minor humiliations

Joe The Plumber As Unpopular As Any First-Time Author

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

But he's got such a great 'platform'!Well dammit, it appears Joe the Plumber has successfully metamorphosed from rat-faced creep into literary sad sack in the space of about three months. Not so long ago he was riding high, saying dumb things on all the cable news shows and even going to Israel to lament how nobody censors the press in wartime anymore. But now he’s just another washed-up debut author who can’t move more than 5 books in a reading.

He showed up at the Borders on 18th and L last Thursday, and about a dozen people watched him speak. He signed books ever so briefly and then left, a mere hour into an anticipated three-hour engagement.

This is pretty much the nightmare scenario for anyone who has ever written, or hoped to write, a book. But at least most first-time authors’ humiliatingly underattended book readings don’t make the Washington Post.

So go on, everybody, buy a copy of his dumb book and make him feel better! Or not. One Amazon reader called it “pure garbage.”

Joe the Author, Plumbing New Lows in Interest [Washington Post]

About the author

Sara K. Smith was Wonkette's morning editor from 2008 to 2010, and now contributes a weekly (?!) column to Wonkette, to prove she still loves you all!

View all articles by Sara K. Smith


Hey there, Wonkeputians! Shypixel here to remind you to remember our Commenting Rules For Radicals, Enjoy!

  • Larry Fine

    Joe can be considered a success because he has written more books than a former President of the United States.

  • Mr Blifil

    Why would he ever imagine that his target audience was interested in reading?

  • ManchuCandidate

    Joe the Failed Plumber/Journalist/TaxCheat/PR Tool/Author’s book would have sold more if it was done as a Pop-Up book with bright colors and simple words.

  • WagTehGod

    What’s that you say? We can review the shit out of that book on Amazon? Well why didn’t you just ask for us to give him the Denby treatment?

  • Packherd

    “Fighting for the American Dream”?

    Humanity’s capacity for inanity never ceases to amaze me.

  • Crab1

    So this happened last Thursday? I wish I woulda known. I woulda been there to punch him in his sad disgusting cock.

  • blader

    Please tell me CSPAN taped his speech!!!!!

  • springfield_meltdown

    I am scared of those eight people on Amazon that gave the book five stars. And look forward to their reviews of Bobby Jindal’s guide to exorcism (with forward by Sarah Palin).

  • takes12no1

    [re=255868]Larry Fine[/re]: Hell, Joe the Idiot has written more books than a certain former president has read.

    and have we finally seen the expiration of Joe’s 15 minutes of fame? I certainly hope so.

  • Larry McAwful

    I’m not too keen on this book, but I’m looking forward to his next one, where he compares different kinds of phlanges and copper pipes. I hear he’s even studying how to be a plumber in order to have someone ghost-write it.

  • ManchuCandidate

    I suspect the reviews will go similar to this:

    Billy Bub from Buttfuck Idahoe
    “I don’t red much, but Joe’s Plomber’s book is one of the first I red from start to finish!! He is so write bout everything. US Americuh needs men like Joe. Joe is so much more intelligenter than NoBama who has no chanse against Joe who is for the hardworking man. I love Joe so much I’d let him fuck me.!11!!”

  • jagorev

    Well, according to the usual pattern of American celebrity, the next step is to release the Joe the Plumber-Paris Hilton sex tape.

  • Servo

    I’m sure the book is chocked full of Jack Davis art. C’mon Joe. Stick to what you know; cleaning traps full of hair/shit/cum. You would certainly make a better living.

  • TGY

    Yes he can! be forgotten.

  • Airborne Toxic Event

    First review on Amazon:

    I was startled and deeply impressed by the honesty and forthrightness with which Mr. Wurzelbacher dealt with his personal, human foibles: his failure to pay taxes, his dependence on welfare, the breakup of his marriage, and why he lied to Barack Obama about his income and his intention to buy a business. What a brave, selfless man.

    Hahahahaha, just kidding! Not-Joe the not-a-Plumber is the perfect symbol of today’s Republican party — attention-starved, intellectually bankrupt, pathologically dishonest, blatantly hypocritical, inexplicably proud of his ignorance and bigotry, and utterly unconcerned with the well-being of his fellow Americans and the welfare of his country.

    I predict this book will become a camp classic.

  • gjdodger

    Q. Why did “Joe the Plumber” become “Joe the Author”?

    A. You don’t need a license to write a book.

  • The Cold Sea

    Wrong neighborhood for that kind of book, Mr. Plumber. If you had a naked, sexy book, that would sell and you’d get a crowd at 18th and L. Flog your bad politics at a bookstore somewhere in Methbilly, W.Va., if they have any. Also, aren’t your 15 minutes way past due?

  • american mutt

    the dialog on amazon is pretty funny.

  • TGY

    [re=255889]Airborne Toxic Event[/re]:
    I predict this book will become a camp classic

    Much like Plan 9 from Outer Space or Fugitive Alien.

  • Toomush Infermashun

    I don’t know about reading Joe, but Sara’s entries this morning make a welcome spring return after the dearth of the weekend….why am I so anxious to comment and move on…?…is Wonkette just another addiction added to the long list of my other tics and failings…?… I think no answer is probably necessary…

  • Rush

    You know it is the end of any movement (Vanilla Ice, .com stock day trading, house flipping, conservatism), when the clowns start coming out of the woodwork. Their shit has run its course – like my 401k.

  • freakishlystrong

    That image is very disturbing. I wish you’d have chosen something else. I realize that it’s a shameful part of American history that we should never forget, but it’s too much.

  • Hopey dont play that game

    Get ready for the new sitcom “Plumbing Denby”. It is about an effete, New York media critic and his new roommate, a hard-scrabble Ohio plumber. They start out hating each other (“That’s not my L-pipe, Denby!”) but bond after discovering that they are both failed authors. Tuesdays at 8:30 on FOX.

  • Gopherit

    yay! If his book is biodegradable, we can always use them for mulch to help plants grow. I suspect, however, that just his worlds are toxic enough to lay waste to acres of crops.

  • tootsieroll

    [re=255885]jagorev[/re]: “Big Brother 12” or “Dancing with the Stars”

  • bitchincamaro

    The literary equivalent of “straight to video”. What excrement.

  • iolanthe

    [re=255879]springfield_meltdown[/re]: Don’t be scared! Of the 8 five-star reviews, 5 are pure sarcastic snark. Of the 19 reviewers, only 3 claim to have actually gotten anything from the book. “Should be in every American classroom” was the funniest of the “real” reviews.

    God save us from these idiots.

    (BTW, much as I hate this lying retardicon, I *refuse* to fake a review of a book I haven’t actually read. I hope that’s the case with all of you, too.)

  • Monsieur Grumpe

    Mr Grumpy’s Amazon review:

    I could not put the book down. Seriously, something really sticky was on the cover. I think it was some Super Glue. Anyway, with a book permanently glued to my hand I decided the best thing to do was to read it. About half way through the book I decide to cut my hand off. Yeah, it was that bad. I’d give it two thumbs down if I could.

  • Bruno

    Don’t worry Joe, Obambi’s first book didn’t sell very well until he became a public figure – I don’t even think he was going on book tours. Now you just need to get famous. oops

  • Botswana Meat Commission FC

    Unfortunately, it turns out that books written by “average Americans” are actually pretty below-average.

    Good one, Amazon reviewer!

  • american mutt

    I’m sorry but as dumb people become old they hide behind the title of patriotic, average, american to defend their (unfortunate) ignorance. if joe were some 20 year old you’d say he had absolutely nothing going for himself but oh no — he’s divorced and troubled and middle-aged so now let’s pretend his years of an average american life are now profound insight. Joe tell us more about the Gaza conflict and how to use a drain snake puhleease.

  • TGY

    Blurbs. Hm. “Cock and ball story”. “A complete floater”. “Will make the sane reader blow a gasket”. “This one throws a wrench into the history of the written word”.

  • DoctorCulturae

    I got cha plumbin’ right heeya!

  • NoWireHangers

    Why would I spend money on this book when I can ask the man who uses a wire snake to get used tampons out of my clogged toilet tubes his opinion on the global economic crisis for free?

    Oh scratch that, the man who PRETENDS to be licensed to get the used tampons out of my toilet tubes.

  • TGY

    [re=255917]NoWireHangers[/re]: Licensed Tampon Extractors are hard to find.

  • Woodwards Friend

    Hopefully there will be a mulit-city book tour. Eventually some vice cop will find Joe in the men’s room with the wide stance.

  • WadISay

    [re=255889]Airborne Toxic Event[/re]: This should be on the back cover of the second edition.

  • sux2bu

    [re=255895]american mutt[/re]: Yes…In addition to the one quoted above, here are a couple of other gems from Amazon readers:

    * “I’m sure Samuel Wurtzelbacher knows a lot about the kind of stuff that fills the pipes he works on each day, and it’s clearly this experience that has inspired him to write this book.”

    * “Am I allowed to use the word asshat in a review?

  • TheGlow

    [re=255885]jagorev[/re]: Eh. Joe will wind up on some second tier sex tape with that Norfolk reporter. Joe the Plumber cleans Allison Williams’ pipes, news at 11.


  • dasNeonlicht

    Stick to plumbing, old sport.

  • Serolf Divad

    I read Joe’s novel and I have to say that it truly moved me. As a voracious reader of contemporary American fiction, I guess I’m something of an authority on the subject. I’d say I probably read between five or six “first novels” per year, and this is as good as any I’ve come across. I was especially moved by the scene in the novel where the older, more experienced lesbian introduces Amy, our 17 year-old protagonist to the world of sapphic love and battery powered erotic aides. The bit featuring the vibrating thingamabob with the spinning furry “fingers” was especially effective, I thought.

    At any rate, I look forward eagerly to Joe’s spphomore attempt.

  • Tommy Says Soooo

    [re=255901]Hopey dont play that game[/re]: +1, +2 if they get a Pauly Shore walk-on.

  • wheelie

    [re=255906]Monsieur Grumpe[/re]: Ha ha, nice work!

  • AngryBlakGuy

    …he would have sold more if he put it in the toilet tissue aisle

  • Nerdalicious

    On MSNBC last week: Bachman Plumber Overdrive. he he

  • Scrodd

    Tags Customers Associate with This Product:

    american idiot (52)
    go away (47)
    waste of time (44)
    white trash tax cheat (39)

    joe the plumber (22)
    epic fail (21)
    no (14)
    omg (14)

    2008 election (13)
    sarah palin (10)
    real people (5)

  • Mr Blifil

    I totally smell movie deal starring the guy from “The Commish.”

  • Nerdalicious

    If JTP had a “book event” at a gun show, a monster truck rally in Cromagnon, Alabama, or anywhere the documentary “Right America Wronged” was filmed, he would have been swamped. Even Santorum knew he could only go to Nebraska to be heard or paid any attention to.

  • Cape Clod

    Oh, when will this heartwarming, Capraesque tale that is Joe the Plumber end?

    Frankly, if I was a tree, I would be very upset over wasting paper in this manner.

  • Nerdalicious
  • Reefpilot

    I’ll pass on this one as I’m waiting for his dark period.

  • El Pinche

    Now, if we can just only get the MSM to stop shoving this living turd in our faces, that would be great!

  • Bruno

    “I *refuse* to fake a review of a book I haven’t actually read. I hope that’s the case with all of you, too.”

    Principles? We don’t have them round these parts. The only reason I’m not doing a fake one is my Amazon name is my real name.

  • Texan Bulldoggette

    What the hell was he going to prattle on about for 3 hours! Yikes, unless that was the community service sentence for people who didn’t want to go out & pick up trash along the highway.

  • AWOcoholic

    Wow. It’s worth clicking on the article. The WaPo staff writer was a total bitch:

    “For some reason, he concluded by saying, “America has always been a kick-butt, take-names kind of country.” “

  • Sussemilch

    Well Mighty Joe was on
    Amazon I’ll tell ya
    Just like you I had to click
    I cracked the cover baby and then
    His writing made me sick

    He took my money and then since he did
    I swear he ain’t got no sense
    Well I said yeah he’s come to town
    I warned you he will let you down

    {shocking blue}

  • slavojzizek

    [re=255939]Scrodd[/re]: That is a beautiful list. Almost reads like poetry.

  • Scarab

    I look forward to the ‘E! True Hollywood Story: Joe the Plummer’ with lots of video clips of him walking in grainy, black and white, slow-motion while the voiceover describes how his addiction to horse laxatives ultimately led to the police standoff and tragedy in a Tucson trailer park.

  • Febryle

    Dear Joe the Plumber,

    Come back after fighting a turtle-dragon. Only then can you be called a plumber.

    It’s a me,

  • snideinplainsight

    I’m thinking JTP and Alf, together on the network where it all began.

  • AxmxZ

    Dude, even I can move 5 debut books, and I haven’t even finished mine… doesn’t he have more than five friends/relatives?

  • www.democratz.org

    The Republiklan party used Sam to setup Barack Obama during the campaign for criticism about taxes. His name appeared false. He didn’t have a plumbers license and he owed back taxes. This entire sequence of events appers based upon lies and fabrications.

    I say to those people who don’t want to pay taxes, either move to Bangla Desh where the taxes appear low or don’t call the police and fire departments. Don’t use public roads. Don’t drink tap water. Don’t go to your public library. Why? Because each of the previous agencies or results of these agencies appear an example of socialism!

    I find Republiklan leaders and their party members a group of selective hypocrites. As long as the socialized construct benefits them, then they love it, but when such socialized constructs help the poor, the disabled, the unemployed, the working poor then damn them.

    If yo uwant to really put down the Republiklan party, boycott their major camoaign contributors and also ask those companies for an end to the war, a hike in the minimum wage, a fix to health care!

  • iolanthe

    [re=255906]Monsieur Grumpe[/re]: Win.

  • binarian

    They’ve already got used copies for sale…

  • iolanthe


    I also love pointing out to these knuckledraggers that, although Jesus Their Fave Person never said one recorded word against homosexuals or abortion, he actually *did* tell people to *pay their motherfucking taxes* already (slight paraphrase). See Matthew 22, Mark 12, Luke 20. Their wingnut pastors often tell them that if something is mentioned in more than 2 Gospels, why … it’s *extra true*! Paying your motherfucking taxes is mentioned in 3 Gospels. So … feel free to rub that in.

    The “taxes” thing is one reason the same crowds who cheered Jesus and paved his way with palm branches the week before Passover were calling for his execution the very *next* week.

    They, like idiots everywhere, figured the Cosmic Messiah, the Heaven-Anointed King of Kings, was coming to bring them *tax relief*. When he said, “My kingdom is not of this world”, or “Man does not live by bread alone”, they just said, “HUH?” … and waited for him to just … do something to make them all richer and more politically powerful.

    (Sorry. Ex-Fundie here. I still wield a mean Bible, but now I wield it *against* these loathesome fuckfaces.)

  • iolanthe

    [re=256038]binarian[/re]: I’d want to know what they were used *for*, first. I once tried to use a copy of Ann Coulter’s “Godless” as toilet paper, but the pages were a bit too slickery.

  • June Cleaver 2.0

    [re=255873]WagTehGod[/re]: Don’t do it! Your review will be much more interesting than the book, and his sales will shoot up.

  • cosmicboy

    Oh, Joe the [insert current occupation here].

    How can we miss you if you won’t go away?

  • DeLand DeLakes

    His first mistake was to assume that anybody interested in him would also be interested in reading.

  • Pragmatist

    Oh, man! This is awful!
    I have a book out and I just checked on Amazon and Joe the Plumber is outselling me.
    Does anybody know how BAD that feels?
    Should I end it all now or check again in a week?
    Thanks for your support in this difficult time.

  • MarieDeGournay

    [re=255896]TGY[/re]: If only Mike and ‘bots could get their hands on it.

  • Tra

    [re=256138]Pragmatist[/re]: I have a book out and I just checked on Amazon and Joe the Plumber is outselling me.
    Does anybody know how BAD that feels?
    Should I end it all now or check again in a week?

    Check again in a week. If we are to believe current wingnut hysteria levels, it’ll all be over by then anyway.

  • keepinitrealyo

    If you guys love Joe the Plumber so much, why don’t you read him?

  • Accordion-o-rama

    [re=255939]Scrodd[/re]: Everyone should go to Amazon and add the tag “TruckNutz”.

  • Mahousu

    FYI, the book is published by PearlGate Publishing, which is owned by Thomas N. Tabback. By an amazing coincidence, Tabback just happens to be Joe’s “co”-author.

    By an even more amazing coincidence, the one other book PearlGate has published – “Things Forgotten” – is also by Tabback! It’s some wacky past-life historical fiction set in ancient Canaan during the time of the Israelite conquest. I haven’t read it, but no doubt it will turn out that the Israelites only won because reporters were banned from covering the conflict.

  • MortSinclair

    84% buy the item featured on this page:
    Joe the Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream (22)

    6% buy
    The Christmas Sweater (326)

    4% buy
    The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression (199)

    3% buy
    Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned the Political Establishment Upside Down (145)


    Okay, that just about says it all. Gimme a little Christmas Sweater (WTF?) with my JTP, pleez. Also.

  • Crazy Larry

    Wow,I am baffled at all the intelligence in the comments to this posting. Joe should have stopped at his original question to Obama and left it at that. But you people really like to go on and on, don’t you? Get over it and move on you sorry saps.