ESSAYIST, JOURNALIST, VAGABOND, cross-dresser, National Book Award winner, America's last best Nobel Prize in Literature hope, and best living writer who isn't Don DeLillo, William T. Vollmann rides the rails into Portland this week. He'll be discussing government surveillance as part of Oregon Humanities' Think and Drink lecture series—the FBI watched him for years, and now it's your turn! Not that you sots need our help with your drinking, but here are some cues for imbibing.

Take a drink:

Whenever Vollmann uses a metaphor.

If he shows up in drag.

If he mentions smoking crack with prostitutes.

If he discusses hobos.

If he mentions his FBI file.

If he talks about how ugly he is.

If he does something that he thinks blue-collar people do.

If he fires a weapon. (He reportedly did this at Powell's once, with a starter pistol.)

If the first question during the Q&A ISN'T about when the next installment of Seven Dreams comes out.

If by the end of the night, he's surrounded by the audience's unsolicited manuscripts.

If somebody yells out, "We love you, Philip Seymour Hoffman!!!!"

If before he says a word, he belches out a smoke plume.

If golden-limbed hobo punks insist the donation box is rightfully theirs.

If golden-limbed hobo punks insist that their kerchiefed German shepherds are licensed companion animals.

If golden-limbed hobo punks try to get Vollmann to freebase with them behind the venue after the show.

If none of the local A-list literati show up because they're too busy drinking cocktails with Cheryl Strayed.

If James Franco is there in a fake handlebar mustache, taking notes.

William T. Vollmann is the featured guest at Oregon Humanities' Think and Drink, Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan, Wed Feb 5, 6:30 pm, $10, minors must be accompanied by an adult