There comes a point in any public Q&A session when some audience member asks a Q whose true A should be, "Jesus Christ, why do I even bother?" Last night at the Newberry Library, during Karen Abbott's talk on her prodigiously titled new book, American Rose: A Nation Laid Bare: The Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee, that moment came a few minutes after Abbott had described the famed stripper's last encounter with her sister, June Havoc, shortly before Gypsy's death in 1970. [She was dying of lung cancer, and Havoc reportedly called Gypsy's tumor, which was large enough to be seen through her skin, a final "gift from Mama."]
Not five minutes later, someone in the audience raised her hand and asked, "If Gypsy was so evasive, what was interviewing her like?"
Abbott handled this idiotic question with polite restraint, choosing to talk instead about interviewing Havoc, who lived until March of last year. If it'd been me, I would've been like, "Yeah, I'd say she was pretty damn evasive with me, seeing as how I just finished telling you she died 40 years before I wrote the motherfucking book."
Lord, save us from book tours.