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Perhaps you’ve seen his question-marked Mini Cooper parked outside of the T.G.I. Friday’s. Perhaps you’ve seen him projected upon the National’s JumboTron, a single question mark tracing the curve of his back. Perhaps you’ve read about him in Washington City Paper. Surely, you’ve seen this Riddler-suited, bespectacled man spouting promises of Free Money! From the Government! (For only $39.95 + $6.95 postage and handling!)
Next week, you’ll get your chance to see him in the flesh, as local author, minor celebrity, and question-mark enthusiast Matthew Lesko descends upon the U.S. Capitol for a sleepless 72-hour Q&A. Lesko calls it a “Leskathon.” Its goal? Free. Money.
Fittingly, questions abound. How will an already off-kilter personality keep it together for three days in the 90-degree heat with no sleep? How many bystanders will simply pass by and, in a moment of inspiration, scream, “Free Money”? For a guy with an apparently insatiable addiction to question marks, isn’t a 72-hour Q&A nothing more than an irresponsible bender? And when is this thing, anyway?
I turned to the “Talk to Lesko Live!” feature on Lesko’s Web site for some pre-Q&A Q&A. Instead of live Lesko, however, I got “Kelly,” who, while live, I suspect lacked Lesko’s expertise and trademark whimsy.
[Kelly] how can i help you?
[Visitor] I’m looking for information about the upcoming event on the National Mall.
[Kelly] it’s going to be held Aug 14 thru Aug 17
[Kelly] 72 hours
[Visitor] And he’s going to be there the whole time?
[Visitor] How is he going to stay awake that long?
[Kelly] He’s Matthew Lesko.
He’s Matthew Lesko. And when you’re mounting a “Leskathon,” maybe that’s all you need.