"Some calls it madness...I calls it HiDeeHo." - Cab Calloway
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Wednesday, May 14, 2003


What happened was, we were at the bookstore where Tom Robbins was doing his reading and promo visit. It was standing room only. Josh and I were at the edges of the crowd. Partway through, this guy sidles up next to us and appears to be trying to get a view. I had found a space through which to see, and I leaned over and said, "You can get a better view if you look between that guy's head and the the wall." Smile, friendly, go back to Josh. (by the way, I'm caffeinated and chewing gum at this point). All I can tell by looking is the guy is dark-skinned, bald and very much resembles a skinny version of Samir from Office Space, beige turtleneck from the Gap, probably pants from the Gap too, dressed preppy. The guy is mumbling something, I can't tell what. I only very briefly made eye contact. Mr. Author Guest says something about what a shame it is about the Patriot Act and how badly our rights are being trodden upon, Josh and I and a lot of the rest of the audience applaud. Sidling guy has disappeared into the crowd. I think nothing more of it, and when Mr. Robbins is done reading and Q&Aing, we stand against a wall, waiting to find a spot in line to have our book signed.

Then Mr. Samir-guy approaches Josh and starts telling him how badly I behave, how rude and embarrassing I am, how unintelligent I must be, with what sounds like a vaguely middle-eastern accent. Again, I have no idea, I'm just guessing. Josh stops him and says first off, you have a problem with her, you take it up with her, not me. Samir-guy says, but you're the man. Josh says, that's irrelevant. Second, she's one of the most intelligent people I know. It devolved into this: insult - defense - go away please - insult - defense - okay you made your point now get out of my face - insult - head shaking in disbelief - parting shot insult - parting shot defense - high five for a potentially violent situation avoided - me holding back pissed-off tears - leaving without our autograph.

Something caused him to accuse me of having "an attitude like the KKK." Yeah. Sure. That's me, the awful racist. Narf.

So this guy, in turns, insults my gender, my intelligence, my public behavior and decorum, and what I can only describe as my acceptance of diversity. So I'm a white female who is a little jittery, showing her boyfriend some public huggy-type affection, trying to be helpful to a fellow human (who apparently thinks I'm below contempt - he only spoke directly to me once and that was for the KKK comment). Oh, and I was wearing jeans and a black tank top. Nothing offensive there, unless you count my tattoo and bare arms to be offensive.

So what did I do to deserve that?

posted by Julie Neff  # 5/14/2003 12:56:00 PM

Tuesday, May 13, 2003


1. Blueberry wine is really good, and makes a good base for a salad dressing.
2. Sprecher's Imperial Stout is the damn heaviest, chewiest beer I've ever had in my life.
3. Tom Robbins narrates his character Stubblefield (from Villa Incognito) in a voice that sounds like a male Mae West. He's taller in person.
4. I knocked on the window of the bookstore and got him to wave.
5. There is a waft of lilac coming in from somewhere, but as far as I know, the nearest lilac bushes are a quarter-mile away.

How dare you! How dare you impugn my public behavior and tell Josh to keep a tigher rein on me? How dare you mock my caffeinated mannerisms? How dare you insult my intelligence? How dare you reduce me to angry tears in a frigging bookstore? Regardless of your country of origin or religious beliefs, I despise you personally and would gladly have punched your lights out then and there, but the desire not to be charged with battery kept me from it. I am about as affiliated with the KKK as Jesse Jackson. If I am, as you say, a bad woman, then I don't want to be good.


This comes a few days after being verbally abused by someone. It's been so long since something like that happened, I barely knew what to say. I dismissed him with, "I'm sorry if I offended you, now will you please leave us alone?" No such luck. He continued to pester us. Josh did the honorable thing and helped me hold my ground. I didn't even get our copy of Jitterbug Perfume signed because of him. Fucker.

On a happier note, this weekend I'm off, sans boyfriend/fiancee and sans daughter to the northwoods to take in a few days of the ambience of the Nicolet National Forest. My dad's parents have a cottage on a lake. I'm bringing incense, mosquito candles, my journal and a few provisions. I'm on retreat.

posted by Julie Neff  # 5/13/2003 12:15:00 PM

Monday, May 12, 2003


Mo lost the wiggly tooth today at lunch. It'll be taped to a piece of cardboard with a picture of another tooth and an arrow on it, just so you know. Feel free to drop a buck under the pillow if you're in the neighborhood.

She barely whimpered at all. She spit blood and took it totally in stride. What a trooper.

posted by Julie Neff  # 5/12/2003 12:17:00 PM


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