Tuesday night, nerds finally got their chance to go to The Box, the somewhat exclusive nightclub where celebrities used to canoodle. But that was a lifetime ago, and now, the common folk can drop in—Accompanied, of course.
The patron saint of the four-eyed, the guide who shepherded them through an event photographed by Patrick McMullan’s agency, was noted supporter of the arts, Brooke Geahan of the Accompanied Literary Society, whose web site boasts it brings together “authors, journalists, artists, intellectuals, tastemakers and cultural influencers” and it gives its members an actual membership key. The Society’s renowned for Gatsby-esque soirees which toss together Ivanka Trump and Heather Graham with the ink-stained likes of Jonathan Ames and Lewis Lapham.
That night, the Society hosted a reading of Ladies And Gentlemen, The Bible! in support of This American Life contributor Jonathan Goldstein, who sat nestled in one of the banquets—which a fellow normally has to buy a thousand-dollar bottle of bubbly to rest his tuchus on—with Ira Glass and Sarah Vowell. Our hostess air kissed dashing young novelist Nick Antosca as we chatted, but quickly flitted away in her Grecian cocktail dress before we could be introduced.
Like every evening when non-regulars crowd The Box, there were murmurs of the sex shows that allegedly took place here—something about Beyonce and a private room and lesbians. But with so many English majors in the room (actual overheard conversation: “How do I know you? Oh, Yale.”), it must have been one of the more sedate evenings the club had seen.
But no matter: there was champagne and Red Bull to be drunk and an adorable onstage Glass-Goldstein interview at which to chuckle. How is Ladies And Gentlemen, The Bible! different from the actual Bible, Glass asked. “The Good Book….and the great book,” Goldstein replied. Also, Ladies And Gentleman, The Bible! has “some smiting…but not as much.”
In a voice that would do NPR proud, Goldstein then read us his retelling of the Biblical story of Adam and Eve—a much cleverer version than the one you heard in Sunday School. This time around, Adam’s a “yokel” with “dog-food breath” and Eve cannot stand being stuck with that village idiot in the Garden of Eden. Eve, an intellectual freethinker, first resists the snake’s suggestion to bite an apple from the Tree of Knowledge. But the snake convinces her that God’s “[telling] you not to eat the fruit was God seeing if you can think for yourself.” And you know how the rest of the story goes….