The February edition of SayWha?!, a monthly evening of “readings of deliciously rotten writing” held at the groovy Cottage Bistro on Main Street in Vancouver, was emceed by Sara Bynoe, a lovely young woman in a sleek white dress who was brash and funny and dropped a lot of F-bombs.

She warmed up the already high-energy audience with choice bits from TextAppeal—for Girls!—The Ultimate Texting Guide by Michael Masters, a “douche-bag author” (Kindle), including his advice on questions such as Why isn’t he texting you back?? and quotations from Amazon customer reviews, such as “Any woman armed with this knowledge will certainly have a TON more SATISFYING dates, with a TON more men.”

Bynoe then passed the mike to Brad McNeil, a comedian, who read some excruciating passages from The Woman I Was Born to Be, a memoir by Susan Boyle (you remember), and pointed out that she need not have structured the days before that first appearance on Britain’s Got Talent as a cliffhanger. McNeil then produced Miley Cyrus’s autobiography (hoots from audience members—autobiog? Cyrus was seventeen when the book came out), pointed out the first chapter, titled “Before the Before” (groans), and read a few items from Cyrus’s bucket list, including “Dig a well in Indonesia” and “Get married/Have kidz” (screams of agony). And so on, with fine food and glasses of beer. All in good fun, though one hopes never to be a subject of it.

At one point Bynoe invoked past targets—including, said she in that OK-you-will-not-buh-leev-this voice, an old Canadian novel about a woman making out with a bear. Eek! But then, as Will Rogers (or someone) said, everything is funny when it happens to somebody else. Take a look:

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Mary Schendlinger is a writer, editor, retired teacher of publishing and, as Eve Corbel, a maker of comics. She was Senior Editor of Geist for twenty-five years. She lives in Vancouver.


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