This sort of thing attracts all types, including people who were handing out leaflets promoting various causes. An old lady approached me with a political flyer, and I took it saying, "If I take this from you, will you take something from me?" She agreed, and I handed her a copy of the article. She glanced at it, then went ballistic.
She told me the she was "an author" and that she'd heard all about THIS, and that I was taking food out of author's mouths by doing what I was doing. I asked her what she thought I was doing, and she told me that I was preventing authors from receiving royalties. Um, ma'am, I am giving away books that I've paid for. The authors have already received royalties on these books. No, she maintained, I was ALL WRONG. Haughtily, she exclaimed, "You'd understand if you were a WRITER." Um, ma'am, I AM a writer. "I meet many people who SAY they write - when I say a writer, I mean someone who writes for a living." Uh, I do write for a living. "No, you don't!," she cried. Um, yes, ma'am, I'm pretty sure I do.
She was pretty furious, and I was feeling pretty uncomfortable. OK, ma'am, if I don't give my old books away, what do you think I SHOULD do - burn them or throw them away? At this point, she demanded to know my name. Come on, am I going to give my name to a stranger who is berating me in the middle of the street? I just kind of smiled and told her that she was entitled to her opinion (you can't influence someone who isn't listening), and she responded by shouting, "It isn't my opinion - it's a fact!" She then shoved the article back into my hands, and stalked off, muttering to herself.
OK, so please tell me - what do you think? Is this funny, sad, crazy, scary or just stoopid? How would you have handled it? And please, don't be nice, be honest with me.