Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Downtown Gainesville on a Monday night.

On most weekday nights I am most likely to be found in a meeting where I am, in some form or another, plotting the overthrow of male supremacy with other feminists (imagine what you will, cauldrons, fire, chanting etc).

Last night was no different, except that I could have been stabbed.

We were having a phone bank, calling our supporters and urging them to send us money. During the course of the phone bank I learned the that a person I have never talked to before in my life, is completely fabricating conversations with me and telling people around town how unreasonable I am.

It's tough being president these days, with folks writing to the paper about my disservices to the community and other people running around concocting stories about my iron fist.

But neither of those people are the ones who nearly stabbed me.

Being in a good mood after raising some money, my friend Lisa and I decided to cross the street to downtown Gainesville and get something to eat at Harry's. There we swapped stories over crab cakes and scallops; I ate an entire loaf of bread and when Lisa asked, I assured her that the tattered sleeve of my t-shirt was not a fashion statement but yet another casualty of the dog.

We paid and got up to leave. As we approached the door we saw that it was held open by the Harry's bouncer/doorman. He had his back to us and was saying something to a man standing six feet from him at the entry gate to the sidewalk. The doorman glanced back at us and, quite gallantly, moved aside to let us through.

We crossed the threshold and came nearly face to face with the man at the gate. It was then we realized that the man was swaying and wielding quite a large knife. I also registered what the doorman, who had just kindly ushered us into the knife man's arms, was saying. "Dude, just put the knife down. Ok?"

Yeah dude, I thought. And dude, how about the bouncer give us a little, "Hang on a sec ladies, there's a drunk man with a big knife right out front?" Feminist though I am, I'm all for people holding a door open for me, just not when that door has a deadly weapon on the other side.

Lisa and I walked through the gate and deftly sidestepped the knife man. We made our way across the street, keeping one eye on the armed drunk now staggering in our direction. We walked two blocks out of our way and made it to our cars as we heard sirens rushing toward the restaurant we'd just come from.
I wondered if the doorman had respectfully moved aside to let some elderly patrons exit. What a gentleman.


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