"And I think that's Aline," Father A. went on, showing off the way his scary fanboy familiarity extended beyond the man's work to include his wife. "And the young one, that could be their daughter."
"Um, well," said one of the presbyters, clearly more concerned about when her French toast would arrive. "If you like his cartoons, why don't you go up and tell him so?"
Father A. spluttered, "Go up and -- and -- oh, no, I couldn't. I mean, hound the guy while he's trying to eat lunch? That's just -- it isn't done." Which was a small untruth; it is done all the time, to anybody who has ever had so much as their Warholian fifteen minutes. Even minor celebrities are routinely hounded to madness and violence by the importunacy of starstruck admirers, so desperate to experience even the faintest brush with greatness that they cast dignity to the winds and crazedly pretend to an undeserved familiarity. You remember Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction? She's real, and you don't need to actually sleep with her to get the treatment.
And we could only imagine that the effect is worse when the person hounding you wears a black suit with a Roman collar. To much of the world, those people look crazy to begin with.
So, muttering "Get thee behind me, Mother Anonymous," we resisted the temptation. We ate our French toast, and tried to eavesdrop, and can't have passed by on our way to the bathroom more than fifteen or sixteen times.
All of which leads to this little note, put in a bottle and set adrift on the waves of bloggery:
Mr. Crumb, if you ever happen to read the Egg, we don't expect you to remember that one glorious day we spent together in Chelsea. We're sure it can't have meant as much to you as it did to us. But please know that, somewhere in the world, there is a short cleric who just cares ... a little too much.
Oh, and here's a PS on a related note:
Dear Pete Seeger, Do you remember that flight to Rome, in 1993 or thereabouts? You were in coach, about halfway back? And a short guy maybe ten rows up who had to pee all the time, so he kept walking past your seat? Yeah, well, funny story ....