The Tea House: Guest Post with Justin Grimbol
By Justin Grimbol
Most people can’t write drunk. I sure as fuck can’t. The only thing I can do drunk is make bad (I mean awesome) jokes and grab asses without feeling bad about it. I’m sure some people can write drunk. It seems fully possible. And if you can, it sounds really fun. But I prefer to do other things drunk and I prefer to write first thing in the morning, when I’m still sleepy and stinky and very sober.
But I love doing readings slightly drunk. And I like the crowd to be more than slightly drunk. Why do so many readings take place in coffee shops and libraries? Those are the worst places. There’s NO booze. My best readings have been at bars or house parties. Why? Cause people are drunk. Drunk people make a great audience. They are rowdy and like to laugh. They keep things lively, and are incredibly receptive.
When writing, I think it’s important to keep drunk people in mind. My new book, The Party Lords, just got published by Grindhouse Press. I like to describe it as being like Sixteen Candles and Deliverance had a baby and that baby is drunk and wants to dry hump your leg. I wrote it wanting it to be thoughtful and sweet and endearing, but my real dream for this book is for a bunch of friends to be sitting around drunk, find a copy of it, read it out loud to each other and then laugh their asses off. That would be pretty awesome. Maybe they would like the book so much they would read it again in the morning when they are all hungover. Maybe the sappy parts would make the cry a little. Like little cry babies. I’m getting all teary- eyed just thinking about people crying while reading my book.
So here’s the exercise: write a short story meant to be read aloud to drunk people. Invite over some friends and get them drunk. Read your story. See what your friends find funny. Talk about the story afterwords. Drunk people are great critics.
Justin Grimbol grew up in Sag Harbor, New York. He was raised by Presbyterian ministers. He attended Green Mountain College, and majored in partying.