It started as a fleeting thought as I walked through the turnstile of the Magic Kingdom at about 11:30 pm. What would Dave make of all this?
My wife and I were chaperons for my school’s trip to Grad Nite, an annual all-night party for the year’s graduating seniors. Eighteen-year-olds from all over Southern California flock there for a night of fun and frivolity to celebrate their commencement and new-found freedom.
As we fought our way through the crowds and onto Main Street, I was reminded of scenes from some of Dave’s travel essays: “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again,” “Getting Away From Already Being Pretty Much Away From It All,” “Consider the Lobster,” to name a few. The ironies, the absurdities, the things young people do in the name of a good time. The contexts and details were different, but what I witnessed of my fellow man that evening couldn’t have been that far from what he witnessed and documented years ago.
On a whim, I wrote a brief email to my fellow Fantods on Wallace-l to share these thoughts. Replies came from those who had shared my experience as Grad Nite chaperons, as well as from those who had witnessed other local fares and festivities and wondered the same thing. What would Dave have to say about all this?
The discussion grew and evolved, and at one point someone threw out the idea of starting a group blog through which we could explore the ironies and foibles of the human condition through our own creative non-fiction. George, a long-time participant on the Wallace-l discussion board, sent out an email soliciting participation in a group blog, desiring to make the casual comment into a reality. I replied, offering to not only contribute essays to the blog but also to help manage the blog. After some back-and-forth about the logistics, the idea became real.
Supposedly Fun Things… is an outlet for writers to attempt to view the world around them and articulate their observations in a way that aspires to DFW’s style and methods. We are not copycats or imitators, but rather we allow ourselves to be influenced by his writing and the aspects that make it unique.
So while I continue the Letters project, I will also help in facilitating Supposedly Fun Things… (the name taken from the title of Dave’s essay about a week-long Caribbean cruise). I invite you to read what others have already shared with us, and if you are so daring, to contribute some work of your own. However you participate, I know you’re in for a treat.
Join us at Supposedly Fun Things…