24 June 2006

authorless events at Wild Rumpus

The American Booksellers Association website carries an article about "authorless author events" at Wild Rumpus, a children's bookstore in Minneapolis.

What gets children more excited than authors? Well, potato chips, for one thing. Sometimes just one potato chip. Or a scrap of a potato chip that hasn't been lying on the floor too long.

But if you're a bookstore, potato chips would get the covers all greasy. Instead, Wild Rumpus offers...doll mutilation!

"Mummify Your Barbie" is one of Wild Rumpus' most popular events. An archaeologist discusses and demonstrates the mummification process, and attendees each practice on their own Barbie. "The highlight is cutting off her hair. Every little girl wants to cut the hair off her Barbie," said Morgan. "The appeal of the workshop is not only curiosity about the whole mummification process. There's something deeply satisfying about mutilating a Barbie."
It's true. Forbes says so.
Wild Rumpus provides the Barbie dolls, which it buys in bulk, and does not charge for the event.
Well, that's no fun--mummifying a Barbie that doesn't belong to anyone! Isn't the real appeal of Valley of the Kings Barbie playing with your sister's doll?
To find an archaeologist, she recommended approaching the archaeology department of a local university. "People are usually pretty excited to [visit the bookstore] because it's a chance to connect with a totally different population than they see every day. . . . And if someone tells you no, don't take it personally. What the hell, just find another archaeologist."
They're always hanging around, after all. Unlike authors.

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