On our first date many moons ago, my future wife and I went out to eat. Being the shy guy I was at the time, I didn't talk much during the meal.
By 'much' I mean 'almost not at all'. I think I said four words.
[Five if you count 'hello']
As you can imagine, this ticked her off. "This is a waste of my time. I'm going to finish my meal,then I'm going to take you home, and I don't ever want to see you again," she said.
A palm reader she was not.
What she was at the time was a liberal Democrat who (gasp, gag) had worked on the Clinton campaign. After her little declaration of intent, she decided to turn the meal into her political soapbox. It soon became apparent that the only thing we had in common was the hope that the date would hurry up and end.
And then she did it. She stepped over the line and slurred then-Governor Tommy Thompson.
No way I was going to let her defame the greatest Governor in Wisconsin history. Not on my watch.
No one puts Tommy in the corner.
So I came out swinging. After an hour of spirited and sometimes bloody debate, she asked me if I wanted to go back to her house.
[personal note: I played that line off to imply some hanky-panky, but the truth of it is she needed to stop by her parent's house to pick up her Book of the Month order. I like my version better]
And the rest, as they say, is history.
I bring this up for two reasons. One, to prove that chicks can't resist a man that follows Tommy. And two, to show that, traditionally, I'm really bad at small talk.
Small talk being defined as, say, responding to comments on my journal.
I've enjoyed all the attention I've received since being named AOL's guest editor last week, even if I inadvertently started a little controversy.
[personal revelation: ironically, that was the same day I learned I failed to make the cut in the Journal-Sentinel's open audition for a columnist. All the congrats from J-Land helped soften the blow of that rejection. It would have softened it more if AOL had offered me some money along with the title, but what can you do?]
I've read all the great comments - heck, I've done everything but frame the suckers and put them on the wall - butI get the worst case of writers block when it comes time to respond to them.
Rest assured, I'll visit every journalist/blogger that commented and return the favor on their site. If you didn't leave a url behind and I can't track one down, I'll send a short little email your way.
It might take awhile, but it'll get done.
Oh, and if (out of courtesy) I can get his permission, I'll post a great letter I got from the author of one of the sites I featured. As it is there's been some nice thank-you's - some on the blogs themselves, and one in the Non-AOL comments.
As for Slapinions, you might see a slight drop-off in production over the summer. I've really got to concentrate on landing a paying gig, and besides that I've let my novel slide for too long.
Ah, who are we kidding? I seem incapable of not posting here.
[web author secret: if worse comes to worse, I can always post pics of the kids]
Anyhow, thanks again.