Roy Blount Jr., BA’63, looks none the worse for
events of the last few minutes. A woman done up in this season’s finest dominatrix leatherwear just stubbed out a cigarette on his forehead, sending him to the floor where he rolled on his back and kicked his legs in the air. Friends helped him to his feet, and he staggered about comically, gray hair mussed, skinny necktie askew. A few hundred people have witnessed this spectacle, and now they hoot and cheer as the tough chick wielding the coffin nail, who happens to be writer Amy Tan, finishes singing “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’.”

Is this any way for one of America’s foremost writers of humorous prose to behave?