January 30, 2006

Garrison Keillor Is a Great Big Lie-Face

... and you've got to love a man like that.

He was using My copy machine at Kinko's today for a large project of some sort, so I had to use an adjacent one instead. And while I was standing there, waiting for my copying to wind to its finish, it was pretty hard to ignore him - he's a tall guy, and was wearing the sort of lovely tailored black wool coat that you don't generally see in Kinko's on a slushy day in January in my neighborhood.

Most of the clients in my neighborhood Kinko's are students or other working class folks who if they had that sort of coat, they'd only wear it for parties and trips to the Ordway. They would never chance brushing such a precious and pristine sort of garment against the dirty salt-encrusted sides of the cars in the crowded Kinko's parking lot.

But Mr. Keillor isn't afraid of the Dry Cleaner, even though he probably doesn't live in a neighborhood where there's a Cleaner on the nearest corner. He stood impassively in front of his copier, looking a bit distant and foreboding in his tailored bit of darkness.

When I was finished with my copying, I had to go around him to get to the machine (adjacent to him on the other side) that would print up my receipt. And while waiting for that printed receipt I started to feel a bit... well, obvious.

I had effectively surrounded the man, in spite of his aura of being protected by a fairly large area of Personal Space. I'm simply not small enough to be Ignorable. I'm a great dirigible of a woman, and it takes a lot of fairly determined maneuvering to pretend that I'm not there; enough so that in a less grave-looking person than Mr. Keillor, the effort would look a bit silly.

So I wanted to do something that would allow us both to save our dignity, acknowledge our mutual awareness of the other's existance, without requiring the Expensive Tailored Celebrity of us to pretend to be open to Intrusive Public Conversation.

So I said, "Thank you - you've given me a great deal of joy over the last 25 years."

And he frowned slightly more intensely, pinned me with a stern look, and gruffly said with the straightest face imaginable, "You're not old enough to have done that."

And at that moment I remembered that I'd inadvertently lied, myself.

I went to a live performance of Prairie Home Companion when I was 16, with my fiancee (not the Pirate). I'd been listening to Mr. Keillor's voice for 30 years.

Which makes his lie even bigger, and even kinder.

A man like that can probably charm his Dry Cleaner into not minding having to remove the salt smudges from that coat...


Blogger Chris said...

Celebrities in Kinko's, oh my. :)

6:48 PM  
Blogger mE said...

I was jealous of his coat. Could you tell? Not that I could look tailored and pristine in *anything*, mind you. But I love that boiled-wool sort of thing, it was just beeyootiefull... :D

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ROFLMAO! What a response. Evil, LOL.
Makes me wish I were as quick-witted as he is.
I suffer from esprit d'escalier, always thinking of the perfect response an hour later or something...

2:19 PM  
Blogger mE said...

Well, two things to consider:

1. He has decades of public speaking and live radio broadcast experience behind him, so he has lots of experience in making off-the-cuff remarks.

2. He is a celebrity, so he probably gets accosted a lot, and is likely to have a number of 'stock' answers and pithy comments in his internal rolodex.

You, on the other hand, are an extremely private person who has lived in fairly isolated rural splendor for much of your life, so that isn't the kind of thing that you've practiced at.

You respond pithily enough in writing. To each their own, and a bit left over for me...

2:38 PM  

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