It's believed that the 19th-century authors of the unintentionally funny Portuguese-English conversational guide entitled English As She Is Spoke were actually unable to speak English. Offering up such nonsensical idioms as "The walls have hearsay" and "Take the moon with the teeth," its sheer incompetence inspired Mark Twain to write, "Nobody can add to the absurdity of this book, nobody can imitate it successfully, nobody can hope to produce its fellow; it is perfect."Naturally, it drew the attention of literary detective Paul Collins, whose Collins Library, an imprint of McSweeney's Books, republishes out-of-print literary oddities. At 7:30 p.m., the Believer contributor and all-around interesting dude gives a free lecture called "The Missing Author's Bureau" in Vanderslice Hall at the Kansas City Art Institute (4415 Warwick Boulevard). Call 816-802-3426 for more information.
Wed., March 26, 7:30 p.m., 2008