A few weeks ago, I was leaving our little mountain post office when the postmistress herself came flying out of the building at me like Smaug after a Baggins.

“If you’re not going to check your mail for a box key, I’m not going to bother putting it in. I was trying to be thoughtful. I was trying to be nice. But if you’re going to just run off with it, I am NOT going to do it anymore.”

Our postmistress has a frizzled crown of shoulder-length grayscale hair on her head, wears artsy hippy attire and generally looks as if she has been plucked from a medieval mob scene. That is to say that she resembles a librarian. In my experience, all librarians–beautiful or plain–can be easily imagined in Renaissance festival attire and sucking on a turkey leg. If she had produced a rotten turnip to throw at me in that moment, I would not have been the least bit surprised. Unlike a librarian, however, she bears the additional countenance of one who could be packing heat. Had she produced a 9mm Beretta, for example, I would have been equally stoic.

I blinked twice, looked down at my fistful of mail, gave it a shake, and sure enough, a little orange key fell to the pavement.

She shook her head hotly and smoldered her way back into her position of public maintainer of peace and of parcels.

And actually, had she flashed a gun at me, it would not have been the first time for me. As a matter of fact, I have seen down the muzzle of a gun no less than five times in my life. I have been:

  1. Detained outside of a car on the side of a dead-dog-strewn highway in Mexico;
  2. Threatened through a site not to take a step closer to a barbed wire fence patrolled by a tower guard at the East German border;
  3. Awakened to find a gun pointing carelessly at me through the backseat window of a car at a checkpoint entering a still-red Hungary;
  4. Ordered at point blank range to leave a protest in Hong Kong by a mainland Chinese soldier; and,
  5. Startled while doing some target practice to find a man had set up a .50 caliber canon on a tripod directly behind me and my instructor, and was preparing to blast a hole in the side of the mountain in front of us, from about six feet above our heads. Apparently we were in his way.

A few months ago, I walked into a gas station after having filled up my Jeep Cherokee to ask for change for a $5 bill. Simple request.

May I have five ones, please?

The man working the counter was old. I mean, really old. If I have to guess, I would put him somewhere around 97. It is possible he once knew someone who voted against Lincoln. His hair was pulled straight back over his shiny scalp and butch waxed into neat little comb stripes. I could see that he had been tall once, but his shoulders were in a losing battle with gravity. His nostrils and ears looked as if someone had ripped out something electronic that used to reside in there, and left the uncapped wires to the elements, a good 30 years ago.

He didn’t answer me at first, so I repeated my request a little louder. A little more chipper. Irene Zion is always talking about how the elderly and infirm like pets and happy people. I smiled broadly. Cocked my head to one side like a Spaniel.

He didn’t look at me directly at first. When a noise so low and guttural began bubbling and churning in my ears, I thought at first that a faulty air system was trying to kick on somewhere on the other side of the parabolic lighting. He held out a large, gnarled hand at me, edemic and spotted like a giraffe.

“Now, look here,” he said after removing the phlegm from his throat which had nearly initiated an emergency visit from the HVAC folks, “if I give you change, then I have to give every young whippersnapper who waltzes in here change. I’d be doling out change all the livelong day.”

A wheeze ripped through his rusty windpipe like a Sawzall and rearranged the mangled wiring hanging out of his nose.

“No, no,” I smiled even broader this time, imagining Irene and her passel of puppies, “I’m a customer. I just spent $45 on gas out at the tank.”

He began sputtering like a whistle-less kettle and shuffling his feet until a fellow customer saved all of us with his wallet.

“Here. This guy’s not gonna budge anytime before his next Metamucil break.”

We exchanged bills and I was on my way, pushing past the crowd of people crammed into the Boulder Conoco, apparently all waiting to magically multiply their single bills at the expense of the elderly.

I don’t think I look like a threat. When I look in the mirror, I don’t see a street rat holding a proverbial can of graffiti. I often wear black, but usually accompanied by something in the color scale. I smile. I make small talk. I have no visible tattoos. I have been known to karaoke. I’ve even tried to look intimidating. Take, for example, the time I dressed up Emo in order to attempt to avoid jury duty. (FAIL.) I am decidedly un-metal.

So, I guess I’m in the throes of self-realization here. I’m gazing at my own navel and what I’m finding isn’t pretty. For one thing, it has the telltale scar of a past attempt at being a badass, or “badlass” as my daughter once erroneously-and-yet-appropriately put it after watching Aeon Flux. I took the stainless ring out at some point during pregnancy when it looked as if it could be used as a controlling device poking out from underneath my shirt. As if someone could clamp a leash onto it and lead me out to pasture.

But also, I’m realizing that despite my numerous attempts at a persona of personal strength, I still come off to the average Joe as a bit of a doormat. A non-event. The perfect person to whom to refuse a simple dollar bill exchange and over whom to attempt to shoot a tank. Also, I do annoying things like making sure that I have no prepositions at the end of my phrases.

But there’s something else, too. (No, look deeper. Past the lint.) And that is the fact that I don’t actually feel like a doormat. Like, when the old guy at the gas station told me he wouldn’t make change for me, I was already composing the letter in my head to his manager, along with a scathing review for the local paper, as well as this very post. That is to say, I’m not as nice as I apparently look. I am occasionally vindictive.

I don’t know what to do with this knowledge yet, but I feel I could quite possibly be a dangerous individual. I should not be trusted. If I were a man, I should be out right now perusing the sales lots for a very large truck. I should be practicing my Boris Karloff look in front of the mirror. I should practice my cussing. I should go out and take names. I should become a kung fu master. I should acquire a suicide bracelet. I should tattoo my neck.

I should become a postmistress.

TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ERIKA RAE is the author of Devangelical, a humor memoir about growing up Evangelical (Emergency Press, December, 2012). She is editor-in-chief at Scree Magazine and nonfiction editor at The Nervous Breakdown. Erika earned her MA in Lit­er­a­ture and Lin­guis­tics from the Uni­ver­sity of Hong Kong and to this day can ask where the bath­room is in Can­tonese, although it is likely that she will not under­stand the answer. In her dream world, she fan­cies her­self a kung fu mas­ter clev­erly dis­guised as a gen­tle moun­tain dweller, eagerly antic­i­pat­ing dan­ger at the bot­tom of every latte. When she is not whipping one of her 3 children and denying them bread with their broth, she runs an ISP with her husband from their home in the Colorado Rockies.

107 responses to “My Postmistress Is a Badlass”

  1. Wait, did he really say whippersnapper, or is that a PTSD add-on? Also, would love to hear about this dead dog strewn scenario in Mexico. Were you help up against a car, or held against a car? And where’s a pic of that emo outfit? Did you have a straight edge X on your hand? And then napping at a Red Hungary checkpoint? Erika, this post is like orange juice concentrate (remember that?), you need to pour in some water and turn it into 5 big frosty glasses of Rae sub-posts.

    I mean, what exactly were you protesting in Hong Kong?

    • Erika Rae says:

      He totally said whippersnapper…or something to that effect. Look, I can hardly be expected to remember EVERY word verbatim, can I? What is this, an interrogation? What – you gonna hold a gun to my face? Are ya? Are ya?

      Heh.

      And what was I protesting? It was 1997 during the handover back to China. We’d wrapped the Legislative Council building in a giant yellow banner – a huge bolt of cloth that took about 200 people or more to hold. We were protesting the loss of democracy, man. Tying a yellow ribbon around the old … LegCo building. Hm. Not so much frosty glasses of OJ – more like screwdrivers. The twisted life of Erika Rae.

  2. Zara Potts says:

    I’m so excited that I met your postmistress! She was one tough cookie – Simon and I practically had to beg her to let us use the phone. I think she was very suspicious of our foreigner ways.

    You are such a clever writer, E-Dog (that’s my new tough gangsta name for you) you drop these perfect, funny, lines throughout your pieces that have me laughing out loud. Your descriptions are wonderful and bang on. I’ve said this a hundred times – but I just love your work!

    As for doormats – you are most certainly not one of those. I wouldn’t want to mess with you. You have that deadly ‘smiling assassin’ charm – and that’s the very best kind of charm to have.

    Please say hi to the postmistress from me next time you pop in!

  3. Matt says:

    You can (and will) beat up my grandma. Why in the world would I – or anyone – ever think you were a doormat?

    Your postmistress and gas station geezer are obviously suffering the ill side effects of too much clean mountain air, and have severely impaired judgement because of it.

    Now, speaking as six-foot tall, 225-pound individual who is often assumed to be a ruffian just because of the way he looks, being mistaken (key word here) for a wallflower isn’t the worst thing in the world. Better to be underestimated and have the element of surprise on your side.

    • Erika Rae says:

      You don’t even know, Matt Baldwin. In my head, the old Conoco guy and I met in a back alley full of monks where we battled it out 20 feet above the ground. For all practical appearances, though, I could have been wearing a candy striper uniform and offering to refill cups of tepid tea. I have…issues.

  4. Dana says:

    “We exchanged bills and I was on my way, pushing past the crowd of people crammed into the Boulder Conoco, apparently all waiting to magically multiply their single bills at the expense of the elderly.”

    Brilliant as always Erika! Also, I’m confident that you could take the postmistress. You’re undeniably tough as nails.

    • Erika Rae says:

      I could most certainly NOT take the postmistress. Never ever. Which, I guess, is why I sort of admire her. I think I want to *be* her. She is supremely awesome.

  5. Ronlyn Domingue says:

    Perhaps on some imperceptible level, you come across as someone not likely to go bat-shit crazy on people who are ill-tempered. That is, you’re a safe outlet for their bad behavior. No excuse for them to be mean, though…

    This morning, I went to mail some packages at UPS. I was asked for an ID. This has never happened before. It suddenly occurred to me why (new %&#$% rules), then the clerk, an older man, said, “I didn’t think you looked like a terrorist.” In a rare moment of retort, I replied, “Good, because that’s not the look I was going for today.” I left wondering what I might have done to achieve such a look and considered that a person who means harm might well go out of his or her way to use a disguise. Preppy couture might be nice.

    • Erika Rae says:

      That’s an interesting observation, Ronlyn. Not so much a doormat as…even. Yes, even. I quite like that. It sounds like a lovely self-delusion. I shall cling to it for dear life.

      As for how to look like a terrorist, might I suggest 1980s Wal-Mart clothes? A balaklava would be too stinkin’ obvious. But the Wal-Mart clothes…just enough to make them look twice at you and say, “chick’s unbalanced.”

      • Ronlyn Domingue says:

        VINTAGE Wal-Mart clothes. Now that’s creative. Back then, they were made in the USA, so they should be easy to spot at my next thrift store visit. Just have to check the label.

  6. Nathaniel Missildine says:

    I’m quite sure you are a dangerous individual, but I would probably still trust you. With a line like this alone…

    “A wheeze ripped through his rusty windpipe like a Sawzall and rearranged the mangled wiring hanging out of his nose. “

    …how could anyone not? This is such a hilarious piece it makes me want go compose letters to various individuals who’ve wronged me.

    • Erika Rae says:

      Merci pour le comment, Nathaniel! Je suis tres fier de vous!

      I’m scared to compose letters to all the various individuals who have wronged me. I might actually send them in (loose canon and all), and then I’d spend the rest of my life alone, bitter and feeling even more wronged. And then I’d have no one left to blame. Major backfire.

  7. Richard Cox says:

    You are no doormat. When you were here and we were looking for interviews on the fly, you were instrumental in setting them up. You were confident, you took control, people respected you and listened to you. You seemed like someone in charge.

    Your post is well-written, as always, and I know it’s tongue-in-cheek, but your conclusion about how people might see you is nowhere near accurate, Rollergirl.

  8. Your descriptions *kill* me! You’re hilarious. AND dangerous. I can tell … even if the elderly cannot.

  9. Erika Rae says:

    I am not half as dangerous as you, Miss Golightly. I want to take up smoking just so I can carry around a cigarette holder everywhere I go. How badlass is that?

  10. I once dated the son of a very small town postmistress. It was the summer after my first year of college and was working as a nanny. The boy was IN LOVE and I was having FUN. I never did get the mail my mother sent to me that summer after we broke up. I haven’t thought about that in years and your piece made it all come back… back away from the post office Erika Rae and just keep on writing… this you do most splendidly.

    • Erika Rae says:

      Do you mean to tell me that postmistress broke the law over your breakup with her son??? Wow. That’s serious stuff, there. You must have REALLY done a number on him, Robin Antalek. ( :

      Poor, poor son of a postmistress.

      • Poor Son of a Postmistress is a fabulous title, Erika.

        Let’s just say while the crime was never proven, my mother did claim to send me mail that summer…. and I have to say the lady is an awful liar. Funny follow-up to that story — the son of the postmistress ended up coming to my college once I got back to school that fall and he stole my roommate’s grandmother’s rocking chair to supposedly get back at me ( he thought it belonged to MY grandmother)… which left me with a pissed off roommate and a lot of explaining to do when her parents arrived during parents weekend.

  11. Joe Daly says:

    One of the things I like most is that the fact that you have been threatened with a firearm on five separate occasions is an aside to the story. That is spectacular.

    Yeah, having never met you before, I can safely say that I find you to be about 180 degrees from a doormat. Maybe it’s the Colorado thing (open skies and guns), but yeah, it is particularly fun to hear how the smug geriatric first created, then underestimated a foe in you.

    I had to rat out my postal delivery chick a few months ago- kept leaving other people’s packages in my box. She was neither a doormat nor a threat. She was just a horse’s ass.

    You should definitely be a postmistress. I think that puts you in line for the presidency if like, 2,300 government officials all unexpectedly go at the same time.

    • Erika Rae says:

      Oh Joe (who is anything but average as I so flippantly implied above in my post), now I want to be a postmistress more than ever. Not only would it excuse any predisposition I might have to ever “go postal”, but I could potentially become president one day. This would be such a better plan than my previous plan to hold that office – which largely involved a platform based on the eradication of daylight savings. Now I could simply promise the public appropriate package sorting, sit back and wait for the disaster that will take out the 2,299 public employees ahead of me, and when the time is right, slip my anti-DST agenda in the backdoor. It’s genius. No wonder you have a JD. Well-earned, that degree.

  12. Don Mitchell says:

    Excellent. You’ve always seemed totally badlass to me, though.

    And is that the Postmistress who got excited about the white powder in that parcel I sent you?

    If so, I’ll send more. You could fake some sort of seizure upon dipping a finger into and putting it in your mouth . . . .

    • Erika Rae says:

      Yes! It is the very same postmistress. After she informed me that she almost reported your package, I DID dip my finger in it. Thinking it must be the white sands of Hawaii, I only smelled it, though. It was not until I arrived home that I went so far as to taste it in all of its coconut glory. I am so sad I didn’t think of staging a seizure. (And thanks for the typo catches! I appreciate you getting my back.)

  13. Jessica Blau says:

    Or should you just carry a gun?!

    Holy moly. Five times? You’re like an action hero!

  14. Irene Zion says:

    Erika Rae,

    You’re looking at all of this wrong.

    The Postmistress wants to be your friend.
    She’s doing stuff for you, but you don’t realize it.
    She feels slighted.
    She’s lonely.
    You look like fun.
    You look like you could talk to her for three minutes or four when you get your mail.
    That would make her happy.
    Then she would stop lashing out.
    I would befriend her.
    She’s probably got some good stories.

    The old guy at the gas station?
    He’s had a rough life.
    His wife is dead and his kids never come to see him.
    You come in and you represent one of his kids.
    He’s hurt.
    He’s stubborn, so he just won’t help you.
    I would’ve said:
    My, you are really grumpy today.
    I hope you feel happier tomorrow.
    Then I would have turned around and asked someone else for change.
    The next time, he might’ve thought about it.
    He might not be quite so grumpy.
    Or, he might be dead.
    He’s old, right?

    • Erika Rae says:

      Oh, Irene – I HAVE befriended the postmistress. We’ve talked about our travels. We talk for many minutes every time I go in. She talks to my children when they come in with me. She knows their names. She even knows my mother. I’ve taken her banana bread. She DOES have good stories. I deserved what I got. I took the key. ) ;

      And I have no doubt you’re right about the old guy. I smiled super big at him just like I thought you would. Can I really say to him he’s grumpy today? I mean, is that allowed? I trust you, Irene, so I will try it next time.

      • Irene Zion says:

        Erika Rae,

        I only said that was what I would do.
        I never said it would work.
        It could or maybe he’ll get even angrier,
        but I’ll bet he can’t get it out of his mind
        and he thinks it about it a lot
        and just maybe it will soften him a bit.
        Make him less angry
        therefore less unhappy.

        • Erika Rae says:

          I like the way you think, Irene. I would, however, like to point out that when my husband is grumpy – and I point this out – it definitely does not soften the moment. (hee) But maybe it would work differently on a stranger because of the lack of baggage?

        • Irene Zion says:

          @Erika Rae,

          Holy Moly!
          You can’t do the same thing with husbands!
          Husbands are a whole n’other kettle of fish!
          Husband advice is way longer and we’re charged exorbitantly by the minute on the boat,
          and my husband is about to get back to the room!

        • Scott says:

          HA. Indeed! I’m now living for Irene’s advice to you 🙂

  15. Greg Olear says:

    all librarians can be easily imagined in Renaissance festival attire and sucking on a turkey leg

    Ha!

    This is all really funny, Erika. I mean, except for the part about people training firearms on you. This may well be my favorite of your posts.

    Voted against Lincoln. Ha!

    • Erika Rae says:

      My grandma knew people who had voted in that election. She died at 102 just a few years ago. This thought blows me away.

      And it’s true about the librarians. Young, old, beautiful or plain – it doesn’t matter. They have a quality about them. I love this about librarians.

  16. Ashley Menchaca (New Orleans Lady) says:

    As everyone has already said, sosososo funny!
    I love TNB pieces that allow me to giggle the entire time I read them. It makes other people in the room jealous AND it makes me seem mysterious. Double bonus!

    • Erika Rae says:

      Now you’ve put a smile on my face back. Thanks, Ashley AKA New Orleans Lady! Plus I like that your gravatar has color. I’ve gone Emo for the moment, but you’ve inspired me to swing back. (Just as soon as I figure out where to properly dispose of this broken vodka bottle wrapped in pages of my own bad poetry…)

  17. J.M. Blaine says:

    the echo
    of boots
    is on
    the hall

  18. Simon Smithson says:

    I call bullshit.

    I know exactly what you did to that guy in the gas station.

    And it was this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-H1Buew8Qg&feature=related

    • Erika Rae says:

      It was JUST a five dollar bill. A lucky five dollar bill. Had I given it to him, he would have put it in his cash register and it would have become like any other bill. Which it was.

      (You sir, are hilarious.)

  19. Lorna says:

    Erika,
    Do you recall in grade school when the boys liked a girl they would sock the girl in the arm and call her names? I think the same holds to for postmistresses and old geezers. They f’n love you, woman! As for me,…….well, if I wasn’t married and heteralsexual, I’d be using you as my own personal doormat.

    Thanks for the chuckles.

    • Erika Rae says:

      I never thought I’d take that as a compliment, but…thanks, Lorna! ( :

      As for the postmistress having a crush on me, though, um…well let’s just say that is an entirely new thought. I am going to have to ruminate on this one for a few days.

  20. Becky Palapala says:

    Holy crap, Erika.

    5 times?

    I’ve spent my life looking for trouble and have never found myself staring down the barrel of a gun.

    Am I relieved? Jealous? I don’t know!

    Does you postmistress wear batik? I imagine batik. And wooden necklaces with Serengeti menageries click clicking around on them.

    • Erika Rae says:

      It’s like you know her…

      I don’t know what to think about the gun thing. It’s so weird and surreal to me. They were all in such strange situations. And none of them were particularly emotional. More like a calm and stern presence. Do what we ask and no one will get hurt. Only, without the actual statement of it. Not like getting held up in a convenient store, for example. I’ve never even stuck my hands in the air. Huhn. It’s never occurred to me before to feel sort of, well, robbed of this experience. If I get held at gunpoint again, I will definitely raise my hands. For the principle of it.

  21. Quenby Moone says:

    Dear Ms. Rae,

    I’m writing in regards to your efforts to become “post-mistressly.” I have met you, madam, and you are no postmistress. In fact, I take extreme umbrage at your belief that you can presume to “write a letter to the manager” and thereby develop the necessary crotchetyness to become a postmistress.

    As to the observation that I would look good with a turkey leg sticking out of my mouth at a Ren Faire, I assure you that I spend no time at such hollow second-class frivolities; nay, I sit at my loom at SCA events, or darn wool leggings for the Knights.

    Perhaps if you weren’t so busy “writing essays” and spent more time darning socks, you would get the flavor of what it means to be a Mistress of any form (I spend nights weekday evenings knitting sweaters for the feral cats I care for, just my little contribution to a greater society–something you should think about). But alas, you are but a contender in a sea of contenders.

    You will never reach for the postmistress crown, Ms. Rae.

    Your Postmistress

    PS: Leave the key!

    • Erika Rae says:

      Dear Ms. Postmistress,

      I snatched your crown while you were sleeping with your head back against that homemade afghan and your mouth hanging wide open while Rick Steves prattled on in the background over the DVD player.

      Sincerely,
      Me

      PS – While you were passed out cold from the tepid bottle of mead on the end table beside you, I took the liberty of rummaging through your refrigerator. Not only did I find an entire shelf filled with frozen turkey legs, but I also found several ears of corn, a sack of taffy, one pork shank, 2 funnel cakes, and a box of corn dogs. FAIL.

      • Quenby Moone says:

        My Aunt Nadine crocheted that mauve and taupe afghan, and you shant mock it. I have learnt (-T not -ed) my honorable craft at her knee and she helps me wash the feral cats on weekends.

        My mead is served at room temperature. Those turkey legs are for GUESTS. And you are no lady.

        Cheers,
        Postmistress

        PS: I’m forwarding this missive to the USPS. You shall be blacklisted forthwith.

  22. Aaron Dietz says:

    I love writing the nasty letter that logically identifies evil.

    Or email.

    I bought a bed once. It was a terrible ordeal. But it only cost me $28. And the bed works great.

  23. Judy Prince says:

    “Irene Zion is always talking about how the elderly and infirm like pets and happy people. I smiled broadly. Cocked my head to one side like a Spaniel.”

    That is what kickstarted my HOOTs, Erika Rae, then I tea spit this:

    “I still come off to the average Joe as a bit of a doormat. A non-event. The perfect person to whom to refuse a simple dollar bill exchange and over whom to attempt to shoot a tank.”

    Your entire riffy depiction of the nasty old man outdid Dickens, my dear Erika Rae. Rock on!

    • Erika Rae says:

      There is nothing I repeat NOTHING as satisfying as a Judy Prince HOOT. ( :

      Thanks, m’lady.

      • Rodent says:

        “There is nothing I repeat NOTHING as satisfying as a Judy Prince HOOT. ( :”

        Rodent prolly wouldn’t say that. (demures, winks shyly)

        But, then, he isn’t you and you aren’t my husband.

        I am SOOOOOOOOOO delighted that you love my HOOTS, girl!

        Now please tell me when your Dickensian novel will come out—–I mean the one AFTER the new one coming out about Christian young folks education wotsits.

    • Rodent says:

      “The perfect person to whom to refuse a simple dollar bill exchange and over whom to attempt to shoot a tank.”

      Forgot to say that I kept near-HOOTing at 9 hrs of car-crash films that I watched on the airplanes enroute to VA from England yest’day—-bcuz I kept picturing your little self huddled by a crashed auto, a bunch of CIA agents blithely shooting over your shoulder at a tank! HOOOOOT!!!!

      • Rodent says:

        Sorry, Erika Rae, forgot to say that these recent Rodent comments are JUDY comments. I’m briefly at Rodent’s computer. Will get it fixed up pronto.

  24. I loved this as usual, although perhaps moreso than usual. I wish I’d met your surly postmistress on my brief jaunt up to the Rae residence. Or maybe not… Anyone that looks at home in a medieval mob should probably be avoided these days…

    I like that you linked Megan as the very definition of “metal”, too. She certainly is.

    What is it with the Chinese and pointing guns at people? Crazy buggers.

  25. Erika Rae says:

    I’ll bet you’ve had a gun or three pointed at you…

    If you ever make it back, I’ll take you by the PO. It’s quite the tourist attraction, apparently.

  26. Stefan Kiesbye says:

    Anything that references Aeon Flux is a masterpiece, Erika. (Not coincidentally the only movie role in which I liked Charlize Theron). Yes, you are dangerous!!!

  27. Erika Rae says:

    Aeon Flux is an educational requirement for my girls, ages 3 and 7. How else can I raise them to be badlasses?

  28. Slade Ham says:

    I think you’re a total bad(l)ass – the kind that would never fall prey to a mere armbar 🙂 Seriously thoug, I definitely want you on my side in a bar fight I’ve decided. You really are the dynamite in the tiny package. You may not look totally intimidating from a distance, but there’s that wild look in the eye that cinches it when you get too close. And…. you got mad skillz. With a Z.

    *makes alligator biting motion*

    • Erika Rae says:

      Low blow, Slade Ham. Low blow. There were…extenuating circumstances…and you know it. And anyway, I’d jump into a bar fight with you any day. ( : Just stay the hell a good distance away from me and my zucchini panini. Which sort of sounds like a butch porn star name…but I digress.

  29. Uche Ogbuji says:

    “Badlass”. Another classic coinage up there with Chakrasm.

  30. Tawni says:

    This was so funny!

    I already think of you as a badlass, E-Dogg. Don’t you have martial arts training? And we know you can hold your own against a creepy yoga-posing guy in a sauna. Total badlass.

    All of your gunpoint moments sound scary. But I think that having five gunpoint moments also increases your badlass quotient.

    I first read it as you dressed up like Elmo to avoid jury duty. I think I need more grown-up time.

    xoxo,
    T-Money

    • Erika Rae says:

      HAHAHAHAHA – Dressing up ELMO.

      “Elmo does not want to do jury duty. Elmo wants to be excused now and take Elmo’s nap.”

      (Oh – and thank you very much for addressing me in gangsta.)

  31. Gloria says:

    Erika Rae, I’ve stopped by to read this four times now. Loaded it up on the screen, got distracted, then realized it was still here. Consider this my placeholder comment. It’s not my real comment – I’ll leave that later. 🙂

  32. Marni Grossman says:

    Don’t you love that the world- i.e. old guy at gas station- views you as a waltzing whippersnapper? I think that’s pretty badlass, actually.

  33. sheree says:

    Really LOVED this post!

  34. Are you in a contest with Rich Ferguson to see who can have a gun pointed at them the most times???

  35. D Mans says:

    Damn funny description of our local favorite bureaucrat Erika. There are so very many improbable situations I’ve found myself in with the postmistresses and masters of our strange mountain towns. Nice work.

    • Erika Rae says:

      Our favorite local bureaucrat? How about our ONLY local bureaucrat! ( :

      What a fun surprise to find you commenting on this. You swear you won’t out me over this? Pinky swear?

      And I’ll bet you’ve got some incredible stories. Can’t even imagine. I shall prod them out of you next time I find myself sitting next to you at a party.

  36. […] most afraid of, books I want to read, the things I want to accomplish before I die, and of the times I’ve had a gun pointed at me and why (I am, apparently, a very threatening […]

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