Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

EGA writes: "Lunch today was bread with sauce, so Leah and Nina and I went to the campus center for a treat. On the way there, we passed a curly-haired girl in a They Might Be Giants "Music Self-Played is Happiness Self-Made" shirt.
"I like your shirt," I said.
"Are you a fan?" she asked excitedly.
"How much of one?"
"Like, practically crazy," I said in a veritable tidal wave of bad judgement.
"Really!?! Wow! I'm way past that point. I, like, am stalking John Linnell at his house."
"Really? Where does he live?" I asked.
"I'm not telling you!" she screamed. I looked around nervously. Leah and Nina were way ahead.
"Okay, okay," I said.
"In Brooklyn."
"I know."
"That's all I can tell you. I'm stalking him, though. His wife, like, hates me."
Now why should Karen Brown, mother of a three-year old and wife of a man who attracts lunatics like nobody's business, hate a person who hangs around outside of her apartment? I just can't understand it.
"I've seen them 63 times in the last 2 years," she went on. "How many times have you seen them?"
"Uh, six, I think," I said.
"Which shows? We must have seen some of the same ones."
"Er, at Celebrate Brooklyn a few summers ago, twice in Buffalo, twice in Rochester, and once at the Bowery Ballroom. Oh, and the filming of Gigantic."
"I FUCKING HATE YOU!" she screamed. "I missed that one! My boyfriend went. It was like five hours long, wasn't it? He likes to rub it in."
"It was pretty cool," I admitted.
"I'm not even a TMBG fan so much as a John Linnell fan," she went on. "I have a website with the Mundanes mp3s and pictures of Linnell when he was, like, 20 and all that."
"I don't know," I said, over the warning bells dimly clanking in my head, "I love Linnell, too, but State Songs feels like it's lacking something to me..."
"IT'S NOT LACKING ANYTHING!!!" she screamed.
"Please stop shouting," I said nervously.
"Have you seen Gigantic?"
"No," I said.
"I have it." she said. "You have to come see it. And I have bootlegs of all their TV appearances, too. You're like my new best friend now. All I brought to college were TMBG t-shirts and every time somebody mentions it I get all excited and then it turns out they're like, "Uh, my brother had Flood and I listened to it once," but you're like a real fan!"
God help me.
"Well, I'm going to the campus center, so it was nice meeting you," I said, but
"NO! Here, let me give you my email and website and stuff..."
"Ah, okay, thanks..."
"And you give me yours in case you lose mine,"
"Um, sure..." I gave her my spare email, the one I use for spam. "Well, gotta go, nice meeting you, bye..."

"I just had a terrifying experience," I said to Nina and Leah.

Nina told me she's heard about this girl, who dropped out of school to follow the band. It's clear to me that she's insane. Why, then, does this experience lead me to question my own sanity? Why, when told that she stalks John Linnell, did I say "Where does he live?" instead of "How could you do such a creepy and illegal thing?" Not because I myself would stalk John Linnell; I would never stand outside his apartment and wait for him to come out, but if I knew where he lived and I was in Brooklyn I might pass by his block and smile to myself because I would know that the man whose job it is to make the music that makes me happy lives there with his family. I have my t-shirts and my poster and my autographed ticket stub and set list, and I've seen them live 6 times, but... I'm not crazy. Even though the idea of seeing Gigantic and all their tv appearances is tempting, it's not nearly tempting enough for me to go into this girl's room. She's like the crazy fan who killed John Lennon.
If I were They Might Be Giants, I'd be so scared all the time... of people like me.

| Comments:
It's pretty hilarious that I know who you're talking about.
Ryan, we all know who she is.
Hey, it would be pretty awesome if this post (a lot of which is not even factually correct) could be taken down at some point, unless you think this girl needs to continue to be publicly humiliated by you 8 years later for some reason.
In what regard is this not factually correct? I just went back over it, and I'm not sure I see where it might be said to be in error.

As for public humiliation, I'm pretty comfortable with the general scubbing of identifying information contained here.
Uh, I happen to know the person in question and she definitely did not drop out of school to follow the band or go to 63 shows in 2 years--she still hasn't been to that many ten years later. That's what I meant about factually incorrect. And how have you "scrubbed identifying information" when only one person has a site like that? If you were freaked out by her that's one thing, I get freaked out by her sometimes too, but comparing her to a goddamn assassin is really uncool.
Yeah, this is just fucked up and seems extremely exaggerated.
Well, here's how this goes. I've have related an anecdote which is largely hearsay. It may be that within a relatively small community the people in that anecdote-- some or all-- are identifiable. I do not know who the woman with the website and the videos is, but I know the other principals in this story. It is possible that there is some hyperbole in it, but even if there is, the point of the story is not, as seems to be thought, to mock the woman. Beyond that, it is not my practice to give much respect to Anonymous commentators.

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