Drama! Peril! Ransom! Recovery! It’s Franzenspec!

Stop what you are doing! Do not move, do not breathe! Well maybe you should move slightly toward something that will support you when you faint from relief…
Jonathan Franzen’s Glasses Have Been Recovered!

Heavy is the head that wears the crown and spectacles!

Now you can breathe again…. If you’re hyperventilating, stop breathing. It’s going to be okay. He’s got his glasses, a little smudged but basically unharmed. After a good wiping with virgin goat chamois, they’ve been reunited with that magnificent head. His beady eyes (well maybe they aren’t beady but they sure look like they are in those coke bottle things) will be able to bask in all the longing, yearning, adoring and cannonizing adulation in 20/20 vision.

Franzen and his glasses are happily reunited. The world sighs with relief


The ordeal began with Franzen in London kicking off of the European leg of the book tour for his newest novel, Freedom. During a party at the Serpentine Club (translation: a grotto of humiliation and thievery) a man snatched his glasses off his face. An eyewitness account from someone close to Franzen but either not within deflecting distance or unwilling to stave of the snatching of is as follows:

Around 8pm, two men, claiming to work for Puffin, gatecrashed the party at the Serpentine Gallery and approached Franzen. One snatched his glasses and escaped, before the other handed the stunned author a ransom note then fled into Kensington Gardens.
The note read: “$100,000 – Your glasses are yours again!” and left a Hotmail address. (How could he read the ransom note without his glasses? How??? How!!!)
As news spread around an incredulous party, a police helicopter was tasked to search for the thieves, who had fled across the Serpentine. One of them was apprehended hiding in the bushes and Franzen’s glasses were returned to the author unharmed”.

One helicopter? Only one??? Why not task the entire the fleet? Was a dive team dispatched? Yes? NO! Why pray tell, not? Was Scotland Yard immediately notified? What about Interpol? Has Hotmail been permanently shut down yet? Where does the buffoonery in this poorly organized caper end? Does the London Police have any idea how fortunate they were in the speedy Franzenspec recovery despite their keystone cops routine? This unfortunate event has International Incident written all over it.

The Freedom European tour has been evolving into something of a disaster for Our National Treasure. First, British publishers printed the wrong version of the manuscript. While details of who’s head will roll are sketchy, it appears an earlier, typo-ridden file of Franzen’s 10-year-in-the-making masterpiece was used for the European release. Thousands of copies are heading for the pulp factory. Instead of blanketing his European fans in his magnificence on his book tour, he is apologizing for the printing disaster.

Jonathan! Franzen! Apologizing!

Listen hard enough and you can hear angels weep.

Now we have the Spectacle Debacle, Franzenspec or Spectacle Gate (waiting to see which catch-phrase makes the most headlines). Of course, Franzenphiles are bursting with pride at his downplay of the ordeal which he described as a “harmless prank” that left him essentially blind for nearly thirty minutes until “a very nice police officer” returned the glasses, described by the author himself as “heavy, brown, horn-rimmish sort of things.”

Isn't it obvious this man is handicapped without his glasses?

Each day our beloved Jonathan Franzen spends on European soil is a day fraught with imminent danger. What next–a crazed barber brandishing shears on his magnificent mane? A demented hotel porter purposefully losing his suit case of American-casual clothes— forcing him to dress European? Will the corrected release of Freedom have a de-spectacled author photo? There is no limit to the injustices this man is suffering right now.

All we can do is hope and pray for a speedy and uneventful return to our loving embrace and a good hunkering and soul bearing on Oprah’s couch–something that promises to be even more spectacular than the reconciliation of Spencer and Heidi.

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About EF Sweetman

bees, baseball, beverly, ma, culture, manners, society, writing
This entry was posted in 1, blogging, Blogroll, cautionary tales, essay, Observations, reading, society, writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Drama! Peril! Ransom! Recovery! It’s Franzenspec!

  1. redriverpak says:

    Nothing!….repeat….Nothing!….could outdo a Spencer/Heidi Reconciliation! NOTHING!! πŸ™‚ Have a great day Sweetman Lady!

  2. thiszine says:

    Where did you find that first photo? I laughed so hard, I scared my cats.

    • sweetman says:

      We can’t have a Franzenfelinefrenzy so soon after Franzenspec Lacey! Please let poor Jonathan rest after his near-death experience, his eyes are still adjusting to the thirty minutes without his “heavy, brown horn-rimmish things”. Gosh I wish I could write like that!

  3. redriverpak says:

    OK…Ya have to post something new! Seeing this guys goofy grin every time I log on here is kinda creeping me out! πŸ™‚

    • sweetman says:

      I know, I know! Yet I can’t usurp the Franzen’s position as the lead on my blog! Actually I’m taking a writing class which is geared at making me a more prolific and efficient writer–note to self: PROLIFIC, EFFICIENT…

  4. Pingback: Our 2010 Favorites | this – a literary webzine

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