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In Which Our Hero Almost Gets Into a Fistfight [Sep. 30th, 2010|11:16 pm]
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[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |wolfsheim, Heroin (she said)]

Many of your were following along on Twitter while this unfolded -- here's the expanded version ....

Yesterday we had a pair of tickets to the final dress rehearsal of the Philadelphia Opera Company's production of Verdi's Otello but trillian_stars had rehearsal herself for the Iliad which opens October 1, so I went with my friend Colin.

The show was lovely, Mark Delavan, who played Iago had injured his knee earlier and performed the whole thing in a wheelchair & this blog post probably would have been about the show were it not for The Weird Thing That Happened After.

We went out to one of my favorite bars, XIX, high atop the Bellvue hotel in Center City and sat down at a table. Right next to us, about a foot and a half away was another table where a non descript 40something couple were having drinks. Colin asked something about the reception on my iPhone and I said I'd never been able to get the signal strength to go down with the "death grip", so I pulled the case off of it and we tried to make the signal go down by holding it in various ways -- we were engaged in this scientific endeavor while waiting for our drinks when the woman next to us said:

"Excuse me, do you have glitter on your phone?"

"Why yes I do!" I said, handing her the case - which, as you know is the most awesome cell phone case ever made. (You can see it here in this photo by Rachel McCaulley.)

"You have Hello Kitty on your phone," she said, turning it over in her hand.

"When there are five iPhones on the table," I replied, "I never pick up the wrong one." I have this conversation so often that at this point it's kind of like a chess opening you've memorized. Her next line is supposed to be "This is so freaking awesome!" but she deviated from the script.

"You've got a @#$%ing problem." She said -- not in the funny way, but in the angry way and things changed a little, like got weird. I could tell that she was really offended by my phone.

She got extremely agitated very quickly and then leaned over to her date and said, "Aren't you going to do something about this?"

At this point trillian_stars arrived and we started talking about the show, but I had one wandering eye watching the action next to us -- the angry woman wouldn't let it go. She goaded her date to "kick [my] ass" and eventually he said "Dorothy, I'm not going to hit someone because you don't like his telephone."

She banged her drink down and grunted "If you can't fight Mr Hello Kittyphone maybe you shouldn't be dating me," and stalked off.

He got up and followed her out and that was that.


Looking back at my Twitter feed, the whole thing from first comment to her boiling over like an unwatched kettle took 32 minutes. It must be very stressful to live like that.



Here's a shot of the Academy of Music, taken with my awesome phone.








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[User Picture]From: _stranger_here
2010-10-01 12:06 pm (UTC)

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Alternate translations:

1. I demand the Hello Kitty phone be made mine at once. My champion will do battle with you for the prize.

2. This is OPERA, sir, how dare you bring low culture into the building!

3. I have that very same Hello Kitty phone. There can be only one.
[User Picture]From: yackersmaren
2010-10-01 03:01 pm (UTC)

but....

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they were in the bar at the time not the opera.
[User Picture]From: trishalynn
2010-10-01 12:09 pm (UTC)

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Dude, do you realize you saved this poor guy from years of wondering exactly how far her crazy extends? ^_^
[User Picture]From: asterapallas
2010-10-01 04:11 pm (UTC)

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This comment made me laugh.

It's funny because it's true....

:D
[User Picture]From: gotham_bound
2010-10-01 12:25 pm (UTC)

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1. _WOW_ I love the light spills in the Academy photo.

2. For the last few years every time someone does/says something that make me shocked to realize people behave that way In Real Life my response has been "some people have to be seen to be believed."

3. Obviously what you should have done is put a G.I. Joe sticker on your iPhone cover and then bedazzle the shit out of HIM.
[User Picture]From: wanderingastray
2010-10-02 11:03 am (UTC)

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3. Obviously what you should have done is put a G.I. Joe sticker on your iPhone cover and then bedazzle the shit out of HIM.

Best comment ever. I now want a bedazzled-to-shit GI Joe. Desperately.
[User Picture]From: mattcaron
2010-10-01 12:33 pm (UTC)

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I have a strawberry shortcake sticker on one of my gun cases. That way I know which long silver case at the range is mine.

And, yeah, the case is awesome.
[User Picture]From: dujour
2010-10-01 12:40 pm (UTC)

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Note from a lurker:

That is, hands down, the most bizarre justification for personal conflict that I have ever encountered, fictional or otherwise, and I tended bar for nearly 10 years in some pretty strange places.
[User Picture]From: adelheid_p
2010-10-01 01:13 pm (UTC)

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Ya know, when you take your phone out to the opera, you have to dress it up!
I think she was just angry she didn't have that cool idea first. I saw your twitter updates at the time and I was going to tweet back that it sounded like a surreal evening. People can be really odd when they have alcohol in them.
[User Picture]From: lawbabeak
2010-10-01 01:19 pm (UTC)

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Maybe in her drunken haze she thought you were some horrid child molester, using your Hello Kitty awesomeness to lure unsuspecting children into reach.

Says she who was just appointed to represent someone charged with "enticing a child" in a really bad way.
[User Picture]From: meddevi
2010-10-01 01:19 pm (UTC)

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wow...just wow. It must be from the extraordinary strain of living with one's head lodged up her ass...
[User Picture]From: daphnep
2010-10-01 01:29 pm (UTC)

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I think I'm just going to call you "Mr. HelloKittyphone" from now on.
[User Picture]From: saraaaaaa
2010-10-01 03:14 pm (UTC)

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I'll have to remember to shout this at him if I ever run across him in town.

[User Picture]From: petitbout
2010-10-01 01:30 pm (UTC)

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Ah, now I have a more detailed story.

Not that I am not sorry to have missed the company of you and your lovely wife - but I am glad I wasn't there. People like that set me on edge.

[User Picture]From: i
2010-10-01 01:35 pm (UTC)

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Had dinner with your friend Kate last night. She invited my wife to model for your workshop. Small world!
[User Picture]From: esprix
2010-10-01 02:25 pm (UTC)

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On behalf of Philadelphia, I apologize for the crazy. But, hey, it makes a good story, and at least her (now ex-) boyfriend wasn't just as crazy and didn't punch you in the nose.
[User Picture]From: artfuldodger
2010-10-01 02:47 pm (UTC)

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On the bright side, "Mr Hello Kittyphone" is a good superhero name to have acquired.
From: (Anonymous)
2010-10-01 02:56 pm (UTC)

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I'm with Kambriel, I can't believe he FOLLOWED her. Since she said "dating" he's clearly technically free to walk away. Maybe he left his MacBook at her apartment, or a really awesome shirt, and he had to follow her to go get his stuff.

That's what I'm going with.

It is a great story, though. Being a woman I am really never threatened with beatdowns. This was likely not your first time? Being a long-haired Mr. Hello Kittyphone kind of guy.

Iago in a wheelchair, that's core.
[User Picture]From: kathm13
2010-10-01 03:15 pm (UTC)

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When the story unfolded "live" on Twitter I thought you were dealing with a drunken twentysomething. The fact that you suffered abuse from a theoretical adult makes it that much more surreal.

I wish you'd taken her picture, but she probably would have put out a hit on you.
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2010-10-01 03:21 pm (UTC)

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A theoretical adult at a very upscale bar. No drunken hipsters here -- just the outraged privileged.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand
[User Picture]From: chianeko
2010-10-01 03:23 pm (UTC)

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Someone needs a Hello Kitty "I'm sorry" card.
[User Picture]From: perdix
2010-10-01 03:37 pm (UTC)

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Wow. That is amazing.

Don't you kinda wish you could've been following her date's Twitter feed during that 32 minute period (not to mention the hour or two after)?
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2010-10-01 03:43 pm (UTC)

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TomDishpan: "D upset at gas station attendant, had to punch him."
TomDishpan: "D says trash can ugly. Threw it over fence."
TomDishpan: "At Dirty Franks, come meet us."
TomDishpan: "Not at Dirty Franks, had to hit bartender for D."
TomDishpan: "Anywhere to go in CC?"
TomDishpan: "Wallking N. On Broad."
TomDIshpan: "D. outraged over hood ornament, had me slash tires."
TomDishpan: "Going to XIX, meet us here."
TomDishpan: "Ordering drinks! Go Phils!"
TomDishpan: "Fries here are REALLY GOOD."
TomDishpan: "D upset by some guys phone, wants me to hit him."
TomDishpan: "D now pissed off at me because I wont' fight guy w/ phone."
TomDishpan: "Don't meet us at XIX, D just stormed out."
TomDishpan: "I'll let you know when I find her. Hold on."
TomDishpan: "D texted, have to beat up a hobo who asked her for money. brb"
TomDishpan: "Where can we go for drinks in Center City?"
[User Picture]From: asterapallas
2010-10-01 04:03 pm (UTC)

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The woman, clearly, has issues. What an absolute lunatic.

And not that I need to say it -- though I will, anyway -- your cell phone cover is pure awesome.

I knew that I liked you.

And that was before you'd displayed the awesomeness that is your cell phone cover.
[User Picture]From: whiskeychick
2010-10-01 04:11 pm (UTC)

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I think it's absolutely brilliant that you have a Hello Kitty phone. People like that woman are living in an alternate universe. And not the fun kind either. You handled it with much grace and kudos to the beau for thinking clearly. She's also a perfect example of how mental health issues are not given the attention they need and glazed over as "personality flaws."
[User Picture]From: dash_aitch
2010-10-01 04:12 pm (UTC)

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That is truly bizarre. What a horrible, twisted worldview she lives with..!
[User Picture]From: saint_monkey
2010-10-01 04:29 pm (UTC)

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She should really go hang in a truckstop off of I 76 on the way to Pittsburgh. She'd be much happier there.
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2010-10-01 04:35 pm (UTC)

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Her grasp on reality will completely implode when she meets a gay truck driver in a cowboy hat.
[User Picture]From: argonel
2010-10-01 05:08 pm (UTC)

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Truely bizzare. While neither your phone or the case are to my taste I am sure both are eminently practical for you. There is no call for violence or even harsh words, although a dismissive expression may not be entirely out of place.

I will claim my phone is better because Verizon is both evil and competent, as oposed to AT&T which seems to be merely evil.
[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2010-10-01 05:12 pm (UTC)

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that's what we were trying to find out, seeing if we could make the signal strength go down!
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: dukwjay
2010-10-01 09:56 pm (UTC)

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Though I am no Hello Kitty fan, I do not believe that I could ever go all "road rage" over a guy with a HK cover on his phone. She seems, um, to need a little more weight on the other side of her teeter-totter, if you know what I mean.
From: (Anonymous)
2010-10-01 06:07 pm (UTC)

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I know I'm late to the party, and I'm sure this has been said before, but:

1)your phone is awesome

2) you are awesome for having that phone

3)I will gladly kick that woman's ass.
[User Picture]From: ms_violet
2010-10-01 06:13 pm (UTC)

D'oh

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That was me. Sorry.
[User Picture]From: ms_chatelaine
2010-10-01 08:38 pm (UTC)

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Everybody's been saying, "crazy" and "homophobe", and i agree that the woman has a problem with tolerating anyone who doesn't conform to her inflexible notions of behaviour. But I don't think she's all that uncommon.

Bob Altermeyer, in The Authoritarians describes a personality type ...

"Psychologically these followers have personalities featuring:
1) a high degree of submission to the established, legitimate authorities in their society;
2) high levels of aggression in the name of their authorities; and
3) a high level of conventionalism."

This is exactly what you ran into. These are the kind of people who form lynch mobs, and sadly they aren't rare. If high camp was conventional, she would have been agitating to string up anyone who didn't have a Hello Kitty phone. Happily, her date was more tolerant.
[User Picture]From: saraaaaaa
2010-10-01 10:48 pm (UTC)

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Oh, people like that are not odd at all. I get them at work all the time. I've just never had they wish to resort to physical violence over it.
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