Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
Tuesday night, I was assaulted by Bruce Campbell. It was past seven PM on an already trying day that had included work, a bus accident (the narcoleptic MBTA employee driving the bus I was on crashed into a stopped car at a traffic light), and stops at every house in the Boston area I have ever lived in (with the exception of the one I shared with Melissa Plummer). I was scheduled to meet Zuzu and Lot at 6:00 in Coolidge Corner. Due to the bus accident, I was running about a half hour late. Naturally, I was there about an hour before Zuzu and Lot.
The first thing I see at the theater is a sign that reads "All Bruce Campbell events are SOLD OUT." Bugger. I do a shakedown of the line, asking strangers for extra tickets. I get two. There are three of us.
When Zuzu and Lot show up, I run out of the standby line to give them my tickets, thus losing both tickets and line space. I will never make it in. Luckily, the ticket guy feels pity for the fact that I had worked my ass off for two tickets, and then gave them away, so he lets me in.
I am standing at the end of the aisle, trying to find Zuzu and Lot in the theater when someone knocks on my back like they're being chased by coyotes, and my back is the door of their insomniac savior. I turn around.
Bruce Campbell: Hi.
Me: Uh. Hey.
Bruce Campbell:You're in my way.
Bruce Campbell looks at me inquisitively.
Me:I should get out of your way.
Bruce Campbell: Yes. Yes you should.
Me: I'm going to sit down.
Bruce Campbell (laughing) : Ok, then. Good.
I sit down in the only empty seat in sight. Bruce shoots me one more look, snickers, and trots down the rest of the aisle to thunderous applause. He announces that instead of reading from his new book Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way, he is going to do a question and answer session for an hour, then start signing books. A woman to my left says really loudly in a thick indistinguishable Eastern Europeanesque accent "I am not shy. Is a book. Is down. Where?"
Bruce either doesn't hear her or chooses not to reply. Instead he calls on a random lady in the audience. Zuzu. She asks something about Sam Raimi. He answers it, then says something incredibly flirtatious to her.
"I am not shy. Is movie theater." Incoherent mumbling.
Bruce calls on some geeky guy.
Crazy Lady screams "I am from Latvia. I am not shy." Something Something "Russian mafia."
Bruce says "I don't think I called on you, but since you won't stop talking, what is your question?"
"I am from Latvia. I am not shy." Something Something "Upset."
"I don't know what you're saying."
"I am not shy." Rikki-Tikki-Tembo-No-Sorembo-Cherry-Berry-Bucci-Pip-Berry-Pembo "Kill me."
"Yea. Look Latvia. I don't know what you're saying. Why don't you ask your question to someone around you, and I'll call on them to translate."
"I am not shy." Blah Blah Super Soaker "Why won't you answer my question?"
"Because I don't know what it is. Who's next?"
For the next twenty minutes or so, Latvia tries several times to ask her incoherent question, despite the fact that she is never called on.
"You've gotten a hero's welcome here in Boston." Some sixteen year old in a black shirt says. "Is there anywhere you've ever been where you've felt like the local people didn't like you?"
"Yea." Bruce says. "I hear they hate me in Latvia."
"I am not shy. People who use bad languages are not bridges."
I wonder what the bad languages are. Icelandic? Swahili? Elbonian?
"Could someone," Bruce asks, "preferably four large someones escort Miss Latvia out of theater?"
He then goes on to an interesting story about how, through his chain of logic, he's going to be playing Spider Man in Spider Man 3. I'm listening so intently to it that I don't see who it is that removes Latvia's Least Wanted.
After the session is over, Zuzu, Lot, and I head to the bookstore to buy a copy of his book. Latvia is at the counter. "I will not but this book." She says, waving around a copy of If Chins Could Kill. "He is trying to kill me. Always he follows me to the grocery store. Is Russian agent. He thinks I don't see him, but he is not bridge."
The lady behind the counter nods the service industry "you're a nutbag, but I'm stuck behind this counter and must talk to you" nod.
"Not bridge! Not bridge!"
Five minutes later, she leaves.
I purchase a blank book to use for a One-Off. While I'm at the counter, I compliment the lady on how well she handled The Latvian.
"Oh, it's nothing." She says. "Last week Mitt Romney was trying to kill her. The week before that it was Tony the Tiger. She's a popular mark for assassins and members of the Russian mafia."
The only thing I tried to shoot her with was a nasty look.