It started with an email from the man himself:
Hi Dave, I am a huge fan of your "Last Days" section in The Stranger. I have a bizarre story that I thought you might be interested in. Last week, my glass dining room table spontaneously exploded. I posted pictures on Facebook and was surprised to see how much interest they generated. That coupled with the fact that the manufacturer was being unresponsive led me to give the story to King 5 News. I thought there was a 1/1000 chance they would pick it up. Not only did they, but they used it as a teaser twice during Dr. Phil and another show, played it both at 10 and 11, and then did a follow-up story this week. Also, the Huff Post and a slew of other media have picked it up. (Just Google "adam welch table exploded.") The reason I'm reaching out to you is because what's newsworthy about this story is how un-newsworthy it is. I'm baffled.
Here's the original KING 5 report:
Adam Welch's summary of the above: "KING 5 Calls Obvious Homosexual 'Seattle Man.' In Other News, Seattle Man's Table Spontaneously Explodes."
Having never known anyone who got internet-famous because their table exploded, I decided to interview Adam Welch about his experience. Q&A after the jump.
DAVID SCHMADER: How did the freakily widespread dissemination of this story affect your life? Avalanche of old friends contacting you? Lots of emails asking for dates? Insane emails from exploding-table conspiracy theorists?
ADAM WELCH: First of all, I realized that people still use Facebook. Not only did all the friends who have quietly ignored my posts speak up, I got stalked by new people. After the story aired on KING 5, I had two new friend requests, both from guys who had romantic interests—one from Port Orchard and one from Poulsbo. I also had to carry on a conversation with some classmates from business school who remembered me but I have no fucking clue who they were. I got some scolding calls from executives at the wine importer I work for, for not having a bottle of KRIS Pinot Grigio (one of our wines) in the shot next to the nectarines. How was I supposed to know that nectarines would come into the picture? And I really can barely slice up a snack. That was a bit of an overstatement. The camera man asked me to do what I normally do after work. I was too shy to open a beer and masturbate, so I just grabbed whatever I could and started slicing it, as if I normally do that. There were also odd ghost theories from a surprising amount of people. My El Salvadorian cleaning lady swore she sensed a strange presence in the condo the last time she cleaned. My aunt insisted that it was my dad talking to me from beyond the grave. Seems like a pretty dickish way to talk.
What is your table situation? During all this media hubbub, did anyone offer you a new non-exploded table? Do you have any leads on what your next table might look like?
Well, the only reason I went to the media in the first place is the manufacturer was being totally unresponsive. It's an Italian company but they have a customer service office in North Carolina. The agents informed me that they would send the pictures to Italy, but that the whole company was on vacation through the end of August, and that I wouldn't hear anything until September. It took the story spinning out of control (and me pointing that out) for the president of the company to write a letter (I'm imagining from his yacht on Lake Como) offering a new table of equal value and new chair "shells." Not the legs because those weren't visually damaged. OK. Thank you. Dubiously I asked for the exact same table because I couldn't find anything else in their catalog that matched my condo as well. I figured "what are the chances?" I was hoping the nation of Canada might reach out and hook me up with some really nice non-exploding wood table. But no.