I just ran into Karl Rove. I was stepping onto the curb in front of the Apple Store, about to get my computer fixed up. He was exiting the store, wearing a long black coat. I immediately recognized the tuft of white hair, the large pasty white face, the small sunken eyes behind wireframe glasses. My mind raced and heartbeat jumped. Here’s what went down:
Me: Are you Karl Rove?
Rove: Yes I am.
Me: You’re a jackass!
Rove: You’re an asshole!
Me: You’ve got blood on your hands. You’re going to pay for what you’ve done to this country.
Rove (having walked away, turns back): Is that the best you can come up with? You’re an asshole.
Me: Yeah. You’re a scumbag. You’re a fraud, a manipulator of democracy. What happened to Connell?
Rove: What are you talking about?
Me: You know, Connell. He just died.
Rove: I knew him. He was a friend of mine.
Me: Yeah well he just died, right? What do you know about it?
Rove: Are you accusing me of murder? Who the hell do you think you are?
Me: No, but I wouldn’t put it past you. What do you know about it? What happened to Connell?
Rove: He was a good pilot, you asshole.
His face was red. He turned and walked across the street to his car, yelling something back at me. I yelled back some epithet and entered the store.
I didn’t have my recorder with me, unfortunately. If I had I would have approached him more as a journalist. I didn’t have anything wet or sticky (a pie or bucket of red paint, for example) to throw at him. I thought about throwing my shoes at him as he walked away but decided against it, having just walked by a cop minutes before. We were at the Domain, a new luxury shopping mall in North Austin. The other shoppers around us kept walking on by, seemingly indifferent to entire spectacle. Nobody was recording the incident and I don’t have a camera phone.
If you’re reading this, what do you think? Did I act like a juvenile? Should I have been more clever? (Um, yes.) What would you have done in my situation?