A famous author and public radio commentator, let's call him Faniel Blinkwater, is a troll. Now, before you go getting all "Hey, just 'cause a guy is fat and bald and adenoidal and possibly lives under a bridge, you can't just go calling him a troll," hear me out.
This guy was so offended by a single sentence in my 2-paragraph review of a picture book that he authored in 1972, that he came on Pink Me and left this comment:
A comment from the author: Marginally sorry if the book is superfluous. I don't write books because of some perceived need other than my own. I needed it, I wrote it--around 1972. This present incarnation, with D.B. Johnson's wonderful drawings is its third. If it pleases, amuses, or becomes a personal point of reference for certain readers, naturally I am happy. But I can't claim I wrote it in order for it to be part of someone's educational armamentarium. See, it's a work of art--in addition to being about a work of art. If you think books are tools.....well, you need to read this book.
This was a while ago. I didn't respond because, you know, first of all, who cares? I vet books for parents on Pink Me. It's not like it's international diplomacy or something. And secondly, I am not dumb enough to respond to that kind of baiting.
You might not think of bar fights as educational opportunities, but I have taken away one important observation from my (admittedly limited) experience of them.
- threatening to relieve my ex-husband of his (basically useless) manhood if he ever set foot in "my" bar again and
- policing my old friend Carol, who liked to pick them with total strangers (something that I never understood AT ALL, especially given the fact that Carol was TINY, and if anyone had ever taken her up on it she would have had her flat Long Island ass handed to her trussed up like a pale, raw turkey.) (Seriously, she was so small that in order to keep the peace I would frequently end up lifting her bodily and carrying her out of the bar. Her methods of antagonism were so precise and persistent that, in spite of her size and gender, she would actually manage to push people (almost always men) to the brink of violence. My intervention was not so much on her behalf: in my opinion, if she had finally taken a pasting for her efforts it might have served her right, but I couldn't allow some hapless man to give her a shove, and then bear the social, legal, and possibly emotional consequences of her insane need to be an unbearable cunt (that's what we used to call trolls).) The day she finally picked a fight with me, I came awfully damn close to punching her in the face. I was in the process of turning all my rings inward toward my palms so that I wouldn't cut her when I hit her, when someone noticed what I was doing and hustled me out of the bar.))
My bar fight observation is this: when someone wants to start one, that person gets up in someone else's face and starts a sentence with "See..."
- ("See, YOU left ME. YOU slept with Christine D____k in OUR BED. YOU made ME figure out how to get a divorce. AND when you finally came to pick up the rest of your CRAP, you trashed my apartment! So YOU can FIND ANOTHER PLACE TO DRINK or the next time I see you in here you will leave WITHOUT your shriveled DICK."*
- "See, you men just have no concept of the female orgasm. You take and you take, and then you want us to shake our ass for you. You like this? Uh-huh, that's what you like... am I shaking it hard enough for you? Oh, you want me to stop? Should I go make dinner for you now?")**
Here's hoping we all - including Mister Flinkwater - get over our anger issues, get remarried, quit drinkin', and don't get slapped. Because, while I actually don't think that books are tools, I sure know at least one author who is one.
* At least in my head that's what I said.
** Ver. Fucking. Batim.