Despite the fact that I have a blog, and broadcast my thoughts to the internet every now and then, I’m actually a pretty private person. My first instinct wouldn’t be to blow someone up or shout her or him out for doing something lame, if said person was a private citizen (public figures, by contrast, are fair game). But on Sunday night I encountered one of the biggest assclowns I’ve ever met. He is so assclown-y, in fact, that I would like the whole world to know. I was enjoying a convivial farewell dinner in London with a group of five vivacious, accomplished women writers and journalists at St. John’s Bread and Wine. The entire night was wonderful, and I laughed the whole time. At one point, talk turned to pregnancy, and the two pregnant women in the group had one of the more honest and hilarious conversations I’ve ever heard, prompting more uproarious laughter from my end. Around twenty minutes later, a business card slid near my elbow. I looked up to see the messenger, a tall man in his 50s sporting a bushy take on the Hitler ‘stache.
He neither winked, smiled, nor licked his lips like LL Cool J, so it didn’t feel much like a come on (note to men: slipping women your cards generally fails, anyway). In fact, he rather glared at me. I turned over the card to find this charming, charming message:
Now, here is a lesson for anyone who thinks they can silence a laughing woman such as myself with a hyperbolic 18th-century putdown scribbled on a card: YOU MUST BE STUPID. THIS IS ONLY GOING TO MAKE ME LAUGH HARDER. ONLY NOW AT YOU. So, laugh we did, and all six of us were laughing directly at him.
Happy ending: I ignored his glares till he left the restaurant, and the waiter, who was horrified at his behavior, gave me a compensation bag filled with baked goods.
Suggested pro-loud-woman activism: Tweet a link or a joke of something funny today (and every day – why not?), with the hashtag #laughingmonster. Make yourself laugh, make your friends laugh, make me laugh. Or, send this guy an mp3 or .wav file of your laugh! Remind him that women are not just to be seen, but heard, too.