I would like to say that I was aware of Tucker Max long before he was ever in print. On account of how I’m such a spectacularly plugged-in girl on the interwebs. The truth is that there are massively high traffic sites which somehow never have audiences intersect. In actuality, I was stuck in the Phoenix airport when visiting my family and, strangely enough, the Phoenix airport actually has a pretty good Borders. Which even more strangely contained a book with a sleek black cover featuring a gentleman with an antisocial smirk holding, I believe, a bottle and a bottle blonde with her visage replaced with a Your Face Here sign. The title was the clever I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. I bought it along with a stack of noir novels.
Tucker Max’s I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell chronicles the author’s drunken and salacious exploits. He came of age as the offspring of a South Beach restauranteur. From his writing, I gather his taste thus unsurprisingly runs to big-titted blondes with fit but not skinny bodies. Mildly Southern demeanor potentially a plus. Too bad for him that his intelligence level is off-the-scale brilliant. Tucker Max has raised hitting on drunk human sluts to the art form, or perhaps sport, of a more advanced species.
He comes across to some reviewers as a misogynist. He does tend to refer to women as filthy whores and mention that they owe him a rib. The following excerpt from a tale of a horseracing tailgate party drinking contest is a pretty representative exchange from his book:
1:58: She raises the first shot and gives me a toast, “Give me chastity and give me continence – but not yet . . . St. Augustine!” All her little friends laugh and cheer. Amateurs.
1:59: I raise my shot, “This is for all the bitches, ho’s and tricks, I’d wouldn’t talk to any of you, if I didn’t have a dick . . . Tucker Max. Everyone laughs.
2:00: One of the girls asks me, “Who is Tucker Max?”
2:10: Two shots later, my female opponent bows out of the shot contest. I taunt her mercilessly, “You may be able to vote and drive, but you’ll never be equal!” I am not a gracious winner.
2:11: One of her little friends comes up to me. She is cute with short hair and thick black framed glasses. She is pissed:
Girl: That was really sexist.”
Tucker: No it wasn’t, it was a joke. If I had said that women are nothing but life support for pussy, now THAT would be sexist.”
Girl: “Excuse me?”
Tucker: “If I had called her a hot mouth, that would be sexist too. Or, if I said that the only thing going for her is that she’s 98.6 degrees and has two wet holes, that would be very sexist. But I didn’t say those things, did I?”
Tucker: “Uh oh! Did I piss you off? Are you going to write angsty poetry?!?”
Women in the stories Tucker recounts also tend to say things along the lines of, “I can’t believe how funny I think you are and I’m a girl.” It is my opinion that they are either (a) easily manipulated chicks or (b) missing the fucking point. I’m not delusional, so I’m well aware that some people look at my own work and aren’t aware of anything deeper than quality photos of punk genitalia and gothic boobies, although there is more to it. But I do understand that sometimes pervy sex is the common denominator for a reason. Sure, Tucker regularly points out how much pussy he has thrown at him 24/7 and how great he is at acquiring even difficult pussy. His writing career started when he first launched his site as a dating application. Some chicks will always be attracted to a guy they believe other chicks want. Some guys will be impressed by any dude who claims to have laid miles of pipe. Although I went through a phase in the late 80’s where I liked to tie up blonde boys from good families, that was a long time ago, so some people will undoubtedly be surprised that I am such a huge fan of Tucker Max’s writing that I told my panelmates at the recent SXSW confab that I’d be late getting to the green room for our panel because I was going to watch Tucker Max speak at his first. Then again, readers who really got BLT, the antisocial punk rock humor zine I did in DC, well, I think they will understand the Tucker Max appeal.
The point is not that Tucker Max is a hard-drinking vanilla guy who has frequent sex with varied partners. The point is that his writing is brilliant, articulate, painfully insightful, and totally fearless and he is able to find the humor in absolutely anything. John Hargrave of Zug.com, the moderator of Tucker’s one man SXSW panel From Blog to Book called the author “a promiscuous drunken Tolstoy.” To give you an idea of the Zug perspective, my horoscope on the site today suggests I “Call a hardware store and whisper “stucco” into the phone over and over. “Stucco stucco stucco stucco stucco.” If they hang up, simply call back.” I used to manage an adult boutique where callers sometimes attempted this sort of thing. They might as well have been saying “stucco” for all the impact it had on folks who sold lingerie and vibrators, although only the serious submissives called back to speak with the manager, once I got through with them. At the end of the From Blog to Book panel, John Hargrave was kind enough to pour healthy doses of something called Tucker Max Death Mix. The ingredients of which are apparently Everclear, Lemon-Lime Gatorade, and Red Bull. No wonder so many Tucker Max Drunk stories entail such copious amounts of vomit.
Tucker Max claims to have little formal idea how to write properly. This is debatable as he went to both U Chicago and Duke Law. Both good schools. But he assured his SXSW audience that he has no clue how to use commas, confuses forms of the word ‘too’, and doesn’t really consider himself a writer. He says he tries not to consider his audience when writing, to just concentrate on telling his story in his own authentic way. “I write in my authentic voice,” he says. Oh yeah, and then he works on trimming the fat from his work. But the authenticity is key.
According to Tucker Max’s business card, the name of his company is Rudius Media. According to the Rudius web site, “a rudius is a wooden sword, given by the Roman Emperor to a gladiator upon attainment of his freedom.” It may be happy coincidence that this is probably also a play on the word ‘rude’, but whatever. The best thing about Tucker Max’s writing is the sense of abandonment, the extreme freedom. He’ll tell you his ferocious opinion of some lesser person that himself and he’ll tell you his dick is average in size, although a bit large to put in a midget or a small girl’s colon. He may be coy about whether he has ever done cocaine in Vegas, but he’ll tell you how much hostile fun he is on absinthe. He’ll detail how he drove a mildly inconsiderate girl’s car through the storefront of a donut shop. He’ll pressure all the law firms in Silcon Valley into raising their salaries for summer interns by posting sock puppet conversations with himself on Infirmation.com. He’ll tell girls he is in a Christian rap band and coerce his friends into playing along. He’ll get accidentally pepper-sprayed during the sex act. He’ll bring friends in Special Ops to a politically left wing cocktail party. He’ll get thrown out of IHOP. He’ll get thrown out of Denny’s. He’ll get thrown out of Mickey D’s. And he’ll pretty shamelessly tell you – and everyone else – about it. Although his book has been out for more than a year now, he says it is still selling a remarkable 2,000 copies a week to people like me who are just discovering him. He says he designed the flawlessly appropriate book cover himself too. Tucker Max challenges the SXSW audience to check his numbers on Bookscan because everything he says is true and this is one outlandish tale which is verifiable.
And why, you may ask, was I at the airport, while visiting my family, buying noir novels and I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell? All happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
Actually, I have a pretty happy family, as these things go, but that just seemed like such an elegant literate way to close that I almost couldn’t help myself. Of course, now I fucked it all up with the disclaimer.
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