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mea maxima culpa

Regular readers may remember the hotel bar incident a few posts ago, when a couple of friends and I captivated a drunk lady by claiming (it was Neal's claim; but I went along, guilty by association) to write clown porn. And I felt kind of yeesh about it afterwards because fooling drunks is too easy. (Like trying to embarrass your fourteen-year-old daughter, or teasing an anger-management class -- it's just not a level playing field.)

Anyway, the joke's on me. When I consider the number of people who can not recall my name (including publishers, school boards, and my own father, who routinely mixes me up with my brother) -- and the army of bureaucrats and telemarketers who can not spell it -- I am dismayed to report that this drunk lady somehow did remember me, and find the website, and recognize herself in the clown porn entry. She even emailed me (go ahead and check -- I felt guilty enough to publish the comment). And her letter was not full of outrage and bad language. No How dare you, sir, or I am appalled at your presumption, Richard, or, In the name of everything decent ... No, she is all humiliation and sorrow and mild explanations and such. Oy. Maybe Thumper the rabbit's father was right all along -- If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. Hemingway was right too -- Moral is what you feel good after.

So this entry is by way of apology. Next time I meet a drunk in a hotel bar, and a friend mentions clown porn, I will resist temptation. I will not make fun. I will not write about it afterwards. Sorry, Karen. If you send me your address, I'll send you a book.

(Wonder how Hemingway and Mr Thumper would have got on. Their relationship would have been one-sided, I feel.)


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