The unhappening

As it says on the Couch Tomato Ball invitation, “To veg is human; to read divine.”

As it says on the Couch Tomato Ball invitation, “To veg is human; to read divine.”

By my count, this is the 369th time I have written a “pick of the week” for the calendar section of the Sacramento News & Review. The sheer volume of my efforts makes two things obvious: First, anyone who says there’s nothing to do in Sacramento is not paying attention. Second, it’s becoming close to impossible to find a totally unique event to present to you readers. How many times have I extolled the virtues of a film festival, a visiting performer at the Mondavi Center, a painting exhibition by local artists, or a day-long festival with food, folk dancing, bands and kids’ activities? You all know about the Jazz Jubilee, Museum Day and the Trash Film Orgy. There’s only one pastime I can recommend that you haven’t heard from me before—the non-event.

This Saturday night, the Sacramento Public Library Foundation presents the Couch Tomato Ball. Billed as “the most anticipated non-event of the year,” the ball is scheduled in honor of the foundation’s 20th anniversary. The dress code? A robe and slippers. The venue? Your living-room couch. The entertainment? A good book of your choice. In the words of Fred Teichert, chair of the Couch Tomato Ball, “If you enjoy participating in Sacramento’s many cultural and social events, but think (on occasion) that you would pay good money just to have a quiet evening at home, we look forward to your support for (and non-attendance at) the Couch Tomato Ball.”

You can participate alone or with a group of friends. Snacks, a fire in the fireplace and a good reading lamp are all encouraged. And if you’d like to ensure that the Sacramento Public Library system continues to offer the community many reading options for future non-events, mail a donation to the Sacramento Public Library Foundation, 828 I Street, Sacramento, CA, 95814. Donation forms can be printed at

Now go choose your book for the ball and tune in next week for pick number 370.