Sometime after midnight, the day of my book signing. Memphis at the Santora. Soused with half a glass of Maker’s Mark. I teeter outside to flag down Memphis bartender Johnny Sampson, who’s smoking with two guys. I apologize for the interruption, but gimme some bourbon, damnit!
While standing outside, some short hipster type—white T-shirt, massive glasses, funny hat, scruffy beard—begins rambling. I ignore it. He does it again, voice more menacing, directed toward me. Fighting words. Before I could even register an idea of how to react, his taller friend tells me to walk with him. The short hipster begins yelling. “Shut up—I got it, I got it!” the tall guy screams as we walk up Broadway.
He introduces himself as one of the filmmakers behind Primer: A Documentary of Life in Downtown Santa Ana, which I had described as an orange crate movie. He had issues—really, just my criticism of them for allowing an Aaron Kraten quote praising graffiti to stand–“Are the Akorn guys really that clueless to realize that hipster aesthetics slam into the face of cholo reality in SanTana?” I wrote. He insisted he doesn’t condone the crime, and points out some pendejo gang attempt to besmirch the Santora Building recently. “I saw that from my office across the street, ran toward them and stopped it,” he said proudly. I commended him.
I told him the concerns many lifelong SanTana residents had with the film, and he acknowledged them. He named names of other people his crew wants to cover—all good names that shows he knows what he speaks of. We head back to Memphis on good terms.
The short hipster? Apparently made some type of remark about a wet T-shirt contest to my gal. I thought about doing something, but the Maker’s beckoned, and my friends and I laughed about the douche the rest of the night.