Books, Bubbles, and Bevacqua at Quimby’s

May 1, 2010

The first of a few Cardboard Gods book events planned for the next few weeks happened a couple days ago at Quimby’s Bookstore in Chicago without any loss of life or limb, as far as I know. I was pretty nervous, being a guy who gets socially anxious when I’m riding on the public city bus and it’s time for me to pull the cord for my stop (who needs the white hot light of that kind of fellow-rider attention?!?), but I ended up having a great time. Thanks so much to everyone who showed up, and to Quimby’s for being a gracious, friendly host and such a good bookstore (despite the purpose of the reading being, I guess, to sell my own book, I ended up walking out a little poorer in the wallet as Quimby’s put its usual bite on me in the form of my purchase of recent books by two of my favorite writers, Denis Johnson’s Nobody Move and Daniel Clowes’ Wilson).

Below are some photos from the evening, including some of the thrilling action in the post-reading 2010 Kurt Bevacqua/Greater Chicago Bush League Bubble Gum Blowing Championship.


I employ the ol’ “explainin’ hand” as Steve Garvey looks on.








In the post-reading competition that was an homage to Kurt Bevacqua and the 1975 Joe Garagiola/Bazooka Big League Bubble Gum Blowing Championship, the eventual champion, a longtime reader of the blog named Bill, throws down the gauntlet in the semifinals. Bevacqua is unmoved.









The awards ceremony: 

As I handed over the championship prize of a copy of the book to Bill, I was actually trying to fix my expression into one of awe at his unparalleled willingness to sacrifice his face and dignity in the pursuit of legendary bubbles, but instead I look like I’m shaking the hands of someone who has just worked up a copious sweat by sprinting naked down Michigan Avenue.  

In truth, I was really glad to talk to Bill and everyone else there. Bill, who had already bought his own copy, had me sign the book he won to a childhood friend who had hooked him on baseball cards and whom he hasn’t been in touch with for years. It made me happy to think the book might help them reconnect.


  1. I like big card blow-ups. Fancy. That Steve Garvey one is a perfect subject.

  2. How fitting to have Kurt pictured as one of the airbrushed Mariners. How fitting to have an airbrushed Mariner that never played for the Mariners!

    I forgot Kurt was a throw in when the Rangers traded Mike Hargrove for Oscar Gamble.

  3. I like the case of Old Style in the second picture, Josh. Nice touch!

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