Saturday, July 09, 2011


This is what I wrote about it for Page 99.

Then, the caption:

BARROOM SCENE BY WILLIAM SIDNEY MOUNT, 1835

Happy times in a simple tavern. As always, a wait for the bathroom.

I have never looked at this caption without laughing out loud. I know it’s not cool to laugh at your own jokes but, since it’s not my joke, it’s okay. It was produced in the sleep-deprived editing stages, by my husband who added it, I think, as a joke, to wake me up and distract me from my bleary-eyed editing. I then put it in as a joke for my editor to see, thinking he might remove it. He never did. At the page-proof stage, I had a pang of remorse and wrote the assistant. She passed it on, but it was (obviously) never removed. I guess everyone liked it, perhaps for the same reasons I do.

Namely, that it’s one of the few jokes in the book. One person reviewed my book and called it “pun-laden,” which made me want to go back and read it again, to see what puns I had in there! The point is, since this book is an attempt to treat bars seriously – as radical political spaces and valuable community centers – it’s not like a lot of alcohol books, which are pretty firmly planted in the humor branch of writing. In America Walks into a Bar, I strive for levity, but not jokes, per se. But we snuck this one in – as a reward for the careful caption reader.

And here's the link to the Page 99 Test, in case anyone wants to read the entire entry:http://page99test.blogspot.com/2011/06/christine-sismondos-america-walks-into.html