Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Coffee, not ignorance

Today was a “spa day.” Hair, nails—the full beauty treatment. Crazy lady also wanted the doctor to check my leg and give me my booster shots. So, she dropped me off at the vet this morning for my beauty and health regime, and then headed to the closest coffee shop for some much-needed caffeine.

Crazy lady was exhausted and running on very little coffee and food fumes. She has been working 20-hour days, trying to finish the final changes on two new books, due to her editor at the end of this month. Her carpal tunnel was causing her hands to shake, she had a headache, and she (badly) needed a shower. Overall, she was grumpy and unapproachable.

So, imagine her shock when the man standing behind her in line wanted to discuss politics. He started talking about the similarities between Obama and McCain, last night’s debate, how they remind him of his children picking a fight, blah, blah, blah. Crazy lady was not in the mood for a discussion. She wanted her caffeine. She let him talk, but didn’t comment on his diatribe.

Until he mentioned religion.

As in, “no matter who the candidate, at least they have god’s support, and the U.S. can maintain our moral superiority over other countries—maybe even teach those countries a few good Christian things.”
You see, crazy lady is an atheist. Some people think that she doesn’t tell coworkers and acquaintances her pen names because of the violence in her stories. The reason is more complex—it has to do with people’s sensitivities around religion. Crazy lady’s books and short stories are banned in some parts of the U.S. because she is highly critical of organized religion, especially Christianity. She has been known to call Christian fanatics “Bible-thumping psychotics” and “crazy-ass Jesus freaks” in stories and readings.

A sleep and caffeine deprived grumpy lady who is approached by a “Bible thumping” man in the coffee shop is a dangerous thing. Now, as some people know, crazy lady has two types of arguments: emotional and cold. Emotional arguments are ones that she purposely loses because she is tired, and wants people to go away. She has very little invested in these arguments.

The cold arguments? Scary.

Crazy lady always begins a “cold argument” with questions. She starts to innocently ask the person various questions about their position, using their answers to align her response. She let’s them talk, and brings them into a feeling of security. She purposely misleads them, makes them think “ah yes, here’s someone I can teach.”

Then, she slaughters them.

Anyone who has had a “cold argument” with crazy lady—or has witnessed this kind of argument—knows what I mean. The room gets quiet, people listen, some try to step in and help the poor soul who picked the fight with crazy lady. The man in the coffee shop? He answered crazy lady’s questions, suggested she go to his prayer group, mentioned U.S. superiority in medicine. Her questions started to get harder—was he familiar with the concept of cultural relativism? Read any Gramsci, lately? (her personal favorite ) Hmmm… how, exactly, did the U.S. remain superior in the area of stem cell research, with the development of an “ethics committee” used to “monitor the science?”

Then, she quietly and coldly explained how & where he was wrong, pointing out various passages in the Bible, quoting various political analysts, and using his own logic against him. She also explained the differences between the candidates, and their perspectives on domestic and foreign policy. The entire coffee shop was quiet, listening to the argument. Some people tried to intervene, with one woman reading passages from her Bible. Five minutes later, crazy lady picked up her coffee, wished everyone a wonderful morning, and left a very silent room.

My recommendation? Don’t pick a fight with crazy lady when she is tired, grumpy, hungry, and caffeine deprived. It’s not pretty.


Anonymous said...

I miss you crazy lady! Watching you argue with idiots used to be the highlight of my day. When are you moving back to Denver?

MOM said...

Crazy Lady's Jewish mother was not happy to read her unkind words expressed about Christian beliefs and practices, especially on Yom Kippur Day. You were raised to be more accepting of others whose views differed from yours.

G-d only knows-I still love you but where did I go wrong?


Robyn said...

Listen to your mother.

(Just be careful. You, too might be guilty of fanaticism and it is not necessarily better.)

Karen said...

I find it interesting that no one posts a response to Sugar getting lost at the airport, Sugar fighting with a raccoon, my new books coming out, and mental breakdowns-- and yet, a grumpy post about arguing with a Bible carrying man at the coffee shop elicits 3 responses! Geez.

Wild Dingo said...

Krazy Lady, i'm not a full-on atheist...(i'm sort of a buddhist: if you can't answer the question, why bother dwelling on it) but i'm a huge Dawkins fan! I'm tolerant of people's beliefs and faith and whatever, but gosh darn, i draw the line at gov'mint and religion or country and religion.

and gosh darn (pardon the Palinisms), why did it take Colin Powell to point out that it's ok for a Muslim to die for our country but never dare dream to be our president. (because people keep insisting that Obama is muslim.) Not that I believe Obama is Muslim, but the point is, it shouldn't frackin' matter. Our constitution is more holy to me than any fear-instilling religious book. And defending it as our leader is more important than what God the leader believes in!

Why do people think our leader should be zionistic? yikes! scary. I don't know about you, but i have an "exit" strategy planned for the day our Constitution really does die.

I wish i could be a fly on the wall of Krazy Lady giving a "cold argument" in a Jesus-thumpin' coffee shop. Dog Bless that first amendment and caffeine. ;)