The Zen of the Choke

Turns out the author of Fight Club, Snuff and Choke is a pretty laid back dude.

By G.W. Miller III
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Oct. 1, 2008

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Ten years ago this month, Palahniuk quit servicing engines after 13 years on the job. Now he does what he wants to do: He experiences life.

Sitting in a white leather chair surrounded by robotic cameras, Palahniuk tells Channel 3's Ukee Washington that fans frequently ask him to choke them. He often obliges.

"You can really feel their life in your hands, the blood pulsing in their necks," Palahniuk explains, grasping his own neck.

Washington nods and smiles.

After the interview, Palahniuk asks the anchor, "Do you keep a wardrobe here or do you arrive dressed for the news?"

Washington says he begins work before dawn, so he dresses here.

"You must really enjoy what you do," Palahniuk replies.

"Very much so," Washington bellows as though broadcasting sports scores. "Especially this part. It keeps my mind off the murders, politics and stuff."

Then Washington reaches out his right hand and offers, "Continued success to you."

"Thank you," Palahniuk says evenly, with apparent sincerity.


"It's my responsibility to find a way to like everything I find myself doing," Palahniuk says of promotional tours. "I don't want to waste any part of my life."

It's why he began tossing prizes and distributing dozens of blow-up dolls to fans at readings.

"The action of throwing things," he says, "trumps the little voice in my head that says, 'I'm tired. I'm hungry. I don't want to do this.'"

As we exit the studio, he continues preaching action, action, action.

"I try to replace everything with active verbs," he says. "I try to get rid of abstract verbs like thought, remember, hope, love. If you can boil it down to physical verbs, you can communicate much stronger."

He makes direct eye contact with me and says, "Good luck with that 300-student class."

Then he disappears into a black chauffeured sedan with tinted windows and speeds off.

Read Miller's Q&A with Palahniuk.

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