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A Couchsurfing recommendation for Tom Sawyer

Posted by Kevin Hartnett  May 22, 2013 11:14 AM

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Over at McSweeney's, writer Jason Edward Harrington has alighted on a fun conceit: What if literary characters served as each other's Couchsurfing references? Here, for instance, is Sal Paradise from "On the Road" offering a "positive" recommendation for his road trip companion Dean Moriarty: "I hosted Dean for a week at my aunt’s place in Jersey. After that we headed west, with Dean balling that jack like no tomorrow (I had total trust in him behind the wheel)."

The funniest parts are where Harrington merges the characters' literary styles with the casual hipster-speak stereotypical to Couchsurfing correspondence. Here's Huck Finn giving a "neutral" recommendation for his rapscallion pal Tom Sawyer:

One time we went tubin’ on the Nam Song in Laos (which I reckon’s a mighty cool place to surf on account of tain’t too touristy yet, just keep that ol’ cash ‘n credit card in your money belt). But the best times we had were on that old Mississippi.

And Lucy from "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" warning Couchsurfers off Raoul Duke:

Raoul contacted me claiming he was a Doctor of Journalism coming to Las Vegas to find the American Dream. His profile said he was “Up for anything: coffee, drink, friendship, hook-up; willing to share: bed, couch, uppers, downers, screamers, laughers, as long as you’re not a cop.”

The warning bells should have gone off right there, but for some reason I agreed to meet him for a drink.

You can read more of Harrington's amusing sendup here.

H/T The Millions.

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
Brainiac blogger Kevin Hartnett is a writer in Columbia, South Carolina. He can be reached here.

Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.

Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.

Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.

Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.

Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."

Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.

Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.


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