill. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt more like a real warrior in my life.
Tucker “TENT CITY, YOUR PITIFUL ASSAULT HAS BEEN REPELLED! I AM YOUR CONQUERER AND YOU ARE ALL MY SUBJECTS! BOW BEFORE ME!!” [to SlingBlade] “This is so awesome! This must be like what Alexander the Great or Genghis Khan felt like!”
SlingBlade “Jesus Christ, you are delusional.”
Tucker “To be the man, you gotta beat the man! WOOOOOOOOO! And at Campout, I’M THE MAN! WOOOOOOOOO!”
I proclaimed sovereignty over Tent City for another ten minutes in various different ways, and after vowing to return the next day to continue my rule, we went to bed. After twelve hours of dedicated drinking, we’d finally hit our wall.
The Next Day
We didn’t wake up until around 2pm. Once we beat back our hangovers with a 12 pack, SlingBlade came upon this one RV with an awesome spread of food—not just cheap hot dogs and sausages, they had gourmet shit. Judging by the quality and quantity, they were those rare type of grad students who actually had real money of their own, not just government loans. This can mean only one thing: business school tools.
In order to go to business school, you have to have worked for a few years and been good at it, so most of them have money saved. As a result, they not only have cooler stuff than the rest of us, they think they are better’n everyone. I decide to fix that for them. I moseyed over, grabbed one of their bottles of wine, and started chugging it. A girl gasped out loud.
Tucker “Well, I’m sorry, your highness, but I happen to think wine tastes better out of a bottle!”
The entire group looked at me like I had just dropped a steamer in their shrimp platter, except one girl who laughed, so I talked to her.
FunGirl “So you’re the bullhorn guys? I heard them planning your demise this morning in Tent City.”
Tucker “I will crush their puny rebellion. Blood alone moves the wheels of history!”
As I housed their food and hit on the cute girl, SlingBlade tried to run interference before our inevitable eviction, but one bitchy girl was quite persistent:
BitchyGirl “Your friend brought a bullhorn to Campout? I mean, who does he think he is?”
SlingBlade “You must be lucky enough to not have met Tucker.”
BitchyGirl “Why is he drinking our wine? And eating my pâté?”
SlingBlade “He has what the DSM IV refers to as Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Also, I believe that he is out of beer.”
I think the fact that I was flirting with her friend actually pissed her off more than me drinking the wine and eating her goose liver. She was the type who would cockblock endangered pandas at the zoo.
BitchyGirl “Can I ask you a question?”
Tucker “If you wonder whether you’re fat, you probably are.”
BitchyGirl “Uhh… no, what I wanted to ask—”
Tucker “Yes, you could stand to lose a few pounds.”
BitchyGirl “And you don’t think you could stand to drink less?”
Tucker “Daddy drinks because otherwise he can’t justify having sex with you.”
BitchyGirl “Have sex with you? HA! You wish!”
Tucker “You can pretend you aren’t into me to keep up appearances, but you know you’re moist right now.”
BitchyGirl “UGH! I could not find you more unattractive. You’re slurring your speech, you have a shirt on that is two sizes too small, is covered in mustard stains and says FRONT LOADER on it, you reek of cheap beer and sex, and you clearly have a drinking problem.”
Tucker “Drinking is a problem only if you’re not good at it. To me, everything you listed is proof that I am very good at it.” BitchyGirl “You disgust me.”
Tucker “I will not apologize for being awesome.”
At some point we found ourselves at the Porta Potties. SlingBlade went into one, but I had to wait because the other was occupied. He came out laughing.
SlingBlade “I just dropped a deuce that could sink the Titanic.”
Tucker [I was so in shock, I put the bullhorn down] “You took a dump in a Porta Potty? What is wrong with you?”
SlingBlade “Alcohol has made me impervious to your attempts at shaming.”
The guy in my Porta Potty came out. As I opened the door to go in, I recoiled in terror.
Tucker “OHH! That is AWFUL!”
He started walking away, like everything was just fine and dandy.
Tucker “Hey you, come back here. Do you know what you just did in that bathroom?”
Guy “Yeah… I uh… sorry about that, man.”
Tucker “Come here and smell this.”
Tucker “DO IT NOW!”
Thus is the power and authority of the bullhorn: The guy actually walked back to the Porta Potty and took a sniff.
Guy “Yeah, so?”
Tucker [angry astonishment] “Yeah, so? That smell is not [air quotes] ‘just went to the bathroom.’ That is felonious assault on a toilet. You have raped my olfactory senses. Apologize.”
Tucker “APOLOGIZE RIGHT NOW!”
Guy “OK, fine…whatever…I’m sorry.”
Had we not been drinking for 24 hours straight, and had I not conquered an entire city the night before, I don’t think I would have tried this. But the bullhorn had emboldened me:
Tucker “Now apologize to the toilet.”
Guy “Dude, what?”
Tucker “Repeat after me: I am very sorry and greatly embarrassed that my excretory system could produce such a smell. I promise to eat more bran to prevent such things in the future. Please accept my apology.”
Guy “Are you nuts?”
Tucker “I SAID DO IT!”
I was pretty much joking with the guy, and fully expected him to either walk off or punch me in the face. There is just no legitimate reason to obey me. I was just some drunk idiot yelling at him with a bullhorn…but he gave in and basically said it. After he left, I stood there in mild shock.
Tucker “Did I really just use the bullhorn to make a dude apologize…to a port-a-potty…for taking a smelly dump?”
SlingBlade “That thing is too powerful. It’s like the One Ring that rules them all. After Campout, we have to find a volcano and throw it in.”
Tucker “Let’s make Hate do it. He hates the bullhorn, plus he’s short like a Hobbit.”
SlingBlade “Credit can go with him. He’s a Jew, like Gollum.”
We chilled the rest of the afternoon and evening, planning out how we would fuck with Tent City again that night. But this time, the nerds had come prepared. They must have had spies watching us, because before we even got to the ridge to start our second assault on Tent City, they were standing there with a DukeCop. Still drunk on alcohol and the testosterone rush of the previous night, I decided to handle this the logical way, as Lord Tucker Max, Tent City Conqueror:
Tucker “What’s the problem, Officer?”
DukeCop “You need to stop using the bullhorn.”
Tucker “What? Why?”
DukeCop “The proper response to a lawful order is not ‘Why?’”
Tucker “But officer, I don’t think you understand,” [I hold it front of his face as if he hadn't seen it yet] “I have a bullhorn.”
You know that look a cop gives you when he’s so confused that he doesn’t even know how to respond? If you don’t know that look, it means you haven’t had enough fun in your life. He gave me that look.
DukeCop “You have to stop using the bullhorn for the rest of Campout.”
Tucker “Officer, I can’t stop. I am the ruler of Tent City!”
It was at this point the cop realized I wasn’t crazy or stupid, just really drunk.
DukeCop “You’re not in charge, you’re not even on the Graduate Council. I am a law enforcement officer, and I am giving you a lawful command. You can obey it, or I can arrest you and confiscate the bullhorn.”
I was not prepared for this gambit. I turned to SlingBlade:
Tucker “What do we do?”
SlingBlade “Stop using the bullhorn.”
Tucker “Isn’t there some way around this?”
SlingBlade “I don’t know. I don’t take Criminal Procedure until next semester. But I don’t think so.”
Tucker “Does it matter that he’s a campus cop and not a real cop?”
SlingBlade “We’re on Duke’s campus. He also has a taser. Taser beats bullhorn.”
On Day 1, I subjugated all of Tent City. On Day 2, I was defeated by a single rent-a-cop. To fuck with me, SlingBlade took the bullhorn from me and addressed Tent City:
SlingBlade “You are safe to go back to sleep. Tucker has been bested and the bullhorn problem is taken care of. I repeat, the bullhorn problem has been taken care of.”
DukeCop “Hey! That means you too. NO ONE gets to use it again. If I have to come back, you’re all getting arrested.”
As I started to go back to my RV, head hung low in shame, I could faintly hear someone yell out from deep within Tent City:
“I guess the man got beat! WOOO!”
Motherfucker. Even ten years later, it still upsets me that my reign as conqueror lasted only a single night. I had so many people left to insult and piss off.
It’s OK though, I got the last laugh. In the intervening years, my notoriety has made it so that all those people who were there, when they tell other people where they went to school, invariably have to answer this question, “You went to Duke? Did you know Tucker Max?”
I may have lost the battle, but I won the war.
Thanks: First off, I just want to thank everyone who came out to the signings, you guys were awesome and I appreciate everyone who came out (with the exception of the five morons).
How to get a signed copy of AFF: If you want a signed copy of “Assholes Finish First” but couldn’t make it out to a tour stop, you can buy one off my merchandise page. I only have a few hundred signed copies of AFF left, so if you want one, get it now.
How to get a signed copy of IHTSBIH: You can buy a signed hardcover copy of “I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell” also. There are substantially more of these than there are signed copies of AFF, but they’re not unlimited. I signed several thousand, and once they’re gone, that’s it.
Funny Pictures: This was the night my tour assistant, Brittney “The Skank Whisperer” Cason wrote about on her blog. I have a midget on my shoulders and a giant next to me holding the umbrella (she’s 6’3”). Not pictured: The five deaf girls with me.
Book reviews: I didn’t send my book out for reviews, because my first one sold millions of copies without them, and this book debuted at #3 on the best seller list without them, so fuck it. But some people did reviews anyway, and they were pretty much all positive; this one was my favorite, with this one second.
Nightline: I did a ton of press for the tour, most of it uninteresting, but the piece on Nightline was OK. (except for the fact that they interviewed me for 25 minutes about Karen Owens, and showed none of it. So I wrote something about her and The Duke Fuck List and put it here)
More press: These are some more articles or interviews or random things that I thought were pretty good or worth reading:
Good interview with a writer who gets it
A great interview, perhaps one of the best I’ve ever done
A writer who watched the Buffalo signing and wrote up his thoughts
Good interview before the Denver signing
An interview that centers around Japanese culture, but is still interesting
Some guy got caught stealing my book from a book signing
A funny review of the Portland signing
Review of the Houston signing
The numbers: Over 32 stops I signed a total of 10,200 books, which averages about 320 books a stop. I have no idea how many pictures I took or how many people I met or how much I drank or any of that shit or how many girls I hooked up with; at some point, you just stop counting.
[Forgive the raw and unedited nature of this post, and that it's a few weeks late, but I'm still on tour for my new book Assholes Finish First.]
I’ve had a ton of bullshit forwarded to me, but in the eight years my website has been up, there are two things that have been sent to me more than anything else: Maddox’s original “I am better than your kids” post, and Karen Owen’s mock thesis, known as “The Duke Fuck List.”
[If you don’t know what the Duke Fuck List is, stop reading this now, it’ll be pointless. If you want a quick breakdown of the facts, get them here. To see the actual unedited Powerpoint slides, get them here.]
And everyone who sent it to me wanted to know what I thought about it. Not just randoms either; a lot of media came to me for comment. I usually ignore media requests for commentary (much to the frustration of my PR guy, Jeff Chassen), but when Nightline asked me to do an extensive interview about it, I agreed, because I figured this would be a perfect way to get my thoughts on record without having to spend the time writing out something long and exhaustive.
They filmed a 30 minute interview with me, 25 about Karen Owens and 5 minutes about the general college sexual experience. And of course they edited out everything I said about Karen Owens. That’s super, thanks.
1. The Duke Fuck List was not written for public consumption: This is the most important thing to remember, and it should color every piece of analysis on this subject:
She did NOT intend this list for public consumption and did not ask for this attention.
These are her most private thoughts that were written with an audience of her closest friends in mind. We are reading her diary. Just put yourself in her position: What if someone published your diary, against your wishes? Or printed the lewd conversations you have with your best friends? You know what would happen? EXACTLY what happened to Karen Owens. Somerset Maugham wasn’t kidding when he said “There is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were broadcast, would not fill the world at large with surprise and horror.”
Obviously it very stupid for her to put the real names of the guys she fucked into this list, but she made a mistake. We all make mistakes. So many people made the assumption that she’s just a media whore looking for attention, but not only has she not taken any of book or TV deals offered, she’s gone into hiding. Why do you think she did that? I’ll tell you why: She did not do this on purpose, and she is freaking the fuck out over the reaction to it. Not many people can handle the spotlight searing into them at full blast. You have to be either very emotionally strong, or crazy, to be able to endure the abuse you have to take when the focus of the world goes onto you.
So before you say anything about her–good or bad–remember that you are evaluating a person based on their private diary that was published without permission.
2. All the negative media commentary about her is bullshit: The first reaction I saw was people calling her a whore, and yelling about how she represents everything wrong with society and women and all sorts of other bullshit.
I mean, come on. She fucked 13 Duke athletes over 4 years of college. So what? I’m awesome, not a statistician, but 3+ guys a year is pretty average. If you think that behavior makes her a whore, you don’t know what a real whore is.
Granted–that number is ONLY Duke athletes, and not the total number of dicks she had in her. But even if you double it to 26…well yes, that’s a little slutty, but it is a crazy outlandish number that proves she’s the world’s biggest skank? Not even close. I went to Duke for law school and fucked a bunch of undergrad girls when I was there and she seems pretty average for a socially active girl at Duke. This behavior is very normal.
And seriously, all these talking head idiots need to shut the fuck up about every little thing they don’t like representing moral decline. People have been fucking and sucking and doing debaucherous shit since ancient Rome. If you’re calling her a whore, either you are very naive and don’t know what a real whore is, or you’ve done the same thing and are being a lying hypocrite about it.
Make no mistake about it, that’s what most of the media commentators taking huge shits on Karen Owens are–hypocrites. They’re just using her as a pedestal for them to get on and proclaim their own moral righteousness. I’m not buying it. How many fundamentalist preachers and anti-gay Senators have to get caught fucking men before people understand that the ones who most oppose something in public are usually guilty of it in private?
3. Karen Owens is not an empowered woman: As a reaction to the negative commentary, there was a wave of people defending her, mainly by calling her “empowered.”
The first time I read this I laughed out loud. Surely only a dumb sorority girl looking for justification for all the dicks she sucked last weekend would think that. Then I saw it over and over again…and realized people were serious. I’m all for hooking up and having fun, but do people really think a drunk slut throwing herself at athletes is empowering? No fucking chance.
I will explain to you what is really going in the simplest terms possible:
To most of the guys on her list, Karen Owens was nothing more than life support for a vagina. Which is fine…except she doesn’t understand that at all, and that is the opposite of empowering.
You can easily find a picture of Karen online, and if you do, you’ll see what I’m talking about. She’s a cute girl, but not smoking hot, the type that you’ll fuck if it’s available and easy, but won’t really put work into. And that is exactly what she did: Make herself easy and accessible to the guys on her list. I mean, look at how she describes meeting one:
“After many long looks exchanged between us on the path to and from Wilson Gymnasium, he finally approached at Shooters II and asked for a dance before suggesting that we exit the premises.”
From there she went home and fucked him. Hardly even had a conversation. That’s empowering? No, that’s easy.
I know too well the reality of the situation, because I’ve been the guy the guy that the Karen Owen type goes after many times. For a high status guy who gets lots of girls–e.g. an athlete at Duke–Karen Owen is nothing more than a piece of easy ass. Why? Because that’s the way she acts. She tried to make it sound like she was using these guys for her experiment, but that was only the explanation she tacked onto her actions afterwards. That’s not what was happening in the moment; no, at the time, it was the guys who were using her. Except she doesn’t understand that at all. The best evidence of that is her words:
“On the way out, we walked past Joe Tkac (lacrosse), who took one look at me, said ‘Oh heyyy, Karen…what are you up to tonight?’ and died laughing.”
They are laughing AT HER, because they all know something that see doesn’t: They see her as nothing more than a cum-dumpster. Pour beer down her throat for two hours, her legs open, shoot your load, and move on.
If you still don’t get it, and still think her actions were empowering, explain this paragraph:
“He was the first guy I have hooked up with that kept an intense level of eye contact throughout the hookup, which honestly brought the entire experience to a level of hotness that I had never before experienced.”
That’s describing the guy she gave the highest score too. Go look at the actual scores: The only two guys she gave a 12/10 to are the two that treated her the least like a whore. Pretty much all the rest used her like a dishrag and tossed her out, and she subconsciously graded them lower because of it. The guy she graded the lowest is that one who didn’t kiss her, fucked her quickly and then left the bedroom, treating her like a prostitute.
What do you think that means when the lowest score goes to the guy who treats her like a hooker, and the highest goes to the one who treats her like a human? It means she wants affection and connection from her sex, except she doesn’t even realize it. The guys aren’t playing that game; they just want to fuck a bunch of girls. She thinks she’s a participant in this game, but she’s not–she’s the one getting exploited, but she doesn’t understand her own emotions enough to see it and change her behavior. That’s the opposite of being empowered.
Here’s the deal: A woman can be sexually active and explore lots of men, and can do it in an empowering way–but the key to that is SELF-AWARENESS. Karen has none of that. She gave her vagina away like a free refill at McDonald’s to any guy who even held her glance, but then tried to only evaluate the actions of the guys who fucked her, without even giving a mention to her own behavior or emotions. That’s not empowering. That is being blind to the nature of your own life, which is just sad. Calling her empowered is an embarrassing disservice to women who really are empowered.
4. Comparing the two of us: Though she actually mentions me by name in her thesis, I think any comparison between the two of us, either good or bad, is bullshit. Which makes sense, because it was a HarperCollins editor that made the comparison first, and they’re all morons. We have two meaningful things in common that I can see:
-We both went to Duke
-We both write about our sex life in explicit and honest terms
That’s it. If anything, there are more differences than there are similarities, in terms of writing style, humor, content voice, etc. She’s clearly an intelligent girl, but in all honesty, I thought her thesis was a little boring. The only good part was her honesty; anytime she got long-winded and started going into detail, it got tedious and bogged down. But again, considering she wrote it for her friends, this is normal; they can fill in the context in a way we can’t so again, it’s unfair to judge her writing based on this alone.
5. There is no double standard in how she’s being treated: The entire idea that she’s being criticized because of a double standard is complete bullshit.
If you don’t believe that, look at the difference in how the media treats me versus how they treat Chelsea Handler. She writes about doing the exact same things I do; I’m called a misogynist, she’s called empowered. Or Sarah Silverman, who makes rape jokes–and I don’t–yet I’m called a promoter of rape culture, and she is called a feminist. Get the fuck out of here with that double standard bullshit. If there is a double standard, it’s actually the other way around at this point; women can get away with much more in media than men can.
Don’t get me wrong: Karen Owens got SHIT ON by a lot of people, and I think it was totally unfair, but the REAL reason she’s being criticized has nothing to do with a mythical double standard. So why is it?
6. She told the truth, and people can’t handle that: There is one main similarity between her writing and mine, and it explains why her list got so much commentary, both good and bad:
Her list is something that almost nothing in media is: Raw and authentic and honest, and THAT is why so many people freaked out over it.
Whatever else that’s said about the Duke Fuck List, it is unquestionably really honest, and honesty is it’s touchstone for attention. Don’t believe the morons who think the attention she got is because she’s a woman writing about sex. That’s bullshit; women have been writing about sex like Karen Owens for centuries. Christ, one episode of Sex and The City is more scandalous than anything in her list. And you can’t open a college newspaper without some stupid cum-dumpster writing a crappy column about her latest sloppy, horrible blow job. No, she got attention because it is what none of that shit is: Honest.
In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that she is one of the very first female sex writers I’ve ever seen who embraced the reality of her sluttiness and sexuality and openly discussed it as it happened, without projecting some idealized, unrealistic version of herself to the reader. The average female sex writing is a just an annoying mix of bluster, whore logic, fake confidence and bullshit. Not since Barbie Cummings have I read a female sex blogger with even the faintest shred of willingness to admit to the reality of her most lewd acts, but Karen does that in spades. Whenever anyone does that, especially a girl talking about sex, the world sits up and takes notice.
Anyone remember Jackie Kim, the girl who wrote the email to her friend about how she was evaluating a guy she went on a date with? People freaked out. Or Jessica Cutler, who’s blog was incredibly honest and raw and became hugely popular. Why did EVERYONE read her blog, yet no one read her book? Because her book was just a jumble of stupid ex-post whore-rationalizations. Her blog was honest and authentic.
Why do you think my writing is so popular? It’s honest. That’s what all the idiots who try to imitate me don’t get. It’s not about the drinking or the fucking or the crazy stories. It’s not even about the funny, as much as it’s about the honesty. No one is ever honest, but when you are, when you say the things everyone knows but won’t admit, it’s so shocking and amazing that the world can’t help but stop and look.
But here’s the thing about being honest: All the liars HATE you for it, and most of the people in the world are liars. They lie to their bosses, they lie to their families, they lie to themselves, they lie so much they don’t even know they’re lying anymore. If you have the courage to be honest–even a little bit–all those people will hate you, because your honesty reflects their lie back on them.
Oscar Wilde wasn’t kidding when he said, “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.” Karen now understands the reality of this statement as much as I do.
7. She’s a college girl, stop expecting her to understand everything: There is nothing stupider than holding someone to a standard of behavior and understanding that is decades above their age. I think most people have forgotten that she’s only 22. I was a fucking idiot at 22. No one has any idea what they’re doing at that age, why should we all expect her to?
In fact, you know how I learned what I know? BY DOING WAY MORE AWFUL SHIT THAN SHE DID. How do you understand where your limits are? Push them. How do you figure out what you want from life? Try everything and see what fits. How do you know what not to do? Do it, and see how much it sucks. Success doesn’t teach anything except to repeat what you just did. Experimentation and failure instruct, not success. There is no other way to learn what life is without actually living it, and truly living life means you’re going to make mistakes.
Did she learn the lessons she should have learned? Will she understand all the things she needs to from her experiences? Who knows. She damn sure didn’t get it when she wrote that piece, but who does understand it at 22? I’m 35 and I’m only barely beginning to get it. All the shit I’ve written about self-awareness is completely true, but I knew precisely 0% of that when I was 22. People are holding her to a standard that they did not meet at her age, or even meet now. There is nothing worse than demanding something from someone else that you don’t do yourself. Glasses houses motherfucker.
8. Leave her alone: When I put up my website, I used my real name. I asked for attention. Whatever happened after is the consequence of making myself a public figure. People want to take shots at me, that’s fine. I don’t complain about all the shit I’ve taken, because I asked for it, both the good and the bad.
Karen did none of that, yet she’s getting treated that way, and it’s bullshit. Karen Owen is nothing more than a pretty normal 22 year old girl, who made the mistake of trusting a friend with something she never should have. Her worst flaw as a person is probably that she’s very lonely (probably had shitty parents who ignored her), and she doesn’t know how to handle this, so she was a bit too slutty in college and subsequently got used by a bunch of guys, then invented a narrative to rationalize the behavior in her mind.
So what? We’ve all done something like that in our lives too. She did nothing wrong, she didn’t hurt anyone (on purpose), and she isn’t a symbol of anything, good or bad, about America. She’s just a lonely little girl who didn’t ask for this attention, doesn’t know how to handle it, and just wants it to end–and all of us should understand that and leave her alone.
First off, I want to thank all my fans for their support. I say this all the time and I mean it: I may be an asshole, but I love my fans, because without all of you, I couldn’t do this. So thanks again for your amazing support.
Fan response: One week into the release of the book, and the fan response has been great. It’s not easy to follow up a classic like IHTSBIH, but it looks like people are loving AFF even more than I could have hoped. There have been so many good/funny things, but I’m on tour so I don’t have time to respond to most of them; I’ll sit down and post the best fan reviews later this month. My favorite so far, “If IHTSBIH was a level three sex offender, Assholes Finish First is the Catholic Church.”
Sales: S&S doesn’t want me to disclose specific sales numbers, but I can say that they are extremely good, good enough that the book will debut at #3 on the NY Times Hardcover Nonfiction Best Seller List. I was beaten out by Jon Stewart’s new book, and the Bob Woodward tell-all about Obama. I’m OK with following those two media giants (and by the way, IHTSBIH is STILL on the paperback list, almost five years after it came out).
Audiobook: I forgot to mention this in my last post, but the audiobook is available. Buy it on Amazon, Borders, B&N, or Audible.com. I recorded the audio book, btw, just like I did for IHTSBIH.
IHTSBIH hardcover: I also forgot to mention that my old publisher released a limited edition hard cover of IHTSBIH. This is the first time it’s ever been in hardcover, but it’s a run of 30k only, and not only that–I actually signed EVERY SINGLE FUCKING COPY. Here are the pictures of the inserts that were sent to my apartment to sign. I put my dog in them so you could get perspective on the number of inserts I had to sign (she’s a 50 pound mutt, btw). I signed 1000 of these a day for a MONTH. It was ridiculous, but they are all signed by me, every single one.
Quotes: Judging by what people are posting on Twitter and Facebook, AFF is just as quotable as IHTSBIH. I have set up a quote page on my site, where people can submit their own favorite quotes from the book, so feel free to add yours.
Price: Some people have complained about the price of AFF. It is listed at $25, and with tax, that can be nearly $30 at bookstores. I understand that’s very high, and some people can’t afford it. If price is an issue to you, my suggestion would be to either buy it from Amazon (about $15, same price as a paperback), or buy it on the Kindle or on iBooks (both $12.99).
The Book Tour: So far the tour has been great, but I am getting some of the same questions at each stop:
1. Who my assistant is: My tour assistant is Brittney Cason. I left my regular assistant, Ian Claudius, in Austin, mainly because he has a new puppy, but also because I wanted a girl with me on this tour–for many reasons, some of which I am sure you can guess after reading the second half of AFF. And to answer the question I get at every stop: WE ARE NOT FUCKING. If you are a girl and want to hit on me in front of her, please do. I have never slept with her, am not currently sleeping with her, nor will I ever sleep with her. But fellas, she’s single, so please feel free to hit on her if you want. I don’t shit where I eat, but you’re welcome to.
2. Protestors: It’s kinda sad; my protestors are getting really lazy. So far they’ve only shown up at the Boston stop, and only left this lame sign.
3. Going to a signing: I’ll say this again: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BUY THE BOOK AT THE STORE TO COME TO THE SIGNING. Anyone can come to any signing, and get pictures, have me sign an old book, whatever. Anyone can get in line at any signing, and if ANYONE tells you different, come find me at the signing and I’ll make sure it’s taken care of.
3. Biggest question I’m getting on the tour: I think maybe it was inspired by the guest piece I wrote for Tim Ferriss’ blog, or about the part in AFF where I wrote about how broke I was when I first started writing, but for whatever reason, I have gotten a ton of questions from people about the specifics of becoming or being a writer. I am on tour right now, so I can’t really sit down and write something comprehensive about this, but when I get back to Austin, I’ll do that. I think most people have a very wrong idea of what it takes to be a professional writer, why they should do it, and how they should do it, and that’s been made very clear through the questions I’m getting, so I’ll try to do a comprehensive piece about that soon.
It is available in all other formats too, e.g., audio book, Kindle, Nook, iBooks, etc, all listed on those links.
2. Book tour: In case you haven’t heard, my book tour starts today, with one signing in New York City and one in New Jersey, and there are 31 more cities after that, check them all out here: The “Assholes Finish First” Book Tour Schedule
3. Merchandise: I have some t-shirts, pint glasses, and some other things now for sale on my merchandise page, check it out here.
4. More pictures from the book: My publisher, Simon & Schuster, is kinda cheap, and wouldn’t spring for me to put every picture I wanted to in the book. The ones they left out, I put on my Flickr page. WARNING: Some of these pictures contain spoilers for stories in the book, so you might want to read the book before you look at the pics. But its up to you.
5. Quote page: I added the Tucker Max Quote Page to my site. I pulled out like 50 or so quotes from “I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell” the book and 25 from the movie. I have yet to pull any out from “Assholes Finish First”–there is a form at the bottom that you can use to submit your favorite quote from the book.
Assholes Finish First comes out on September 28th, and I have finalized the 2010 Book Tour schedule. It’ll be 34 signings, most of them in places I’ve never had book signings before.
To answer the questions I’ve been getting:
1. “Can I go to the NYC Book Launch Party?”: Yes. The launch party info:
Friday, September 24th
3 Sheets Saloon
134 W. 3rd [btw 6th Ave. and MacDougal]
New York, NY
Open to the public
The book will NOT be for sale in stores until September 28th, but I WILL have a few hundred books at that party for sale, so if you’re so desperate to get the book that you can’t wait four extra days, plan to be at that party. The party itself will be at a normal bar and pretty low key, nothing fancy. I’m very content with just beer, friends, and hot girls.
2. “How do the signings work?”: Pretty simple: You show up with a copy of my new book, I sign it, take pictures if you want, etc. I won’t be doing readings of my book like some authors do (they’re lame), but there may be a few places where I do a Q&A. Of course it costs nothing to get the book signed (beyond the cost of the book itself), or to get pictures, and I’ll personalize my signing, or even sign anything additional of mine you bring (new book, old book, DVD, t-shirts, whatever). I always try to be as cool to my fans as possible, so anything reasonable, I’m down for.
I have told this to all the bookstores, and I don’t anticipate any issues–but some places sometimes make up their own annoying rules about signings. If anyone at any store tries to dick you around, just find my tour assistant, tell her what’s up, and she’ll make it right. I only mention this because I HATE it if a book store employee is a dick to my fans and I don’t hear about it until later, so there’s no way for me to fix it. I want my fans to have a good experience, and to make sure that happens, I want you to know going in what to do if something goes wrong.
3. “Why don’t you have any Canadian signings?”: I want to do a Canadian signing tour. I’d love to hit Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, etc. Here’s the problem: My publisher, Simon & Schuster, has a separate Canadian division, and they apparently don’t pay for authors to do signings in Canada. I’d like going to Canada, but I’m not paying out of my pocket to do it. I’ll do my very best to figure out a way to make this work, but Canadian fans–please understand I am not skipping you for any reason in my control.
4. “What about [insert city]? Why didn’t you come there?”: I KNOW there are a ton of American cities I am not hitting on this tour. I only had about six weeks to tour, so I couldn’t hit everywhere. Yes, I would love to go back to Pittsburgh and Raleigh and Gainesville and any number of other great cities I’ve been before, but I made a conscious effort to hit cities that I’d never done signings in. Don’t worry though, if I missed your city on this tour, I will almost certainly hit it on the book tour for my third book, Hilarity Ensues, which’ll be fall of 2011.
5. “I have a press request, who do I direct it to?”: I will be available for at least some press at each stop. All press inquiries, direct to my PR guy, Jeffrey Chassen: Jeffrey.firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: Special guests at some signings: A few of the signings will have special guests. I can’t make any promises about who will be coming to what stops. I will say that the list includes many people who were involved in the stories, including my law school friends–notably SlingBlade. I am going to get him out to at least one or two stops (probably the Midwest ones). And at least one of the signings will have a midget–or possibly two–that is featured in the book (probably an east coast stop). I won’t post details about these beforehand–it’ll be a surprise to the people who show up.
NOTE: Two signings on release day: On Tuesday, Sept 28th, there is a noon signing at the Wall Street Borders in Manhattan, and then a 7pm signing in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Every other day is just one signing a day.
Tour Wrap Party: The tour wrap party will immediately after the last signing in, Austin, Texas. It will also be open to the public, and should be a really good time. I will post details about this too when they are finalized.
TuckerMax.com originally started kind of by accident, as a bet between me and some friends.
A few days after I ended another in the seemingly endless three week relationships I have with the seemingly endless stream of girls I meet, my friend Amy and I were discussing how I should procure another of these said relationships. Amy had recently been browsing the Internet (looking for lesbian donkey porn, no doubt) and came across a date page where a girl asks guys to fill out an application to go out on a date with her. She suggested I put up a site just like it. She called me out. Dared me to put one up. Said I didn’t have the sack to do such a thing. Questioned the very essence of my existence.
So of course I put it up. And it was hilarious, and my friends even made me hook-up with a girl I met off the site (that story is in I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell, the fat girl story). That was 2000, and I ended up taking it down when we are went to work our legal jobs.
Then I got fired, and after some other bullshit, decided to write full time, and in September of 2002, out the site back up, but this time, in addition to the Date Application Page, I put up all the funny emails I had written to my friends about all the dumb shit I did after law school. Those emails became my first book, and here we are.
This is the Date Application Form that was the original iteration of the site. It’s not a functioning form anymore, so please don’t cut and paste it into an email to send me. If you are a girl, just email me (email@example.com) with a picture and make it clear you don’t want to play games.
The Tucker Max Date Application
Your sex: Female (This is non-negotiable. Sorry.)
Where are you from?:
Where do you live now?:
Highest level of education completed/currently working towards:
high school diploma
high school equivalency (GED)
I go to the Vo-Tech, climb under a car, and sleep all day
Jay Truck Driving School
“When I grow up, I’m going to Bovine University!”
How did you find this page?:
A friend told me
An enemy told me
You told me about your stupid page
I can smell your desperation from here
A scorching case of herpes led me here
God hates me
Blind hogs eventually find acorns
“I fell off the jungle gym and woke up in here.”
Why are you filling out this form?:
I want to ask you out. HA!
No, seriously, I really do want to ask you out
I don’t want to go on a date with you, but I do want to buy you lots drinks and watch the train wreck develop
I’m putting in fake info to fuck with you
I’m horribly desperate for anything male, and you fit the bill
This is the final stage in a destructive spiral of self-loathing and despair
It’s either this or jail time
This is helping me stop masturbating so much
I hate your fucking guts
“It says ‘I choo-choo-choose you,’ and it has a picture of a train.”
Why do you think you want to go out on a date with me?:
Because I want to go on a date with you.
Do I need a reason? Isn’t is axiomatic?
I want to hitch my wagon to your star, and this is Step 1.
You seem interesting
I think you’d be fun to get drunk with
I want to end up in one of your stories or future books
I feel strangely attracted to you
I hate myself
I’m one of those people who can’t divert their eyes from accident scenes, and you have that same effect on me
I think your caustic and sarcastic exterior belies a sweet and caring inner self
I want to give my VD to someone else before I die
No, really, I enjoy having guys use me and treat me like shit
“Which one is oral?”
What is it that you find most attractive about me?:
Your caustic wit and ambitious verve
Your cute face and hot body
Your caustic wit and ambitious verve
Your constant use of foul, discourteous language
The way you show no regard for the feelings of others
The way your immense ego blocks out any real emotional depth
You make me laugh
Your single-minded obsession with all things Tucker
I like how you never use deodorant. Your pheromones are too sexy to cover up
I don’t like myself, and I’m hoping you’ll treat me like a used-up stripper
When would you like to go out with me?:
When you are available
Hey, we’re on my schedule here, Date Boy
When your heart stops
As soon as I finish gnawing off my left leg
When I get over my herpes and pink eye
After I suck off a Great Dane
How about never? Is never good for you?
“This is my sandbox, but I’m not allowed to go in the deep end.”
How would you rate yourself in terms of your physical attractiveness?:
I’m not very attractive
I’m cute enough for you, assface
If you like morbidly obese, cross-eyed fat girls, you’ll LOVE me
I’m a butter face
I’m a Chicago girl (it means you have a hot face and a fat ass…and don’t email me pissed about this. You don’t think that 80% of cute women in Chicago fit this description? Ask any guy you know living in Chicago. If he’s honest, he’ll tell you the same thing. I blame the long winters. Why work out if bikini weather is only 4 months?)
The kids at school used to call out “Baaaby Ruuth” when I would walk by
No, really, I don’t think you understand: I am UG-LY
“Daddy says I’m ‘this close’ to living in the yard!”
How would you rate yourself in terms of your intelligence?:
I can read enough to answer this
I’m smart enough to get your stupid jokes
I’m a fucking genius
I can bend things with my mind
I’m dumber than week-old bat shit
Who are you to question the intelligence of anyone else? Have you seen your webpage, idiot?
I like to use lots of exclamation points in my emails!!!! Yippee!!!
“Me fail English? That’s unpossible.”
How would you rate yourself in terms of your emotional maturity and stability?:
I’m about average
I’m pretty sane, but have some minor insecurities and peculiarities, just like everyone
I’m very emotionally stable
I am a rock
I’m loonier than a shit-house rat
I claw at my eyes, trying to get the demons out
The doctor says he can’t increase my prescriptions anymore or he’d get in trouble
Sometimes, the restraints chafe my wrists. Then the festering starts
Why do you ask?!? Do you know something!?!? Who have you been talking too?!?
They mostly come at night. Mostly
“That’s where I saw the Leprechaun. He tells me to burn things.”
What is your most defining feature or characteristic?:
My beautiful eyes
My sharp wit
My compassionate nature
My incredible intelligence
My huge breasts
I have the ass of a 12 year-old girl
My cottage cheese thighs
My sphincter can break a beer bottle
My matted pubic hair
My charming autism
My colostomy bag
My willingness to use sex to get what I want
My perfect landing strip
“The tar fumes are making me dizzy.”
What would you expect me to bring?:
Your A+ game
I like shiny things
A unquenchable libido
A small, hairless Asian boy
Your enema bag collection
“And I want a bike and a monkey and a friend for the monkey.”
What will I do when I see you?:
start jumping up and down yelling “UH, UH, UH”
pretend you’re not Tucker Max
curse the anonymity of the Internet
run like a track star
run like a crack fiend
“I can’t breathe good and it’s making me sleepy.”
What will my friends say when they see you?:
“Wow, Tucker’s really lucky. I wish I was him.”
“Another tall, hot blonde with no self-esteem–he’s getting laid tonight.”
“She’s the hottest thing since nuclear fusion.”
“Tonight’s forecast calls for scattered clothes, with a significant chance of intense, passionate humping.”
“My Lord–she smells like the fish market.”
“Well, she’s too ugly for him to date…$10 says he sleeps with her anyway.”
“I wouldn’t call her fat, but he’s gonna need the Jaws of Life to get out of this.”
“Oh shit…somebody call 911.”
“She’s just an expensive escort. I wonder how much money she cost him.”
“She’s just a cheap hooker. I wonder how much smack she cost him.”
“Should have been a blow job.”
“Her shade of lipstick looks like the color you’d find at the base of a penis.”
“Look at her…did she just get released from a methadone clinic?”
“Her face looks like it caught on fire and someone beat it out with a rake.”
Do your friends control your love life, you pussy?
“Daddy, I’m scared, too scared to even wet my pants.”
What should I wear?:
Something that says “derelict frat boy,” like khakis, a button down and a ratty hat
Something that says “I’m a rich, arrogant lawyer”, like a navy Hugo Boss suit and Hermes tie
Something that says “I’m Euro-trash, but at least I look good,” like black Armani pants and a tight Zegna shirt
Something that says “I ain’t got me no money,” like a burlap sack
Something that says “I’ve been on Cops,” like boxer shorts and a stained wife-beater
Something that says “ethnic,” like a dashiki and a fez
Something that says “I really don’t care”, like flip-flops, old jeans and logo t-shirt
Something that says “ghetto fabulous,” like a Fubu jersey and Karl Kani jeans
Something that says “retro Miami Vice,” like a peach colored polo shirt and white suit
Something that says “I shop at thrift stores,” like Dickie’s and a mechanic’s shirt
Something that says “1993 Jodeci video”, like a hot pink tank top and spandex shorts
Something that says “hip Militia Man”, like a Patagonia fleece over Kevlar body armor
Whatever you have that’s clean
Nothing at all
“Daddy, these rubber pants are hot.”
What will we do on our first date?:
Go to dinner and a movie
Mock those less fortunate than us
Argue, yell and possibly even fight
Fuck. What else would we do?
Try to cripple children
Go to a gentlemen’s club and try and pick up a stripper
Get absolutely shit-housed, fucked-in-half, retarded drunk
Go to a gun range
Get absolutely shit-housed, fucked-in-half, retarded drunk and go to a gun range with a stripper we picked up at a gentlemen’s club (…my personal choice)
Felch each other (…decidedly not my choice)
All of the above
None of the above
Some strange combination of the above
“Will you cook my dinner for me? My parents aren’t around and I’m not allowed to turn on the stove.”
What type of food will we eat, assuming we go to dinner?:
Vegan (yeah…have fun eating alone)
Light post-coital snack
Who needs to eat if liquor is available?
I don’t eat–I’m a smack addict
Whatever we find in the dumpster
Nothing, I’m already too fat as it is
“My cat’s breath smells like cat food.”
What will we drink? (we will be drinking…or at least I’ll be drinking):
fine malt liquor
wine in a box
fine apple wine
whatever is cheapest
whatever we can steal from homeless people
whatever we can make in your bathtub
I prefer hard drugs, thank you
“They taste like…burning!”
How much does it take to get you drunk?:
The smell of alcohol
A few beers
A few glasses of wine
A six-pack of Ripple
I can out drink a Wahoo
I can out drink an Irish Catholic
Ever heard of Motley Crue? I taught them how to party.
“My parent’s won’t let me use scissors.”
What will we talk about on our date?:
Sex in public places
The sexual foibles of ex’s
The etiquette of group sex
What that slut at the next table is wearing
How our parents fucked us up beyond all repair
How much everyone around us sucks
The epistemological and metaphysical implications of superstring theory
The epistemological and metaphysical implications of us having sex
The Iron Chef
Whether or not Scooby Doo is in fact a metaphor for hallucinogenic drug use
This web page
Flannery O’Connor’s use of symbolism
Herman Melville’s use of metaphor
Ron Jeremy’s use of irony
Lots of different things
“Then, the doctor told me that BOTH my eyes were lazy! And that’s why it was the best summer ever.”
I should compliment you by saying:
“You have incredible eyes.”
“That is the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen.”
“You are a very cool person.”
“Are you gonna finish that? Cause if not…”
“You’re ugly, but you intrigue me.”
“If you didn’t have such fat legs, you could be a model.”
“You know, they can fix your cleft lip. Modern medicine has come a long way from the days of just throwing people like you in with the livestock.”
“Good lord…was anyone else hurt in the accident?”
“That tumor on your forehead really brings out the brown in your eyes.”
“That’s the same perfume they put on my grandmother at her wake.”
“Did you fart? You farted, didn’t you?”
“I’d club a baby seal to get a second date with you.”
“I had no idea a woman could have such a large ass paired with such small breasts.”
“Can I pee on you?”
“You don’t sweat much for a fattie.”
“You should be on TV. They use plain looking women too.”
“Your toys are fun to touch. Mine are all sticky.”
Finish this sentence: “I like a man that…
likes me more than a sharp stick in the eye.”
treats me like shit.” (be honest…)
likes to hurt small animals.”
has spent a healthy amount of time in a maximum-security federal prison.”
is uglier than me.”
is uglier than Lyle Lovett.”
is dumber than me.”
is dumber than Dan Quayle.”
makes toy cars out of his poop.”
won’t make fun of my club foot.”
“You look like my mommy after she drinks her box of wine.”
What will we do after dinner?:
Have coffee and dessert
Run out on the bill
Go to hell
Have a long and meaningful conversation
Throw the dishes on the floor and fuck on the table
Go somewhere to be alone, but just cuddle
Point out each others shortcomings (my personal choice)
Groping and pawing
Why do I have to make all the decisions? I thought you were a fucking man!
“Help! She’s touching my special area!”
How will the date end?:
An awkward silence
A noncommital hug
A sweet, tender kiss
Passionate, unbridled, hanging from the chandelier, sex
Us planning for another date
Me pouring my heart out to you while you record it to put on your website
Me cursing you abusively from the safety of my porch
Me calling the cops to get you out of my house
You throwing flaming bags of dog poop at my porch
A nonspecific burning sensation
One of us waking up in jail without our shoe laces
“Oh boy sleep! That’s where I’m a Viking!”
If you made it this far, I’m sure you have something to say. If you want me to email you back, you need to write something here. Preferably something funny, intelligent, witty, etc.:
The last option in every category is a quote from a famous television character. Name this character, and you will receive the fame and adoration of the people.
When describing how drunk I get, I use my own scale that my friends and I devised:
“Buzzed” is after a few beers, when I can feel the alcohol affecting me, but I think I can still drive reasonably well. My brain generally works like normal, though perhaps a little slow.
“Inebriated” is when I start feeling good, but I know my ability to drive is impaired, and so I give the keys away. I begin to doubt my ability to make good judgments. I am usually a much nicer person at this stage of drunkenness, though this changes quickly.
“Drunk” is when I start feeling overly confident about myself and all of my abilities, I argue about who drives, but eventually give the keys up anyway. Other people begin to seem much funnier and more interesting. This is also when the ability to socialize in an appropriate manner starts breaking down.
“Fucked-in-half” (aka “Shit-housed”) is when I believe that my abilities have become nearly superhuman, that I am the best looking man in my geographical area, and that that hunchback girl over by the bar is really hot too. As far as I am concerned, there is no road, policeman, or possibly even army, that can contain me. It is at this point that I cannot differentiate between an appropriate comment and an inappropriate one, so I just say whatever I feel like.
“Tucker Max” is the ultimate drunk stage. Never mind about operating heavy machinery; I have trouble figuring out door knobs. The only benefit is that I don’t have to worry about driving because I can’t even find my keys. Any of several things can happen at Tucker Max Drunk. I can:
- black out
- hook up with ugly or fat girls
- fail to hook up with hot girls because I pass out on them
- vomit uncontrollably
- make loud, boisterous, and thoroughly untruthful claims about my achievements
- commit myself to large and utterly hopeless wagers that I have no way of covering
- claim to be an renowned expert on things I could not begin to explain when sober
- start fights with small, defenseless people
- break things
- become very angry with inanimate objects, and loudly curse them
- say anything, no matter how offensive or mean, to anyone, no matter how helpless or undeserving
- wake up somewhere that I have never seen before, and do not recognize
- have long and involved conversations over important topics that I have no recollection of the next day
As an alternative to the “how many beers” or the “1 through 10″ rating system, my friends and I came up with the following 5-star scale to rank physical appearance only. There are three things that you must remember before using this scale:
1) Though personality is very important in evaluating females, in this scale it can only hurt. Too many men are the type that once they start fucking, they think the girl is cool because she likes having sex with them, and want to raise a woman’s rating. This scale is for accuracy of physical appearance only, so keep your feelings for her personality out of this rating. People generally agree more when a woman is a bitch, thus making that more of an objective factor (Personality is obviously important in deciding whether or not you want to date the woman, but not in conveying her physical attractiveness on this scale).
2) Bonus stars can only be given under the following circumstances:
- A woman financially supports the man, or at least buys him everything he wants; capped at 1 star.
- A woman is into other women, and lets the man participate in some way (including watching); capped at 1 star.
- Sex drive can help, but it can only bring a marginal candidate up a level. For instance, a high 2-star can be elevated to a low 3-star, but an average 2-star CANNOT go to a 3-star, no matter what her sexual habits are.
1-star (aka, Common-stock pig): No redeeming qualities. This girl is ugly, usually fat, boring and sucks in just about everyway possible. If you don’t know a common-stock pig when you see one, you are destined to spend the rest of your life with one.
2-star (aka, Respectable pig): One redeeming quality, like large breasts, nice ass, cute face, great dick-sucking lips, etc. If you concentrate on that one redeeming physical quality, and you get shit-housed, you’re not too upset with yourself waking up next to a respectable pig. Of course, you still make her crawl out the window when she leaves, because you don’t want your friends to see her, but at least you don’t want to gargle bleach and scrub yourself like a rape victim after she leaves.
3-star (aka Decent or attractive): Acceptable to be seen with in public. She is average when sober, but looks MUCH better after only about three beers. You’ll admit to your friends that you’re fucking her, but you still make fun of her behind her back, and tell them lies about her sexual prowess and bi-sexual tendencies to justify your dealings with her. She’s not bad overall, and will do if nothing better comes along, but could be left in a heartbeat if the opportunity for a hot chick comes along. Sadly, most guys end up having to settle for a 3-star, as these are the most prevalent type of women.
4-star (aka Girlfriend material): This is the girl that is very attractive, but not super hot. You will be seen with her in public at any point in the day, even before drinking. You think twice before ditching this girl for a hot chick, especially if she has special powers (tongue ring, double jointed, etc.). Ascension to the 4-star level can only be attained through use of a petition. The candidate must secure 75% of the vote from those polled. (NOTE: Bonus points only make a candidate petition eligible. She still must garner 75% of the vote.)
5-star (aka Super hottie): This is the hot chick. Hopefully no further explanation is necessary. It’s kind of like the Hall of Fame. VERY FEW WOMEN ARE 5-STARS, about 5-10% of the population. A declaration that someone is hot is assumed to be true, but can be rebuked if 25% of those polled vote against her 5-star placement.
0-star (aka, Wildebeast): The lowest of the low. A 1-star (common-stock pig) with a terrible personality qualifies as a Wildebeast. They should all be put to sleep. This is that loud, disgusting fat girl in the bar that smokes, orders complicated drinks and then spills them on everyone, and is generally just so annoying that you have to actively restrain yourself from kicking her in the crotch and stomping on her throat until she drowns on her own blood. There is no insult too mean or crude for her, and basic human rights do not apply to her.
I get so many emails asking me the authors that influenced me or what I books I recommend, so I decided to list them here. These are not necessarily the “best” books I’ve ever read, but they are the ones that’ve had the most personal impact on me. Each book on this list, I’ve read at least three times:
1. Confederacy of Dunces: My favorite fiction book, and probably my favorite book ever. This is the type of book that humbles you, and makes you understand how great writing can be.
2. The Autobiography of Malcolm X: I cannot over-emphasize how important this book was to my development as a man. It has nothing to do with black or white, it is about the internal struggle of a man to overcome his surroundings and deal with his personal demons. I have read this book about 10 times, and still love it. I relate to Malcolm very intensely as a person. Malcolm’s self-reliance, struggle against an oppressive system, and redemption through education hits close to home.
3. A River Runs Through It: The piece of fiction that almost single-handedly taught me about economy of writing, and what it means to be loyal and to lose a friend. My best friend killed himself in college, and reading this was one of the things that helped me get through it (my friend was very much like Paul, the brother).
4. The Neon Bible: Probably the best first person perspective ever written on youth. Infinitely better than Catcher in the Rye.
5. Fight Club: The book that changed my life, that crystallized and defined for me my emotions about working in a corporate world, and put me on the path to where I am now. I recommend the movie as well; this is one of the few movies that stands up to the book.
6. Sperm Wars: There are better books about evolutionary psychology and human sexuality–especially now–but this is the first one I read on the subject, and the one that really opened my eyes to the field.
7. The Godfather: The movie is great, but the book is actually better. It’s hard to describe why this book is so good; Mario Puzo doesn’t even regard it as his best, though I think it stands far above his others. In a weird way, it’s a guide to modern manhood. Read it and you’ll understand.
8. Hatchet: The first book I ever bought and read on my own, I think I was 10 or so. I still love it, it’s the perfect starter book for smart young kids, and every time I re-read it, I see something new, something I didn’t understand when I was young.
9. The Adapted Mind: The second book (after Sperm Wars) I read about evolutionary psychology, and very much the bible of the field. Unless you have a bio background, I would probably recommend other books before trying to tackle this one though, namely The Moral Animal.
10. The History of the Peloponnesian War: You almost have to learn this in a classroom setting, because you need some background in ancient Greece to understand it. I had David Bevington teach it to me, and he brought the fucking text alive. But if nothing else, read the Funeral Oration by Pericles. The man perfected western style public speaking.
11. The Alchemist: I am a huge admirer of Paulo Coehlo, and this book is, I think, his best. If you are someone who wants more from life than just being another sheep, it will resonate with you. It captures the emotional struggle of someone who is trying to break free from the bonds of the standard path and search for their personal destiny.
12: The War of Art: I have all the admiration in the world for Steven Pressfield, and this book is one of the main reasons why. He understands what it means to be an artist better than anyone else I have read.
Last week I turned in the final draft of Assholes Finish First to my publisher (pre-order it here), and after copy editing and layout, it’s off to the printer. Everything is set to go for the September 28th release. To answer a few of the questions I’ve been getting:
1. How much new material will be in AFF?
A lot–about 80-90% of it is brand new. IHTSBIH was only about 50% new–the rest had previously appeared on my website. There are a few things from the website–e.g., “The Midget Story” had to go in the book, it’s too good not to include–but the vast majority of what you will read will be stuff you’ve never seen before. I haven’t stopped writing over the past few years, I just stopped putting new stories on my website, but they’ll all be in this book (and the next one, Hilarity Ensues).
2. How will it compare to IHTSBIH?
Assholes Finish First is bigger, longer, has more stories, more pictures and is more in depth. Approximately 10 more stories, 20k more words, 150 more pages, and 15 more pictures than were in IHTSBIH. Contentwise, in some ways it’s just like my first book, in other ways it’s not, but the important stuff is the same: it’s funny and compelling to read, because that’s ultimately what matters most.
3. What stories will be in it?
Here is a selection of some of the stories in Assholes Finish First. There are 47 total:
The Sexual To-Do List: A description of my Sexual To-Do List, why I started it, what’s on it, and some of my favorites stories from it.
Tucker goes to Campout, owns Duke nerds: At Duke, in order to get basketball tickets, you have to campout for them. Seriously, they make you sleep in the mud for a weekend. This did not make me happy, and this story is about how I took my anger out on all the Duke basketball nerds.
Hot, Sane, Single: A collection of stories about some of the craziest girls I’ve hooked up with. The last story, the one about the LA girl I dated, is going to surprise you.
I want to cum get a load!: I haven’t done my own laundry in years–because girls come over and do it for me. And then they sleep with me. Here’s how I pulled it off, and what happened as a result.
The Capitol City Clown Crawl: Me and 50 other people dressed up as clowns and went bar-hopping in Austin, Texas. Shit went wrong, and it was funny–to everyone except me. Complete with mugshots and police report. One of my personal favorite stories.
Baby Mama Drama: Most people have a pregnancy scare story. But probably not as intense as this one.
Everybody Fails: A lot of people, especially younger guys, think I’m amazing. I agree, I am awesome…but I still fuck up a lot, and this story is about some of my funnier screw ups.
The Virginity Paradox: You’d think that having virgins ask you to take their virginity would be cool. Think again.
The DC Halloween Party and the worst girl I ever fucked: The story about what happened the first time my law school friends and I partied together after we graduated, including how SlingBlade made a new best friend and hooked up with a girl (in the same night), and how I lost my religion on the altar of the world’s ugliest spy.
The Midgets Strike Back: Everyone knows “The Midget Story.” Well, my run-ins with midgets didn’t end there. One of them found me, and got revenge…by teaching me a valuable lesson in midget math.
The TuckerFest Story: Finally, the long awaited story about the time I got arrested driving an RV in Harlem. It’s the longest story I’ve ever written, and I have to admit, it’s pretty fucking nuts, even for me.
4. Release Schedule:
Here’s the schedule leading up to the release. There will be three major announcements in the next few months:
Early July: I hope to be able to post the completed AFF Book Tour Schedule right after the July 4th holiday. The plan right now is to hit 45 cities, starting on the Sept 28th release date and going through to November, focusing on places I’ve never done signings before.
Early August: There will be a contest that will coincide with the release of AFF, something that will have cool prizes and be easy to do; I’ll post about it in August.
Early September: The launch party for the book will be open to the public, and a few weeks before the release I’ll announce the location and give instructions on how to go.
September 28th: The book officially goes on sale at stores all over the country, and the book tour starts.
The questions I get most on this site revolve around writing. People ask me how to write, how they can write like me, how to get a career in writing, etc, etc.
I am a writer, I guess, but not in any traditional sense, so my advice should be taken with caution. I’ve never taken a creative writing class, never had any “formal” training in writing beyond six years of graduate and post-graduate academic papers and English classes, I do not hang out in writing circles, and don’t have any plans on getting an MFA; all I’ve done is come out of nowhere to create one of the most popular sites on the internet, publish a New York Times Best Seller, get two TV deals, and option several stories as screenplays. Here is what I have learned in two+ years doing this full time:
1. If you want to be a writer, you should be a reader first: I read voraciously during my youth, and still read constantly. Reading teaches you structure, grammar, word usage and style; you can learn almost everything by example instead of by instruction if you just take the time to read. By reading as many different people you can, you learn about all the possible ways to communicate with the written word and you see what has been done and what is generally possible. Begin broad, but then find things that interest you. It doesn’t matter if its cars or Dave Barry or books about eating shit, whatever it is you like to read about, there have been books written about it. Start reading stuff that you like. Humans have been on this planet learning and recording their findings in one form or another for over 10,000 years–benefit from that accumulated knowledge. The best way to learn to write, and to learn what style best suits you is to read everything you can.
2. Write what you know and what makes you comfortable: This isn’t a universal law, but it is important for novice writers. Writing (the type I am talking about, i.e., not newspaper, magazine or academic writing), is about telling a story by expressing emotion and the commonality of the human experience through the written word. The best way for a novice writer to accomplish this is to use the natural emotional honesty that comes with writing about a topic that is dear to you and that you can understand and articulate.
3. Write in your own voice: The main problem with most writers is that they write in the style they “think” they are supposed to instead of their own style. To be a good writer you MUST write in your own voice. Take me for example: My style is not revolutionary, but it is somewhat unique; it is distinctly my voice, and you can often identify my work without first knowing it was me who wrote it. I’m obviously influenced by other writers; Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club), Dave Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day), John Kennedy Toole (Confederacy of Dunces), Norman Maclean (A River Runs Through It), Cormac McCarthy (The Crossing) and PJ O’Rourke (All the Trouble In The World) were all very important to my development as a writer, but I don’t imitate any of them. I take inspiration and some techniques from them, but ultimately I write in the way that is natural for me.
4. Get honest and capable critiques from other good writers: This is only supremely important to your development as a writer. If you have been around my site for since the beginning, you have seen my writing improve exponentially. This is because my friends are very good writers themselves and can read my stuff and make good suggestions. Even though most of them aren’t as good a writer as I am, they can still offer trenchant criticism. It’s like a quarterback watching game film with his offensive coordinator; even though the coordinator may not be able to do what the QB does on the field, he can still help the QB improve his game by pointing out flaws and giving instruction on fixing them.
5. Writers write: The best thing you can do to become a better writer is to write constantly. I never took a creative writing class or read any books on writing. I just wrote a lot, read a lot, and got feedback from smart honest people about my writing. Keep writing and definitely KEEP REVISING your writing. Every time I go back and read my stories I find something that can be made better or improved somehow.
I get a lot of people sending me their attempts at short stories, and to be honest, most of them suck. They suck for two reasons:
1. The story just isn’t funny. I’m sure it was really hilarious that one time when you and Ray Ray got drunk on Bacardi Limon and yelled at the TV for three hours…TO YOU, BUT NOT TO ANYONE ELSE. There are just some things that are only contextually funny, or require so much background knowledge that they aren’t funny to the non-insider. Some of the funniest things I say and do are too contextual to be put on the site. Just because something is funny to you doesn’t mean that it is funny to everyone else. Ask yourself when writing: Would someone who doesn’t know me or anyone involved find this funny?
2. The story is not written well. Most of the stories I receive fit into this category. There is a funny story in them, but it is struggling to get out of all the crap the writer has flooded it with. A general progression of tips:
a. Don’t chronicle how much you drank. No one cares. Do you ever see me list exactly what I’ve had, or how much of it I drank or whatever? Not unless it’s specifically related to the story or integral to the plot, like anytime I drink Everclear or absinthe.
b. Don’t send me a story that just lists what you did, and assures me that it was hilarious. Great asshole, I wasn’t there, so it’s not funny to me just because you say so. You need to describe what happened and let me laugh on my own. Don’t tell me, show me. Look at my stories–I rarely mention what makes me laugh, I usually just try to chronicle the funny events and let people laugh on their own.
c. God may be in the structure, but Jesus is in the details; provide funny ones or your story will suck. Don’t tell me that someone is funny. Tell me what they say and show me what they do. If it’s funny, the humor will show without your commentary. Bring the reader into the story with the details and the style; don’t just tell the reader what happened and expect them to fill in the humor without showing them why. Take my 21st Birthday story as an example. By itself, that story isn’t that great; I went out, got drunk, threw up in a bar bathroom, and passed out in my bathtub. But as it is written, it’s a hilarious story. Why? Because I bring you into the bar when I’m drinking, I put at the table with me, I put you in my mind as I go from coherent to obliterated, and let you see what I see. Take just the bathroom scene. Yes, someone vomiting and pissing all over themselves is inherently funny, but that particular scene only works because I describe every little detail, and because every little detail adds to the absurdity, which is where the humor lies.
d. Don’t bog the reader down with lots of useless details that don’t move the story along. Every piece of info in the story must do one of two things: 1. Be funny, or 2. Be necessary to understand the story. No one wants to read a list of the alcohol you consume, unless you make the list funny, or work witticisms into the list. No one cares about all the bars you went to, unless it is relevant to the humor or plot of the story. Every sentence, in fact every word, must be important, and must be relevant somehow to the story.
A great example of this is in the book “A River Runs Through It” by Norman Maclean. The scene where the dad makes Norman write an essay, and then cut it in half, and then cut it in half again. That is an AWESOME exercise that I often did myself when I was younger, and it really helps you learn what is essential and what is not.
And of course, the question I get most is: “How can I write like you?”
The answer is simple: You can’t. But you can, with practice, write like yourself. Here are the guidelines I use when I write my stories:
1. Be emotionally honest: Even stupid people can usually see through bullshit, and writing is no different. When you try and make yourself seem something that you aren’t people will see it eventually, even in your writing. I often find myself at places thinking, “What should I put now?” and the answer to that is ALWAYS, “The complete truth, no matter how stupid or awful or cynical (or cool or awesome) it makes me look.” For me, using the stark truth of my mind and my life works on many levels. It shocks the reader, because very seldom do people tell the truth, it endears the reader to me, because it gives them the sense they are in my head, it can repel the reader because they don’t like what they see, but ultimately it makes the reader keep reading, because there is nothing more enthralling than true emotional honesty. Everyone at their core is a voyeur of some sort–when you open up and let people in, they will stop and look.
2. Characterization is key: The single best way to make people want to read your writing is to give them a stake in it; make them care about what happens. How do you that? By creating compelling and interesting characters. For me, I am my most interesting character, so it’s pretty easy–I just write myself. Furthermore, my friends are all pretty fucked up in their own ways, so I just write them the way they are, and I’ve got interesting stuff. I think the key to being able to write good characters is not just having interesting people to model them after, but you as the writer must be very perceptive. You have to be able to look beneath the surface and get into the heads of the people you write about, because you can’t let the reader in on something that you yourself don’t understand.
3. Show don’t tell: It is always better to show something than explain it. Rather than tell me that you picked up the girl, give me the dialogue. Chances are that the words you used are relevant to the story, develop the characters and help lead to a conclusion. Or, instead of saying, “I was Tucker Max Drunk,” give an example of how drunk you were, “I was so drunk I thought the topiary was Calista Flockhart. My friends had no idea why I was was congratulating the shrubbery on dating Harrison Ford.” That sentence does more to explain your mental state than any list of drinks imbibed.
4. Keep the writing as short and terse as possible: There is a reason no one actually reads David Foster Wallace. Being long winded for no reason sucks. In your stories, make sure that every word, every sentence, every paragraph, every character and every description is relevant to the story and moves it along. Although my stories are the complete truth, they are not everything about the truth; there is a difference. I leave out stuff that either isn’t funny, isn’t essential to the plot, or doesn’t develop the characters. Remember–You are writing a story, not a forensic catalog of everything you did. I especially like to cut out description. People are going to picture the scene the way they want to anyway, might as well not waste words. Don’t describe things unless it is necessary to the story. Of course, this is because I am not good at describing things; its just not how my mind works. If you have a great talent for description, then write stories that display it.
5. Sharp, realistic dialogue: I think this is the true strength of my writing, the ability to craft great dialogue. When you can convey the sense of being there, you are going to be a great story teller, and nothing gives the reader emotional intimacy like realistic dialogue. When you read words that sound like the words you or someone you know might say, or things that you have heard before, it brings the characters alive, gives the reader a stake in them and their outcome and draws them into the story. Furthermore, dialogue is a great way to show instead of telling. Instead of telling the reader you made fun of a girl, put in your words and her response. It gives the reader the ability to react to the incident instead of a description of the incident.
6. Use ellipses, spacing, paragraphs to create a sense of timing: Appropriate timing is hard to create with the written word. Read my stories—I do it with the above stated devices. I try to give the reader the sense that I am in the room, telling them the story as if they were a close friend.
7. When in doubt, make fun of fat girls: Every comedian has his fall back joke or position, and mine is making fun of fat girls. Its just so easy and so much fun, and there are so many ways to do it, I can’t help myself. Besides, if I inspire one girl to lose weight, I’ve made the world a better place. And made it easier for the rest of us to get to the buffet.
I’ll never forget the moment I first heard the word “fratire.” I was on the phone with Warren St. John answering some follow-up questions for his piece on me and Maddox that was to run in the NY Times Style Section. I am paraphrasing, but I think the conversation went like this:
Tucker “So Warren, you going to give our fledging genre a cool new name?”
Warren “Yeah, I was thinking of calling it ‘fratire.”
Tucker “Great Holy Jesus. Warren, that is awful. First off, I wasn’t in a fraternity. Neither was Maddox. In fact, none of the writers you are profiling in your article was in a frat. Please, call it anything else…uh, how about Dick Lit?”
Warren “I don’t think the Times will print that. We’re going with fratire.”
And there it was. I had the chance to kill the fratire name, had I just come up with something more printable than Dick Lit, but I failed. Sorry folks.
Slightly inaccurate titles aside, “fratire” is not what the pundits and bloggers would have you believe. That is why I decided to write this piece; I was tired of people who hadn’t read our writing passing judgment on it and defining it in a way that served their ideological interests to the detriment of ours. It is time to set the record straight.
First off, if you have not read anything written by the two main players in the “fratire” genre, Maddox and I, then either go read at least some of our writing, or permanently excuse yourself from the debate. If you don’t want to buy our books, you can get plenty of free material on our sites. Mine is here, www.TuckerMax.com, and Maddox’s is here, www.thebestpageintheuniverse. com.
Seems easy enough, the idea that one should actually read what a person writes before commenting on their work? Well, perhaps not surprisingly, most of our critics have not bothered with that meddlesome detail. They spend 30 seconds surfing around, catch a glimpse of the word “bitch,” see some sentence about “drunken sex” or a rant about Maddox’s girlfriend changing the oil, and decide that’s all they need to read, they have completely figured us out, and we are quite obviously [misogynists/alcoholics/immature/pseudo-frat boys/vengeful/insert your favorite adjective here].
The problem is that they are all wrong. Fratire is not about misogyny. Fratire is not about drinking. Fratire is not about acting immature, or animosity towards women or fraternity life, or anything of these other things it is accused of being.
It is difficult to claim that, as a group, we are any one thing. The simple fact is that the fratirists are a set of very different writers with very different styles and messages. I am single, I like to have sex with lots of different women, I like to drink with my friends and have a good time and then write about it. That’s all I do; write true short stories about my nights out acting like an average twenty something. Maddox has had the same girlfriend for five years, rarely drinks, and likes to play computer games. Instead, he writes satire pieces mocking children’s artwork, and vegetarians. Another writer in the genre, Robert Hamburger, has an ingeniously subversive site and book devoted to how sweet ninjas are. A fourth, Frank Rich, writes exclusively about drinking and alcohol.
If our voices are so different, why is it that we have been lumped together under fratire? What is the common bond? It is very simple: Fratire is, at it’s essence, nothing more than men writing about being men in an honest and authentic way. I know that doesn’t seem all that radical, but sadly, in the PC world that we now live in, it very much is.
To understand why current culture is at the point where men being men is considered a radical notion, you need to understand how we got here. Feminism came in three “waves”; 1st Wave, which was suffrage (the right to vote), 2nd Wave, which was the 60’s and 70’s sexual and social revolution fought for inclusion, and 3rd Wave, which is what we have now. It emphasizes freedom of choice for women regardless of what decision they make, and it endorses everything from porn to girly culture.
Of course, First Wave feminism was a substantial human advancement. Aside from universal suffrage, only the rule of law and the scientific method have done more to advance the human condition. Second Wave feminism was also necessary at the time it began. It threw off the stifling societal bonds limiting women’s ability to be who they wanted to be and advance in fields they choose. However, Second Wave feminism went too far in some ways. While many women did want to take advantage of the new paths available to them and become scientists or CEO’s, many did not, and they didn’t enjoy feeling like failures simply because they chose to be stay-at-home moms or strippers or whatever.
The same was true for their sexuality. Because the Second Wave feminists fought for sexual equality against a patriarchal system that objectified them, as a result they sought to hold women to a standard of acting in accord with the gains they had won. But the Third Wave feminists did not want another set of rules, they wanted personal freedom, and some of them preferred the option of alternate sexual mores like bi-sexuality and sluttiness. This is why Third Wave feminism arose; it was a reaction against the oppression of the Second Wave. Plainly put, the Second Wave feminists were Jane Pauley and Gloria Steinem, and the Third Wave feminists were Britney Spears, Suicide Girls and Margaret Cho.
Why does any of this matter? Because feminism did not evolve in a vacuum. It interacted with and affected masculinity. Entire books could be written about this, but in short, men–especially in the media–reacted to Second Wave feminism by emasculating themselves and adopting a PC attitude that apologizes for nothing more than men being men. This attitude peaked in the early 90’s (around the same time that Third Wave feminism started). The idea that men had to pay not only for the sins of our fathers, but had to suffer for simply being a man became pervasive in mainstream media.
When any pendulum swings too far to one side, it eventually has to start coming back. The first major player to refuse to buckle to this trend was Howard Stern. The demand for such a voice was so strong that by simply refusing to kowtow to the PC police, he became the “King of All Media.” This is where fratire comes in. While Maddox and I are not Howard Stern, we do represent some of the first internet players in this anti-PC revolt, and fratire as a genre represents the non-mainstream literary reaction to the feminization of masculinity.
Masculinity is starting to slowly coming back in vogue, but the fight is only beginning. The fact is, at this point in entertainment history, the Second Wave feminists are the gatekeepers of media. The women who grew up in the 60’s are now in charge, and they quite literally run shit. By itself that is not a problem, but these 50-year-old women who hold so many positions of power in media companies have personal preferences that do not reflect many American attitudes. Fratire exists as a genre because people are hungry for someone to tell it like it actually is instead of how these women (and men to some extent) want it to be. There is a large and untapped segment of the American populace that want men to act like men, but the MSM, which is run by Second Wave feminists, doesn’t get this yet. They aren’t in touch anymore.
(As a slight aside, I would go so far as to say that many feminists, especially Second Wave feminists, actually HATE women. Not the minority of women who agree with them, but the majority of actual women in the world, the ones who wax their legs and wear high heels, who distance themselves from radical feminism and actually like men. The hard-core Second Wave feminists think so little of women that they are compelled to control them, tell them what’s acceptable to read or enjoy or think is funny and dictate whom it’s permissible to be attracted to, i.e. to tell them that they are supposed to hate Maddox and I because we aren’t pussy-whipped sycophants. Well fuck that. It is not an accident that at 30-40% of our fans are women. Ladies, unlike the feminist illuminati who disparage your personal choices when they don’t fall into line with their radical views, I will not ignore and disregard your decisions. I am glad you are reading my work and I personally welcome you as fans.)
This is not an issue of fratire writers being internet based and thus disregarded by the mainstream. Ana Marie Cox (Wonkette) got a two book deal with an advance over $500,000. Jessica Cutler (Washintonienne) got an advance of $240,000. My advance? $7500. Maddox’s? $7500. How did that turn out for the publishing world?
My book, “I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell” (www.ihopetheyservebeerinhell. com), just passed 60,000 books sold (in only six months) and spent two weeks as a NY Times Best Seller (and that was literally without one single book review in any publication of note). According to Book Scan, Ana Marie Cox (Dog Days) and Jessica Cutler (Washingtonienne) have-COMBINED-sold less than half that. And of course, neither ever hit any best seller list (Maddox’s numbers aren’t known, but he debuted at #4 on the NY Times Best Seller List, so I think we can safely say he will eventually outsell all of us).
What does all this mean? Well, aside from my ranting to get this off my chest, it means one very simple thing: Don’t believe the anti-fratire hype. If you read my work or Maddox’s work or any of the other fratire authors and dislike our writing on it’s merits, that is fine. Though fratire has a large audience, it’s not for everyone. But don’t dis the genre because you think that it’s anti-woman or misogynistic; it is not. At least give us the respect of judging our work as it is, not as some reactionary who hasn’t read it thinks it is.
Let me be even more clear: The last thing I want to do is define fratire in opposition to women or to feminism. It is not an accident that 30-40% of my fans are women. I do not imply that men’s interests run counter to women’s, or even that masculinity and feminism are mutually exclusive. They are not. Nor does fratire hold that feminism is bad, or that men are “superior” to women in some unspecified way. In fact, I very much agree with the basic tenet of feminism–that women are legally and morally equal to men and should have every opportunity that men do.
True masculinity is not about opposing femininity. In fact, femininity is essential to masculinity; it is the yin to our yang. Any real man values and desires women in his life, but men also want to stop being told that it’s not OK to be a man.
Of course, this begs the question: What does it mean to be a man?
Honestly, I don’t know the answer to that question. I definitely like to think of myself as a man, but I do not think that I am the model or definition of manhood that everyone should aspire to. Even though I cannot define manhood, I do know that we will never define it if we cannot discuss it openly and freely, without fear of being castigated or vilified for exploring the boundaries of these issues.
Just like Third Wave feminism arose to enable women to explore and define the different meanings femininity can have to different people, so has fratire spawned from the recesses of the internet to allow men to do the same thing with masculinity. At it’s core, fratire is just that: A literary genre that unapologetically lets men be men…whatever it is that means.
I used to think that Red Bull was the most destructive invention of the past 50 years. I was wrong. Red Bull has been usurped by the portable alcohol breathalyzer. The same device that cops have been using for 10 years to conduct field sobriety tests is now offered by the Sharper Image for $99. It is the size and shape of a small cell phone with a clear round tube sticking up from the top, almost like an antenna. One blows into the tube, and a few seconds later a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) reading is given. Though not as accurate as a blood test, they are accurate to within .01, which is good enough for my purposes.
I was living in Boca Raton, Florida, when I bought one to take out with me on a Saturday night. This is the story:
9:00pm: Arrive at the restaurant. I am the first one of the group there, even though our reservations are for 9pm. The restaurant is crowded full of the abysmal type of people that infest South Florida. Already depressed, I order a vodka and club soda.
9:08: No one else has arrived. I order another vodka and club. I consider checking my BAC, but doubt that it would show anything thus far.
9:10: Two 30+ year-old Jewish women on my left keep eyeing me. Both have fake breasts. One has exceptionally large fake breasts. They are beckoning me from her shirt. She is not highly attractive. I begin drinking faster.
9:15: No one else has arrived. I order my third vodka and club. While I wait for it, I try out my portable breathalyzer. I blow a .02. This is the greatest invention ever made. I am giddy. I show the breathalyzer to the fake-breasted Jewish women next to me. We begin a conversation.
9:16: They both have thick Long Island accents. I summon the bartender over and change my order to a tall double vodka on the rocks, splash of club.
9:23: Four people at the bar have tried my breathalyzer, both of the fake-breasted women included. Everyone wants to know their BAC. I am the center of attention. I am happy.
9:25: The first member of my group arrives. I show him the breathalyzer. He is enthralled. He buys a round. The fake-breasted women loudly inform us they would like drinks. My friend buys them drinks. I order a double vodka on the rocks. No splash.
9:29: I blow again, a .04. I’ve been drinking for half an hour, and am on my forth drink. My wheels of intellect begin grinding through the vodka haze that is already forming…four drinks…a .04…that must mean that each drink only adds .01 to my BAC. I begin to think that I can drink a lot. I tell one of the fake-breasted women that she is very interesting.
9:38: Six of the eight are here. I lie to the hostesses, and they seat our incomplete party. Everyone is talking about my breathalyzer. I am the focus of adulation. I forgive everyone for sucking so bad. I think this night may go OK after all.
9:40: I blow again, a .05. This confuses me. I haven’t ordered another drink since I blew a .04. I have a vague memory from a long distant D.A.R.E. class about the rate of alcohol absorption being constant, regardless of speed of drinking. This memory quickly fades when two hot girls at the table next to me inquire about my portable breathalyzer.
9:42: Hot girl #2 is into me. She begins telling me a story about how she got pulled over once for DUI, and had to blow into something like this, and the cop let her off. She tells me that she always wanted to be a cop, but couldn’t pass the entrance exam to the police academy, even though she took it twice. I tell her that she must be really smart. She stops paying attention to me. Hot girl #2 is apparently smart enough to detect thinly veiled sarcasm.
10:04: The novelty of the portable breathalyzer has passed. The table has moved on. I am no longer the center of attention. I am not happy with my table.
10:06: The people at my table begin talking about energy healing. Everyone is mesmerized by a girl who took a class in it. I tell them that energy healing is a worthless and solipsistic pseudo-science. They think energy healing is a real science because the instructor of the girl’s class went to Harvard. One guy calls it a “legitimate, certifiable science,” while making air quotes with his fingers. I tell them that they are all (while imitating his air quotes) “legitimate, certifiable idiots” because they believe in horse-shit like energy healing. Two girls call me close-minded. I tell them that they are so open-minded that their brains leaked out. They all glare at me with disapproval. I hate everyone at my table.
10:08: I have completely tuned out their inane conversation. I am slamming down straight vodka as fast as the low-rent wanna-be Ethan Hawke waiter can bring it. I blow every three minutes, watching my BAC slowly creep up.
10:17: .08. I am no longer legally eligible to drive in the state of Florida. I announce this fact to no one in particular.
10:27: I decide that I am going to see how drunk I can get and still be functional. I know that .35 BAC kills most people. I think that .20 is a good goal.
10:28: I get up, saying nothing to the seven sophists at my table, and go back to the bar. I don’t leave money for my drinks.
10:29: The fake-breasted women are still at the bar. They want drinks. Upset that I’m only at .09 after a good hour and a half of aggressive drinking, I decide to do a round of shots. I let the women pick the shots, with the explicit instruction that it cannot be whiskey, cannot smell like whiskey, cannot even resemble whiskey.
10:30: The shots arrive. Tequila. Judging by the bill, very good tequila. It is smooth. We order another round.
11:14: I blow a .15. I have passed a milestone. Only .05 away from my goal. My pride swells. I show everyone my .15. The bar crowd is impressed. I am their idol. Someone buys me a shot.
11:28: I feel queasy. I realize that I didn’t even stick around the table for dinner. Not wanting to either go back to my table or eat at the bar, I walk across the street to a sushi restaurant.
11:29: There is a lingerie party at the sushi restaurant. Half of the people are in some form of pajamas or other bedtime clothing. Everyone here sucks as bad as the last place, except they are in their underwear.
11:30: I am confused. I only want sushi. I stand at the door, mesmerized by the shifting masses of near nakedness. A mildly attractive girl who apparently works at the restaurant wants me to put on lingerie. I tell her I don’t have any. I just want some sushi. She says I should at least take off my pants. I ask her if this will get me sushi. She says it will. I take off my pants.
11:30: I pause while unzipping my pants, wondering what type of underwear, if any, I have on. I consider not taking my pants off. I realize that getting food quickly is more crucial than my dignity.
11:31: I take off my pants. I have on pink and white striped Gap boxers. They are too tight. I make sure my package is tucked in. People watch me do this.
11:32: I order sushi by pointing at the pictures and grunting.
11:33: I show a guy at the sushi bar my breathalyzer. He is impressed. He shows it to everyone. People begin congregating around me. I am a star again.
11:41: I blow a .17. I tell everyone my goal. Someone orders me a shot.
11:42: I do the shot. Something that has a familiar taste, makes me feel warm inside. I ask what it is. “Cognac and Alize.” There is a God, and he hates me.
11:47: My sushi arrives. I slosh soy sauce over it and shovel it into my mouth as quickly as my hands will get it there.
11:49: My sushi is finished. No one is paying attention to my table manners, as everyone is crowded around the breathalyzer, waiting their turn to find out their BAC.
12:18: I blow a .20. I AM A GOD. The sushi bar erupts. Men are applauding me. Girls are pining for me. Everyone wants to talk to me. I forgive them their flaws, as they are all paying attention to me.
12:31: My deity status is lost. Someone blows a .22. This is a challenge to my manhood. I order a depth charge with a Bacardi 151 shot. And a beer back. The crowd is in awe.
12:33: I finish the depth charge, and the beer. I talk shit to my challenger, “Who runs this bar now, BITCH??” The crowd erupts. Momentum has swung back in my direction. I am Maximus. I am winning the crowd. I will rule the sushi bar.
12:36: I take a better look at my challenger. He is a tall, broad-shouldered, heavily muscular man. His natural facial expression is not one of happiness. He quietly watches me, then orders a shot, throws it back without noticeable effect, and smiles at me. I consider that talking shit to him was a bad idea. At this point I also realize that my stomach is very upset with me. I ignore it. I still have a public that needs to adore me.
12:54: I blow a .22. Only mild cheers this time. Everyone is waiting for the challenger to blow.
12:56: He blows a .24. He smiles condescendingly at me. I order two more shots.
12:59: I do the first shot. It doesn’t go down well. I decide to take a short break from drinking. The crowd is not impressed.
1:10: Reality sets in. I am going to vomit. A LOT. I try to discreetly make it outside.
1:11: I knock a girl over as I sprint through the door.
1:11: I trip over a bush, stumble into it, and begin throwing up. Out of my mouth. And nose. It is not pleasant.
1:14: I can’t figure out why my legs hurt so much. I look down at them in between heaves. I have no pants on. Thorns and branches are embedded in my shins.
1:18: The vomiting is over. I am now trying to stop the bleeding. A bright light hits my eyes. I am not happy. I tell the owner to “get that fucking light out of my face.” The owner of the light identifies himself as an officer of the law. I apologize to the officer, and ask him what the problem is. A long pause ensues. The light is still in my eyes. “Son, where are your pants?” Remembering past encounters with the law, and realizing there is no one around to bail me out of the county lock-up, I summon every bit of adrenaline in my body to sober myself up. I apologize again, and explain to the officer that my pants are in the restaurant that is less than 50 feet away, and that I came outside to share my sushi with the bush. He doesn’t laugh. Another long pause. “You’re not driving tonight are you?”, “Oh, NO, NO, NO…no sir, I don’t even have a valid driver’s license.”
1:20: He tells me to go back inside, put on my pants, and call a cab.
1:21: I go back into the sushi restaurant. A few people stare at me in a peculiar manner. I look down, and then tuck my partially exposed sack back into my boxers. I don’t know what to do about my bleeding legs. I look around for my pants.
1:24: I can’t find my pants. My breathalyzer is in clear sight. I blow. A .23. Someone informs me that my challenger just blew a .26. They add that he hasn’t thrown up yet. I tell them to “kiss my fucking ass.” My last clear memory.
8:15am: I wake up. I don’t know where I am. It is very hot. I am sweating horribly. It smells like rotting flesh.
8:16: I am in my car. With the windows up. The sun is beating down directly on me. It is at least 125 degrees in my car. I open the door and try to get out, but instead I fall onto the pavement. The scabs that cover my legs tear and reopen as I move. My penis falls out of my pink Gap boxers and lands, along with the rest of me, in a dirty puddle on the asphalt.
8:19: The fetid standing water finally propels me into full consciousness. I can’t find my pants. Or cell phone. Or wallet. But I do have my breathalyzer. I blow. A .09. I am still not eligible to drive in the state of Florida.
8:22: I drive home anyway.
Let me be clear about this night: it was in my top 5 drunkest nights ever. I was completely shit-housed. I threw up multiple times, some of them through my nose. JESUS CHRIST, I WOKE UP blowing a .09. That’s fucking ridiculous. That thing is awful. All you do is drink in order to increase your BAC. That device is the devil dressed in a transistor.
My advice to you: avoid it at all costs.
I gotta be honest: I was not a fan of most of the music in the movie. But in order to put a popular song in a movie, you generally have to pay a LOT of money, and we just didn’t have it to spend.
That being said, we’ve gotten a lot of questions about the music in the movie, people asking who sings a certain song or what song is being used for what scene, because they apparently did like the music.
This kinda makes me laugh: Do people not know that in every single movie ever made, all the songs and singers are in the end credits?
I guess not, because I’ve gotten enough inquiries to put this post up. Here is every song in the movie, in the order they occur in the movie:
“I Like It, I Love It”
Ra Ra Riot
“Wild at Heart”
“All Night Long”
“Too Much Too Young Too Fast”
“Dance With Me”
“This is Not a Game”
“World Goes Round”
Fredro, feat. Mook
Young Dre the Truth
“One in a Grillion”
“Round and Round”
“Do It Like I Done It”
Mike Hee, Spark Dawg and Yung Texxus
“Spend It On Ya”
Kenni Ski, Greedy D, Clarkent, T. Smidi
“Can You Feel Me”
“Take My Breath Away”
“Someone Like You”
“How to Be Alone”
“Quartet for Strings in C Major, Empero”
Jim Long/Franz Haydn
“See the World”
“Laugh, Love, Fuck”
If you notice, there is one song on there you won’t be able to find anywhere else: “One in a Grillion” performed by Paul Wall, and written by Nils Parker and me.
Well, since Nils and I own the publishing, and Paul owns the performance rights, I just realized that, unlike the movie or stuff like that, we can actually release this song for free under a creative commons license. So here you go, the Grillionaire/Paul Wall Song from the movie (if that link doesn’t work, try here). If you like it, feel free to send it to other people or post it places or whatever.
But as you listen to the song, remember that this thing was written as if sung by the rapper Grillionaire, and is supposed be a parody of rappers. The lyrics are intended to be ridiculous, though it’s kinda hard to parody rappers at this point; they do a good enough job on their own. If you can’t get them from the song, they are below:
“One in a Grillion”
performed by Paul Wall, written by Nils Parker and Tucker Max
I don’t touch nothing smaller than 20s yo,
cuz George Washingtons smell like poverty, ho
I got more Franklins than the mint, more Jacksons than Joe
The only coins that I like are the ones made out of gold
Like the chocolates in foil and that bitch that’s really old.
I don’t never give no skrilla to a ho
I got kimodo skin interior and ice on my whip,
I don’t give none of my skrilla to a bitch.
The Escalade dome light’s a danglin’ fixture
And the screens in the headrests got picture in picture
With mink on the seats and gator in the dash
It’s a luxury turducken stuffed full of cash.
Ice whips hoes money
Ice whips hoes money
Ice whips hoes money
Ice whips hoes money
They my four food groups and go down just like honey.
If you ever had a taste you’d know how I’m feelin’
But you don’t cuz I’m one in a grillion.
We wrote several more verses with the intent of doing a whole legit song, but we didn’t have the time or money to get it done the way we needed to. And we did a whole other song that I think is even better, but we’re keeping those in the pocket, just in case the DVD sales keep doing as well as they are, and we end up doing a sequel.
The DVD is now out in stores. You can get it at Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Amazon, and pretty much any other place that sells DVDs.
The good news is that the DVD is selling great already. Amazon sold out of their stock almost immediately, and had to be over-nighted a huge second shipment (they are back ordered right now, but should be out of that soon). I have also had fans email me about a ton of places that were sold out on the first day. And apparently, the Netflix que for the movie is so long, it lists it as “Very long wait.”
But that’s also the bad news. I have had a ton of people email me pissed off because they had to go to two or three stores to find a place that hadn’t sold out, or they didn’t get the pre-ordered DVD from Amazon the first day because they were oversold.
Look, I am sorry about this, but it is not my fault, and there is nothing I can do about it. I had nothing to do with the distribution or advertising for the DVD; that is all Fox. The things that went right and went wrong are on them. Clearly I want everyone to be able to get a copy of the DVD, but sometimes things sell out or go wrong in the short term. In the long term, I am sure they’ll get as many DVD’s into the stores as people want to buy.
-Also, a few people have emailed me saying their DVD’s are skipping parts. This happens sometimes with DVD’s; just take them back and exchange them for one that works. Again, this sucks and I’m sorry, but there is nothing I can do besides tell you to exchange it.
-If you bought or rented the DVD, I would like to thank you. For real; it means a lot to everyone who worked on the movie that so many people have liked it. We may not have promoted and marketed the movie correctly, but we made a great movie, and so far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
-And if you liked the movie so much that you want to see sequels, then tell your friends about the movie. We probably need to sell about two million DVD’s before we start to seriously consider a sequel. I think we can definitely do that–my book has already sold 1.2 million copies, and DVD’s usually sell WAY more than books–but we need your help. If you like it, talk about it and tell your friends. The more it sells and rents, the more likely we are to make a sequel.
-I talked about this earlier, about how I thought it would be funny and kinda cool to put my phone number in the movie. I knew it would get out that its in there and some people would call me or text me, but I truly had no idea the result would be like this. At this point, I have thousands of voicemails in my Google Voice account, and so many texts they routinely crash my iphone and are taking up more storage on my iphone than the pictures on it. This is comical. The phone is almost unusable now because of how many incoming texts and calls it’s getting. Hopefully it levels off.
-And yes–if you text or call that number, and get a response, it’s actually me. I do have an assistant, but I would never farm out interactions with my fans to anyone else. If you ever get an email or a text back from me, or I answer the phone, it’s me. I don’t guarantee I will respond to anything–I jut don’t have the time to do that–but if you do get a response, it’s actually me.
-And just an FYI: I finalized the book release schedule for my next book, Assholes Finish First, with Simon and Schuster, and they will be putting out a press release tomorrow or Friday. As soon as they do, I will put up a big post about the next book, the accompanying tour, and various other things.
The DVD is officially supposed to come out on January 26th in the US, and is available for pre-order right now on Amazon, but there are a ton of places you can buy it or watch it now. I am hearing from multiple people that:
-The actual physical DVD is already on shelves in parts of Canada
-It’s out on Ninjavideo
-It’s out on the Playstation network
-You can watch it now with Amazon’s “Buy and watch now,” in some parts of the US and with certain ISP’s.
-It’s shipping on Netflix
-And yes, like all movies, this movie is available on Torrent sites, which means you can pirate it.
Instead of pretending the piracy elephant in room doesn’t exist, I will address my thoughts on it. Now, these are my thoughts and my thoughts alone, and do not represent the views of Darko, Fox, or probably anyone else working on this movie:
OF COURSE I want us to sell as many DVD’s as possible for numerous reasons, the first being that if we sell millions of DVD’s, then we get into profitability, and that means we start getting checks. Which is nice. But what’s even more important to me than the money, is that selling millions of DVD’s means two things: 1. People like the movie, and 2. we will be able to make sequels.
We did poorly theatrically because we failed at marketing and distribution. Across the board we failed–our strategy was a flawed one, and we didn’t execute as well as was necessary, and many of our marketing techniques and assumptions were wrong, and flat out, we did not have anywhere near enough money to execute the strategy we tried to execute. Granted, even though we were trying something that is for all intents and purposes impossible in this day and age–a truly independent distribution–I still thought we could pull it off. Maybe if everything had be done perfectly we could have, but that is not what happened.
But none of that means anything about the movie itself. The movie itself is a very different thing than the distribution and marketing, and I think we made a great movie, something that can be like a Donnie Darko or Boondock Saints or Office Space and find an audience and commercial success after it’s theatrical run.
But in order to do that, this movie needs to be seen by as many people as possible. If that means buying the DVD, if that means renting it from Netflix, if that means you buy it used, if that means you watch a friends copy, whatever–I want as many people as possible to watch the movie, however they have to watch it. I would prefer people pay, but I am not going to pretend that it’s not out there for free on the internet, because it is. And I am not going to pretend that some people aren’t going to download it, because they are, and if by downloading it for free and watching, then someone decides they like it and buy the DVD, that is awesome. Or by downloading it and watching it, someone loves it and tells 100 people, many of whom see it and buy it, that is great. If pirating means it gets seen by more people than would have otherwise seen it, then, well–I’m not going to be pissed about that, because I believe it will, in the end, sell more DVD’s and be more profitable for everyone involved.
There is plenty of precedent for this in movies, and one in my life too: My book started off pretty decently for a book, and on the back of my website fanbase, sold 70k copies in its first year. That is very solid for a book, but nothing spectacular. Four years later, I have now sold over 1 million books and the book has become a classic. That massive and exponential increase in sales happened not because I tried to control my content, but because of two things: 1. Positive word of mouth about the product, and 2. I gave away a ton of it at my website, so people could see if they liked it. I hope the movie can follow a similar trajectory, and if it does it partially because piracy helped people learn about it, well–I’ll take success however it comes.
Some other notes:
-When it drops, it should be out in pretty much any normal store that sells DVD’s; Target, Best Buy, Blockbuster, etc, etc, as well as of course online.
-No Blu-ray: There will be no Blu-Ray of this movie, at least not right now. If the DVD sells really well, then we will not only do a Blu-Ray, but we’ll add a commentary track with me and Nils (and maybe even the real SlingBlade, which would be funny as hell).
-Added value on the DVD: The DVD does have deleted scenes from the movie. I have to be honest, I haven’t even seen the deleted scenes as they are laid out on the DVD yet, but I have seen them all in the editing room, and like pretty much all deleted scenes–they are deleted for a reason.
-Easter Egg: You may remember this post about the big easter egg in the movie. Well, it’s still there, and it’s still my phone number. Now look, because of this I get SO MANY CALLS I don’t really answer calls from numbers that aren’t already programmed into my phone, but sometimes I do respond to texts. NOT ALWAYS, but if I am in the mood or bored, I will. So if you get a response, it’s from me.
-Some other things, unrelated to the movie:
1. I will have an update about my next book, Assholes Finish First, probably on Tuesday or Wednesday. I am in NYC right now meeting with my publisher to sort out final details.
2. Lots of cool things coming this year, the best way to find out about them for now is to follow me on Twitter. TuckerMax.com will be undergoing a big site re-design soon, but until then, Twitter, or even Facebook, are easiest.
Alright, the domestic theatrical run of the movie is wrapping up, and I have a few thoughts, but let me get the relevant announcements out of the way first:
-Canadian release is locked in for November 13th, and yes, as far as I know it’s still only Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary.
-The UK release is still slated for January 1st, and again, I am hoping to get over there to do press. No additional info.
-The DVD comes out domestically in January, not sure of the exact date yet.
As far as personal travel plans, here are the things I have locked down:
-I’ll be in Austin, Texas to go to the UT/UCF game on November 7th. I was supposed to go to the Tech game when I was in Austin on the movie tour, but was too exhausted, but I got offered tickets to this game, so I’m going back and making up for earlier.
-I’ll be in Toronto on November 10th doing press for the movie.
-I’m going to be in Cancun from November 22nd through November 27th for the Cancun Challenge college basketball tournament. So excited to sit courtside and watch Kentucky torch a bunch of scrub teams.
-I’m going to be in Ireland the first week of February, and you won’t believe why. I am not say why I’m going yet, but it is ridiculous and awesome. I didn’t even believe the offer when I first got it, but once I realized it was legit, I was on it.
-Also planning a big trip to Brazil, and maybe Buenos Aires, later that month.
Now, as to the movie itself:
We are going to wrap up our domestic theatrical run with about 1.5 million in gross receipts. No question, that is way way less than anything I was hoping or predicting that the movie would do. In fact, it’s less than 10% of my bottom-basement prediction for what the movie would do. So this of course raises the question: How the fuck was I so far off in my predictions?
The movie has been out a month and we have all had a chance to soberly reflect on what happened and why I wasn’t just a little bit off, I was off by several orders of magnitude. To be that far off, there has to be some sort of major thing that went wrong, something so crucial that it’s nothing can make up for its absence.
It’s actually pretty clear what happened, and I was sitting in a bar with some people cycling through all the things we did right and wrong about two weeks ago, when something happened that crystallized the problem perfectly. This girl recognized me in the bar and came running up:
Girl: Oh my god you are Tucker Max! This is SO exciting! I am your biggest fan, your book is so awesome!
Tucker: Thank you, glad you liked it.
Girl: I mean, I have read it like 100 times and recommended it to all my friends, and now it’s like our bible! I can’t believe you are here! Can I get a picture?
Tucker: [getting awkward] Of course.
Friend: So, what’d you think about the movie?
Girl: Movie? What movie? There’s a movie of the book?
Tucker: Are you kidding?
Girl: When is it coming out? I am SO excited for it! I bet it’ll be great! Who is playing you?
My heart sank. I wanted to get pissed and snap at this girl, but she hadn’t done anything wrong. I mean, when someone who identifies themselves as a huge fan, who has read the book and passed it to their friends and self-identifies as this type of person, when the movie is IN THEATERS and they don’t even know there is a movie at all…that is a complete failure in the publicity and marketing of the movie.
It’s not like that was the first indication of the massive breakdown in marketing and publicity for the movie. The evidence for this is everywhere. I mean shit, we only spent a few million dollars distributing the movie, were never in more than like 250 theaters, and never even cracked the 50% awareness barrier…AMONG MY OWN FANS! I don’t want to go through it, because it’ll just be depressing, but the failures in marketing were just…big. Unrecoverable.
If I had been either experienced enough or honest enough to look at and understand the evidence in front of me, it was obvious from an early point that this was going to happen. I could go on and on about the issues we had, and and now in hindsight, so many of them are so transparently clear and obvious it is annoying that we didn’t see them at the time. Part of it was a lack of experience, part was naive optimism, and part was straight up malfeasance by certain parties involved with the movie. There will come a time when Nils and I will clearly outline and describe what happened and why, but honestly, I don’t feel like doing it now, both for personal and political reasons. The fact is, the movie did poorly at the box office because we as a group failed at one of the most, if not he most, important aspect of making a successful movie: Marketing that movie.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that losing this battle does not mean the war is over or lost. Many many great movies that got no attention at the box office became classics by doing great on DVD, and there is no doubt in my mind that is what is going to happen with this movie. I’ve seen every reaction, read every email, seen every review, and talked to more people about this movie than anyone else. No one has been more on the ground and seen more actual audience reaction than me. I know what real people who have actually seen the movie think about it, and it’s going to do great, given enough time. The same thing happened with the book. I mean, my book only sold 70k copies it’s first year out, and those only to people who were already fans of the website. Three years and 1+ million copies sold later, I am now a huge literary star. Movie studios may be evil and stupid, but the motherfuckers can do something I can’t do yet: Promote and market the fuck out of a movie.
But it’s OK. The fact still remains that we made a great movie, a movie that I am very proud of, and a movie that the vast majority of people who saw, loved. And I believe that it will stand the test of time and end up becoming a classic and sell for years, just like the book has. Doing poorly at the box office sucks right now, but in ten years when “I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell” is one of the best selling DVD’s of all time and spawned hugely successful sequels, etc, etc…well, I think everything will end up fine.