Brian Russell, a 41-year-old Detroit Red Wings fan, was dismayed after attending a reading/signing by novelist JonathanFranzenat the KGB Bar on Sunday night. Heads turned as Russell entered the bar twirling an octopus over his head, loudly chanting “Let’s go Wings!” among the subdued patronage.
Franzen, who was reading a passage from his forthcoming novel,Freedom, briefly paused, but continued despite the disturbance, commenting that some of his fans were “more fanatical than others.”
Russell, having never heard of the National Book Award-winning author, was at first confused, then angry, and then disappointed after realizing he wouldn’t be meeting his favorite hockey player, JohanFranzen.
“I only read two kinds of books: ones with crossword puzzles and ones I find in airplane seat pockets,” said Russell. “And apparently this impostor fruit bag writes neither. I mean, really, how many people in the world could have names that begin with Jo and end inFranzen? Six? Eight?”
Though Russell had no legitimate reason to believe JohanFranzenhad written a book, he figured it was pretty likely, as his two other favorite athletes, Gordie Howe and Muggsy Bogues, had done so in the past.
Despite the misunderstanding, Russell salvaged the evening by visiting a nearby sports bar, where he complained about the Wings’ playoff elimination and the general socioeconomic condition of Detroit to anyone who would listen.