Creepy Con and Herd Mentality a guest post by Amie Gibbons

Creepy Con and Herd Mentality a guest post by Amie Gibbons

Hey y’all. This isn’t really a legal post, so I don’t think I need to do my usual disclaimer, but I’m throwing out some theories here, so don’t take those as legal advice 😊

I went to Creepy Con in Knoxville last weekend, and it turned into a complete shit show. Now, there are parts of this story I don’t want to tell, because I let myself be bullied and I’m humiliated, especially since I consider myself a strong person most of the time, but I think it’s important for people to know how easily it can happen, because then maybe you’ll be prepared and better able to fight back.

It sounded like a great Con to promote my Scorpions series at, because that’s a paranormal thriller/horror series, and Creepy Con’s a horror con. When I applied as a vendor and paid for it near the beginning of July, I asked about the mask thing because they said on their site from the con in 2020 that masks were required. The vendor director, Jennifer, said that was a rule from last year, they’d revise the site for this year, and not to worry about it. So I bought a table.

A few weeks ago, Jennifer emailed all the vendors, stating the city of Knoxville imposed mask requirements inside their city buildings, and that the venue was a city building. So, of course I emailed, asking if there were still medical exemptions, or if I needed to cancel. She said nope, they would allow medical exemptions and not to worry about it. To send anyone who hassled me about it to her since I had a medical exemption.

Day before the con, another hiccup (I know, at this point, I should’ve just called it and stayed with the decision not to go). Amazon was supposed to deliver my author copies of my new books by Friday, but they said they were barely leaving and wouldn’t be in until Sunday. I was upset and gave up, just said I wasn’t going, I’ll do it next year, because there’s not much point without the new paperbacks for the Scorpions series. (I’d had the covers redone for the series so it matched the supernatural thriller/horror genre more, and those weren’t in yet.)

Friday morning, Amazon updated to say the books would be delivered Saturday morning. Okay, not ideal, but workable. I checked with Jennifer again about the masks, was asked if I could try a face shield because Knoxville was really cracking down. I said if I tried and it didn’t work for me, would I be okay without using it, or should I not come? She said if I tried and it didn’t work, I’d be fine.

I left BF at home for the night so he could get the books on Saturday and come out for the afternoon, and I figured I’d just sell the old cover ones for 1 and 2, and the 3rd ones had already come in, so I could sell the new one too.

At the con, I didn’t wear a mask. People helped me set up. It was great. Con opened to public at 6 pm. First staff person, the shrieking harpy who was the Mask Nazi of our story (I wish I could remember her name because I want to track her down and scream at her to get back for her screaming at me, but I’ll just call her Karen) to bug me about a mask, I said, “Talk to Jennifer. She said she’d bring me a face shield I can try because I have asthma and can’t wear a mask.”

“Oh, you’re that one.”

Red flag. I was that one. When someone says that about you, you are already other in their heads. I was the 1 person who wasn’t falling into line and wasn’t worried about fitting in or following the crowd, so I had just signaled to Karen that I wasn’t one of them. I wasn’t part of the herd.

This is where all the theories of society, tribalism, and otherness come into play. We’ve all probably gotten a good idea of that over the past year and a half, if we didn’t just by watching politics since 2012. I’m guessing most of the people reading this blog are on a certain side, and are others in comparison to media. We’re used to being the other side, the thems, to most people in news, movies, TV, books, and so on. A lot of us indie authors are indie (well, because the contracts trad pub moved to are borderline abusive, but that’s for another post where I get into legal shit) but also because we’d never get through the gatekeepers without virtue signaling, if we’d even be considered, since we’re not the “nongendered, bisexual, mix of a bunch of ancestors with whatever color of skin is cool now” authors that they want now.

Yes, this is basically a rant, and tangents happen, it’s just how my brain works. Then I go chase it down and yank it back like the bunch of cats hopping around my office right now. (By the way, BF and I got 2 new kittens! We introduced them slowly so Merlin didn’t freak out, but now he’s just cranky because 2 mini mes are following him around, and getting attention from the humans. Pics below.) 😊

Back to the con. Jennifer brought me the face shield to try, stressing that the city made this rule, not them. I asked if I tried it and couldn’t do it, would it be okay if I didn’t wear one. She said yes, as long as I gave it a try. I pressed some more, asking if I’d be kicked out if I didn’t. She said no. So I tried the face shield. It squeezed my head, and I took it off.

I held the shield over my face whenever I was talking to a customer. Karen came back after I sat down, and scolded me like I was a child that I had to have the mask on when talking to customers. I said I had a medical exemption and had tried a mask and a face shield, and couldn’t, but was holding the face shield in front of my face when talking to people.

She got huffy, scolded me some more about how I was supposed to have it on all the time either way (funny since she’d just said I needed it when talking to customers) and went away when I held it up in front of my face like I was going to put it back around my head. I also had another staff guy come by and nicely remind me that I was supposed to have a mask on. I said medical exemption, and he left me alone.

Then Jennifer came up to me, saying I’d agreed to try the face shield, and we’d talked about this in emails. I said, we did, and she’d said I’d have to try, but it wouldn’t be a problem if I couldn’t use it after trying it. She gave me a look like she was furious and wanted to kick me out, or shove a mask down my throat, and said through clenched teeth that I had to have something up when talking to customers, that the city made these rules, not the Con. I said I was putting up the face shield to talk to people and she was like fine.

By this point, between the face shield starting a headache by putting pressure on my head (after only a few minutes, I’m not kidding) and people bugging me about the mask, my head really hurt and my anxiety was sky high. Turns out, even if you normally don’t give a shit about what others think and don’t even notice half the time that you’re being “the weird one,” you’ll feel the pressure to conform when people keep popping up out of nowhere to berate you about it. It got exhausting trying to defend myself against something I shouldn’t have had to in the first place, because I did my due diligence beforehand to make sure it wouldn’t be a problem.

This is where the wolves pushing the sheep are beating us. They turned the mask thing into a ‘You must do this or you kill people’ thing (don’t get me started on that bullshit), those in power who want to keep it shove that fear down people’s throats 24/7, and those people react to the fear. One reaction to fear is circling the wagons, which with this kind of manipulative fear turns into herd mentality. The sheep have to do something to protect from scary thing, but also have to make others do that, because if they don’t, the others not following will get the sheep into trouble/get them killed. Even if a rational person could look at the masks and figure out the masks aren’t doing anything to stop a virus, or that the scary virus isn’t more deadly than a flu.

I’ve had mild OCD all my life, so I get the response to the fear. It’s what I call magic thinking. You’re terrified of A, and have to control it so it doesn’t get you/the bad thing won’t happen. You are told (by others in this case, usually by your own brain when it’s OCD) that doing B will protect you from A, no questions asked. So you feel the compulsion to do B, because of the fear of A. Even when B would have to be a magic spell to actually protect you from A, you still do it, because of the fear. My example is when I was a kid, I felt I had to repeat a mantra every night 6 times before I went to sleep, because that would protect me overnight. It took me months to wean myself off of it by slowly scaling back how much I said each night.

That’s the mask thing. It’s basically an OCD response. But it’s created and implanted from the outside, instead of coming from your own brain. It’s anxiety over the fear of something that you can’t control, and the feeling you get when you are told you can control it if only you do this, and make others do it.

Back to the Con story. After getting out of there, I went to my friends (Brena Bock and Helen Werns, who are wonderful people that saved at least part of the weekend) where I was staying for the weekend, we hung, and I got to relax.

Saturday morning, went back to the con, had my silky scarf around me, and I pulled it up in front of my face as needed, like to talk to people, or just held up the face shield in front of me when I was talking to people. Made some more sales and handed out QR cards. I sat down and back away from my table between people wandering by. I was sitting there, head hurting again but not terrible, and BF was on his way with the books that came in, so things were looking up, like this wouldn’t be a waste. I was on edge because of the night before, and had to use my inhaler because stress can trigger asthma issues. (It also makes my body temp drop and I was chilly, hence the scarf over my arms.)

Karen popped up out of nowhere and full on harpy shrieked at me to put on my mask. That I had to have one on at all times. It shocked me, my anxiety immediately spiked to the ‘can’t handle this area,’ and my headache went from ‘ehhh, it’s there,’ to killing me, and my body temp dropped. I was in pain and freezing in a few seconds.

I said I was putting up the shield to talk to customers and I was back away from them when sitting. She shrieked again that I had to wear it at all times. And if I didn’t, then how was she supposed to make that vendor and that vendor wear theirs.

Ah ha. This is where they show the real power of the fear. The sheep are terrified if 1 doesn’t conform that others will follow, because they know they can’t control that many at once. And if that happened, then bad thing A would happen and/or they’d get in trouble with the wolf, who was the one really imposing the rules anyway. (Nice way a lot of places are coping out, by the way. It would’ve made more sense if they’d said in the, I think 4 times I asked about the mask thing if it was required, that it was required and I should just roll over my table to next year; AND if every customer was required to wear a mask because of the wolf’s rules, which they weren’t. I’d say about 10% of customers weren’t wearing masks.)

This is why you have to stand up, and, get others to. Because they can’t control us all. But I was on my own, and beaten down. I didn’t stand up. I was on empty. In that moment, I gave up.

It felt like an attack, and I wasn’t prepared to fight back. That’s the best excuse I have, because I should have. I should have screamed back at her. Fuck that, I should’ve punched her for screaming at me like that. Okay, fine, really I should have just lawyered her, argued her into submission because what are lawyers good at if not beating down the enemy with one argument after another. That’s what I should have done. I don’t take being screamed at very well. My system goes nuts. And I hate myself for not fighting back in that moment. I was so humiliated and upset. But, like an abused spouse, I pulled the scarf up just to get her to go away.

I went outside because my head was killing me and I was freezing. I called BF because I was upset and didn’t know what to do. I wanted to make money because after ordering paperbacks, the new covers, and my laptop crashing last month, plus the cost of the con, I needed to make it worth it, and sell. I was determined to stick it out and make it work after all that’d happened. And BF was on the way with the books, about 3 hours out, so I’d have the new covers soon. I called and told him what was going on. The more I talked about it, the more upset I got. And he was upset he wasn’t there with me to be backup.

The stupid thing is, if BF had come with me and just not stayed to get the books, he would’ve been there to fight with me, especially when I was getting worn down, but then I wouldn’t have had the books to sell, which was the point of going. But I didn’t even need the new covers books because I was so beat down, I ended up leaving. Yeah, the whole thing was stupid.

When I went back in, I didn’t put back on my mask. Told myself next staff member to bug me about it was gonna get it. I was going to tell them I had a medical exemption and to back the fuck off or kick me out.

This lasted about 10 minutes. Every time someone walked by wearing a staff shirt, my adrenaline spiked, the headache got worse, I was shaky, and having a hard time breathing. I couldn’t take being on edge and ready for a showdown like that for long.

So I wrote a note on my table explaining I was leaving because they lied to me about the masks, and I couldn’t wear one, but to please check me out online. And I left bookmarks and QR code cards there.

While I was packing up, 2 staff guys came over, said the note was unfair, and could they work with me. I told them everything that went down with Jennifer, how I was lied to, and the shrieking harpy that screamed at me, and that my head was killing me, so I had to leave then either way, and if they weren’t going to drop the mask thing, I couldn’t come back. They said the city was making them, it was the city’s rule, and they couldn’t do anything about it. I maintained the note was fair then because Jennifer lied to me. She could have told me when I asked right before the con that it would be a problem, and I would’ve said roll me over to next year, and left then. They were very nice (but still took my sign) and helped me pack and haul stuff to my car.

I drove back to my friends’ house, and nursed a headache for about 5 hours until it calmed down. They we hung out, BF was there by then, and we had a great time. On Sunday we did photoshoots for our paper books to do an online paperback sale because now I have a lot of paper copies and noooooo money. Yeah, I didn’t plan this well/was counting on at least a few hundred from the con. Never think you’ll make money at a con. Even without mask bullshit, you don’t know what’ll happen, no matter how many people who like what you make are there.

After that shit show known as Creepy Con, I still have a ton of paperbacks that aren’t going anywhere because all the other cons near here I was looking into are doing mask mandates now (at least they told the truth before I bought a table).

So, I’m having a “Creepy Con Lied, but my Zombie Tree Versions are Live, Paperback Sale,” AKA “Labor Day Sale,” for a week! 😊

Books are $10 each. The Supernatural Streets Anthology is $12. And the Evie Jones Compilation is $8.

Bullet bookmarks are $4 each, 3 for $10, OR, you get one free for every 3 books you buy.

Book sale: Buy 2 get 1 half off, buy 5 get 1 free, buy all 12 for the price of 10, which knocks it down to $100 total since you get the extra bonus of chopping down the cost of the Anthology. (Plus shipping and handling.)

Click here to order!

The SDF Series: Paranormal Mystery Romances: Ariana’s like Buffy with a badge.

Ariana’s a cute, spunky FBI agent who only has the job because she’s psychic, and she’s desperate to prove to her coworkers and herself that she’s more than just a pretty face on a too young psychic when a serial killer strikes.

The Elemental Demons Series: Psychic Thrillers: If you loved ‘The Conjuring’ this is a must-read series. Fans are saying these ain’t your daddy’s psychic thrillers.

Sarah is shattered after the man she loved dumped her, throwing away their life plans, and ran back home after college. But the refuge of home isn’t when strange things start happening. She’s not religious, but there are more things in Hell and Earth than are dreamt of in her philosophy. She’s going to have to face her fears and find her strength again before one of those dark things she doesn’t believe in uses her broken soul against her, and all of humankind.

The Gods Defense, The Magical Adventures of Evie Jones, and Supernatural Streets, can be checked out through the links on them so you can see if they’re your thing too.

AND Brena Bock joined my paperback sale (after being voluntold 😊 )

Brena is in 3 anthologies, and has them up to be signed and shipped at sale prices the next week too!

Supernatural Streets and The Hearts’ Enchantment anthologies for $12 each, and the award winning Space Force anthology for $10. OR all 3 for $30! (Plus shipping and handling.)

Email Brena at Brena.Bock @ yahoo dot com to order your signed anthologies directly!

And, because I promised, kittens!!!

We got Elijah and Klaus last week, got Merlin acclimated to them, and now we have 3 monsters running around. 1 of which is really missing being an only child because his little brothers already love to follow him around and want to do everything he’s doing.

To contribute to my feed the kitties fund, go order your signed copies of my books, and your really cool author shot, author made bullet bookmarks. 😉

*Apologies to Amie, because I think I’m missing two kitty pics, but WordPress is being a pain and I’m tired of fighting it. Also, that kitty looking into the camera looks so much like Greebo as a baby that it hurts… SAH*

215 thoughts on “Creepy Con and Herd Mentality a guest post by Amie Gibbons

  1. Ouch. I’m no good with people shouting at me either. Can freeze my entire nervous system up.

    You’re right, though. That’s exactly why they do it – go after the one outlier so people don’t Get Ideas about bucking the rest. Grrr.

    1. It takes me long enough to regroup that I usually can’t make an effective counterattack before it’s of little use. Five minutes later I’ll have half a dozen things I *wish* I’d said or done. [sigh]

      1. Know the feeling. Trust me. Know it well.

        I not only have to deal with it regarding the stupid mask rules (Oregon) … not to mention I sneeze when I wear one (boy doesn’t that generate the dirty looks). I have a Service Dog, who is small, naturally, I don’t LOOK disabled. I have all kinds of prepared responses.

        “Funny, you don’t look stupid.”
        “Can I see your employee id?” When I get asked by other customers one or both of the legal questions that establishments can ask (“Is that a Service Dog” and “What task does SD perform?”)
        “Can’t you read?” She’s marked, not required, but she is marked as a Service Dog for Medical Alert.
        “Funny. You don’t look like any of my doctors.”
        “Not your business.”
        etc.

        Have I actually used any of them? Nope. Not once.

        Hubby, bless his heart, is a lot faster with the quips. Do not get him going. He’ll stand there whipping them out until he tells the bully to disappear with a perfect cutting remark. Trust me, a thing of beauty. But that doesn’t help if he isn’t along.

      2. Yep, same issue here. I tend to flinch and brain lock when faced with that kind of force myself like crossover does (bad training from childhood with my now-former stepdad bringing the military into the household with an Odd little me). It’s beyond frustrating when it happens.

      3. I’m the same way. I will get whole exchanges for books from what I wished I said, but didn’t think of until later. It’s frustrating at best.

    2. “I am not allowed to respond with violence to this person yelling at me. Their behavior is a threat of violence, but not enough to be acceptable to attack them, stop and get data– frick bluescreen on data gather!”

      Roughly, anyways.

      I can yell back sometimes, so I only freeze when someone is by their body language threatening physical assault but hasn’t actually swung, yet.

      The screamer types of her karen attacker sound like that kind.

      1. *Nod* If someone screams, I expect to be hit. Haven’t been able to get past the freezing response – partly because my nervous system “whites out” half the time. Essentially, the lights inside go to emergency-sub-red, and all the motors are jammed. Sucks.

        So. Yeah. In a situation like that, you do what you can – I like the idea mentioned of getting a credit card refund…. *EG*

        1. Yeah, I wasn’t hit as a kid when screamed at, but for some reason, I still have that reaction of being attacked. Which makes me freeze at first.

        2. If they hit you, demand that the police be called to arrest them. Don’t settle for just having them thrown out.

          1. Hard to do that when you’re a kid and 1) the church thinks your parents are just engaging in usual corporal punishment and 2) the teachers all think you’re the one who starts the fights – everyone else says so, after all. Including your parents, because they get to be the Church Martyrs for raising such Horribly Rebellious Children.

            I hate small towns for a reason.

            It’s really, really hard to unlearn that “lesson” from the nervous system.

              1. Yes, quite. Not to mention how completely odd it is that someone who any teacher who paid attention could observe just wants to sit in class, do the work, read, and not be hit… is the child supposedly starting all the fights.

                By size classification on Wikipedia, my hometown was actually a village. I think this explains a lot.

          2. Uhh no, they don’t have to hit you(that’s called “battery” in most popo jurisdictions). If you feel threatened however, it’s called “assault”. And that’s also a crime in most places. Most especially if the someone doing the threatening is in your face.
            I’m too old to suffer fools lightly, so my usual response in these situations when the stupidity won’t stop to suggest that the annoients(made up word, sorry) simply F.O.A.D.(**** off and die) and then dismiss them and their angst. “Course different situations may require slight modification of this plan. But mainly one must learn to harden ones’ heart when faced with this sort of thing and F.I.D.O. (**** it , drive on) – and if necessary – over them.

  2. Basically they CHEATED you out of your fee – totally aside from bullying you. They knew all this when they told you to come. They just lack the honesty to say it directly – avoiding confrontation is why they do this passive aggressive crap – and they just don’t understand why after they try so hard to be NICE by lying to you you can’t just go along and do as you are told in gratitude. Actually saying what you mean and meaning what you say is just an alien concept to them. It’s not how they think and they’ll never understand it.

    1. > CHEATED you out of your fee

      Chances of getting a refund are probably zilch, but I’d make it a lifetime crusade, and follow them online and interject it into every conversation “Jennifer” has anywhere.

      Everyone needs a hobby…

      Tell me where she hangs out, and I’ll go there myself. “What about Amie’s money? And I think you owe for her travel expenses too.”

    2. I agree Riteturn. They could have said when I asked right beforehand that the city was cracking down, and they couldn’t do medical exceptions.

    3. Cheating, it’s what they do… Newest meme – How do you tell when a politician/political animal is lying? Easy – if it’s awake its lying, unless it’s the demented pedo; it lies even when it’s asleep.

  3. I’m so sorry you had to go through this. Riteturn is right, they cheated you. Jennifer knew full well that the mask mandate had no exceptions, but she lied to you anyway. Public shaming of them is required. I apparently have a resting bitch face that says “F&ck with me and I’ll bite your legs off” according to a good friend of mine. I credit that with keeping would-be Karen Bullies away from me.

    Don’t be ashamed of yourself. Getting blindsided and bullied when you’re already anxious makes it very difficult to behave rationally. You wrote the note at the end so now other staffers know what happened, and you wrote this post so now others who might have considered Creepy Con, or those who might have been there in any other capacity also know what happened. Word is out.

    Now, go work on your “I’ll bite your legs off” look! 😀

    1. I apparently also have that agressive “resting don’t screw with me or I’ll rip your arms off, b*tch” face also. It saves a lot of trouble. I’ve only been given grief once for not wearing the blasted face diaper.

    2. Thanks 🙂
      I have a good “I’ll rip out your throat” look. But I need to work on getting into fight mode instead of freeze mode when surprised.

      1. MGSgt Hartmann: “Show me your War Face!”
        Pvt. Joker: “Huh?”
        Hartmann: “Your War Face! Like this! RRRAAAARRR!!”
        Joker: “AAAAAAAA!!”
        Hartmann [disgusted]: “Work on it.”

    3. I should see if my daughter can help. She has Resting-Come-Near-Me-And-Die face, poor kid. When she was a freshman at the local Vo-Tech high school, she found out that she had one of the senior boys scared stiff of her. And she’d never even talked or interacted with him. She was just that scary walking down the hall.

      I can only deal with that sort of crap if a) I’m expecting it and b) I’ve practiced it in my head more than a few times in anticipation. Someone who knows I can’t lie to save my life was truly impressed by some lying I did once; but I knew the situation was coming up, so I had prepared a script to follow. As a result, we didn’t get into any trouble, and the ones trying to get us in deep with the RA at the dorm ended up with major issues themselves; I believe at least one was sent down for a semester, both were kicked out of the dorm, and we didn’t have to deal with their shared boyfriend living with them in the girl’s only dorm anymore.

  4. I’m so sorry about your experience. You were lied to by Jennifer. Her priority was selling booths. She planned on ‘Karen’ doing the dirty work to threaten you and make an example of you to intimidate anyone else who might have issues with wearing a mask. We need open season on ‘Karen’s’, with no bag limit.

    1. We need open season on ‘Karen’s’, with no bag limit.

      You deal with physical bullies by punching them and continuing to punch them until you never have to fear retaliation from them or their buddies ever again.

      Karens are social bullies. You (usually) don’t use fists, but the solution is the same.

      1. Exactly this.
        Especially if I’ve been beaten down before and have regained my…. NO.
        The next time, some hag is going to think she’s untouchable and you’re going to be two inches from her face screaming f bombs and chasing her out the door without touching her.

        It works. 🙂

        1. Be a Social Ender Wiggin.

          Of course, being rude to people in public goes 180 degrees against my upbringing and instincts.

          OTOH I *can* simply not gaf about walking around in a store when everyone else is masked. But that is going away, because compliance with Lord Pritzker’s decree is reducing by the day.

          1. Perfect.

            I exercise my right of passage in my little QFC store every other day. I’m headed there now.

            I’m not sure, but I think mask compliance in my area is getting stronger, now outdoors as well.

            I’ve learned to look up and focus on my work.

            #ActLikeEnder

            1. Locally, Eugene, it is dang near 100% … not Diamond Woods Golf, hubby is a luck stiff …

              We do our little rebellions.

              * Don’t put the mask on until last second, inside the door if possible.
              * Pull if off before “technically” allowed. Sitting down to eat. Pull it off as approaching table.
              * Keep it off … Costco is handing out samples. Can’t wear a mask if eating sample. I can eat/carry whatever, for a long ways …
              * Put it on to go in. Take it off once in. Employees can ask. Other shoppers can’t. They can scream. I may not have any quick quips but have picked up on mom’s long time habit of using my middle finger to push up my glasses while looking at the screamer. After all, just pushing up my glasses. (Works with mask … SD is different, no don’t know why, just is.)
              * Leaving restaurant table, oops forgot to put it on.
              * Leaving checkout area, off, before getting out door, if, since I use self check out, I even had it on.

              The ONLY place I grant leave to is Medical. Because there, there are going to be people are there because they are sick. Masks may have limited use, but they will reduce the distance a sneeze or cough spreads out. Not something our clinics didn’t encourage for symptom sick before the pandemic. It is then a matter of degree (everyone).

                1. Same here, although I wish my allergist/asthma practice understood that for some of us, the mask is the damn trigger for the attack. Apparently that isn’t something that could possibly happen. I just need to take my preventive medicine all year instead for maybe a month. Sadly, the only one which works for me trashes my vocal cords, I lose my voice (I sound like a friend who has a frozen vocal cord due to nerve damage), and I still have trouble breathing because of how they (don’t) work when I’m on the meds.

              1. Medical is the only situation where some of the people do their damndest to enforce mask over nose. I’ll comply until I’m out of sight, or with a reasonable medical type. Had a nice conversation with one doctor, neither of us masked. I run into CO2 problems if mask over nose…

                Costco had a solitary mask Karen who called for nose covering in December. Complied until out of sight, and the next day, wore the shield–tilted up for maximum ram airflow. I’ve used the shield in the clinic, though some medical practices say mask only.

                Before the ‘demic, I had to mask up when I hit urgent care with suspected flu. (It was a bad flu year, though it was an adverse reaction to the new pneumonia vaccine.)

              2. My husband started putting on a mask as he entered the store and then taking it back off again once we got our cart. He pointed out the signs only said “You must wear mask to enter”. Nothing about “masks must stay on while inside”.

                1. “You must wear mask to enter”. Nothing about “masks must stay on while inside”.


                  Good point. Will use this!!!!

                  I don’t care if Costco, Fred Meyers, etc., get in trouble. The family owed Mexican Diner we frequent OTOH … I’m a little more tolerant. Do not want to get them in trouble with the OSHA policy wonks.

              3. With the return of the Salem Witch’s decree, I have only worn one once, in a tiny little store by out in the back end of nowhere by Estacada – I really wanted a MtDew, and they wouldn’t go for it, so I took the one they gave me. Five seconds later it was off. I should have just left the can on the counter. Pretty upset with myself for not standing up.

                1. Yesterday I had to go shopping. Unfortunately the signs around here do not say “Must wear mask to enter”. It is more of the “mandate requires mask to shop at this store”. But still. Wore it inside, took it off, put it in pocket, until ready to check out, took off again as soon as paid (what? They’re going to ask me to leave?”) Mini-Pet store, not enough customers or employees to matter (either one). Fred’s OTOH was really busy. Everyone else was wearing one, and only one, that I saw, was wearing it incorrectly. But no one harassed me.

                2. You’ll stand up one of these times soon. It takes practice, according to the pros.

                  You’ll be there when the time comes, whatever that is. IMO.

                  I had a fabulous Army captain who was teaching us about artillery operations orders when I was an LT. He had been captured by… man, whoever we were fighting in central/South America at the time. He described how he started talking almost instantly after they started torturing him. “I had to learn to forgive myself, because everybody talks at some point. And you never know until you get there” he said.

                  The lesson was that self forgiveness was essential to being combat ready.

          2. The NW Observer news site (PITA to TPTB in Oregon and Washington) had an article on the Oregon State Fair. Despicable Kate Brown (Commie, OR) mandated mask usage (again) indoors, and recently went full potato and mandated for outdoors. (Just waiting for the mask police to bust the next Antifa riot. Naaah.)

            Anyway, her edict was so convincing that 30% of the attendees bothered to wear a mask. The article quoted an east coast(!) paper that said a dozen(!!!!111eleventy) complaints were registered. Nominal attendance runs in the 350,000 range most years…

            FWIW, compliance was up a bit this last week in the stores. OR-OSHA has threatened the employers if the worker bees are unmasked, and in theory, Karen complaints about customers unmasked get dealt with, but in reality, it looks like they gave up on that around here. OTOH, the crowd at the stores tended to have more school-aged kids (sadly, masked) with Masked-Mommies. On the gripping hand, nobody has said anything about me not wearing a mask, and the employee who helped me load the trailer this morning stowed his mask after a couple of heavy bags. Still a shitload of free-breathers in the stores. I usually avoid outdoor gatherings, and have for a long time, so no first hand data on outdoor masking.

            1. It’s much higher up here, I’m often the only potty-trained individual in a store asides from one or two others.

              On the bright side, I have a feeling of solidarity with the few people who are free.

              1. I’m virtually always the only person breathing the free air up here in Edmonds, not far from you as you know.

                It gives me less and less anxiety as time wears on. Not zero, but much less, and I’m much more determined to never put one one for any reason ever.

              1. Maybe not the lowest, but shamblers are pretty low. Slow, clumsy, stupid zombies, often rotting and falling apart. I don’t know what would be lower.

    1. Yeah, stay out of Knoxville if you can. And please, don’t judge the rest of us here in east Tennessee by them–we’re better people than that.

        1. Nashville isn’t in east Tennessee. Most of us wouldn’t go there or to Memphis on a bet. Nashville is middle Tennessee, and Memphis is west Tennessee. TN is basically three states, three cultures, jammed together.

          1. Sounds like things can be messy up there, though your part of the state does sound pretty nice and I’m still up for learning more about it. 🙂 The sooner I can get out of GA the better.

          2. Virginia is basically two states. Northern VA and Virginia (excluding Richmond). NoVa is pretty near cobalt blue. Central Virginia is red to purple.

      1. Oh, I don’t. I love East TN. Great friends in the Oak Ridge area, and I love the Smokies 😀

        1. For fun, get a mask and smear it, wrinkle it, get few small fake bug or black spots to glue on it then wad it up in your purse. When challenged, whip it out and put it on. I had one I kept on the floor of the car. Used it for weeks, heh, heh, heh.

  5. Sympathies. I’ve had a lot of times when I’ve gotten cowed when I should’ve fought back, partly because there’s been times when I fought back and lost, badly. Mostly because when I do fight back, I go all out, like a nuke going off.

    1. partly because there’s been times when I fought back and lost, badly. Mostly because when I do fight back, I go all out, like a nuke going off.


      When that happens, I’m wrong, doesn’t matter I’m 100% justified.

      Then cue the waterworks. Which, FYI. Does. Not. Help.

    2. That’s another reason I have a hard time in those situations, too. It’s good to know none of us are alone in this but it always stings when it happens.

  6. OT: Effers at youtube are showing a covid karening video from the Harry that married Meghan. Can we hang that bastard yet? I am deeply unhappy about that couple meddling in US politics, and wish to discourage similar idiots from trying again.

    1. Someone needs to remind dear Harry that we fought a war in this country precisely for the purpose of being able to tell the members of his family to go f* themselves.

    2. Heh. The other day, I finally realized the (one of many) reasons Meghan sets my teeth on edge: She reminds me of Commie-la. Younger, and rather prettier, sure, but from the being a selfish harpy to being dumber than a bag of hair…yep. They could be sisters.

      Harry is an idiot.

      1. Goooooood point. Just looking at Meghan annoyed me for no real reason; now I know why.

        Other than thinking from the start that she’s mostly a golddigger. Loved Her Majesty the Queen’s thoroughly understated Fuck Off message when she functionally disowned the lot of ’em.

        1. Well, I mean, isn’t that what Commie-la is, a gold-digger? Just, y’know, politically as much as financially. (Though you can’t tell me she hasn’t made out like a bandit like most corrupt politicians)

      2. One keeps an actress as a mistress, one does not marry an actress or put another way, don’t put your d—— in crazy.

        I feel bad for him. He struck me as a decent buffer, much like Prince Phillip and unlike Charles. Now, he’s caught up with a bunch of real parasites.

        He’s had a tough run all in. The British press is truly foul and all the suitable women, and he dated a couple, were too smart to get involved with all that. He had the army and service with troops and they took that from him, in a way the press took his mother away from him. He’ll never be king. yeah, he’s rich but they even took striving away from him. What he had left was his charities and he threw them away because he married a designing whore mistaking it for love. Now he’s caught up in the LA psychobabble life where you can check out any time you like but can never leave until the money’s gone.

        I like to tell number two son that there must be a woman in the world for him after all, I found one. In Harry’s case, his brother got her.

        Poor bugger is going to end up divorced, the whore will use the children against him, all the glittery people will run away, and he’ll have driven away the few people who cared for him. For all the money, I wouldn’t change my life for his,

        1. One keeps an actress as a mistress, one does not marry an actress or put another way, don’t put your d—— in crazy.

          ……..then what is the point of the mistress?

          1. Yep. More to the point, don’t put a ring on crazy. I’ve got a friend who is dealing with the aftermath of giving a nutjob a ring. She’s now married to a guy who beat her up once, and put a contract out on both her and her ex (my friend). But he “found Jesus” and he’s sorry now. And somehow DCF thinks she’s by far the more stable parent, even though friend has a steady job and doesn’t hang out with people who beat him up and try to kill him.

      3. WordPress delenda est. Got caught in moderation.

        I feel bad for him. She’s just a designing wh-re whom he’d sacrificed everything for. Now he’s in the Hotel California with all that crowd. Poor b-gger.

  7. You probably don’t want the stress of suing to get you money back (including travel expenses and the cost of books), but you might consider filing an ADA complaint.
    Hope you are de-stresses and back on an even keel and that you new book does well.

    1. … file an ADA complaint and let =their= lawyers make life hell for ’em…

      Ain’t no rule that says only one side can use the law as a cudgel.

    2. Well, I am a lawyer, but no, not worth suing over. I am looking into filing ADA complaints, but right now it’s basically like the ADA does not apply to mask things… for some reason.

      1. Doesn’t cost to file for ADA complaints. But realistically, Federal DOJ regarding ADA doesn’t act unless they get a lot of complaints. At least that is the assessment of the Service Dog community. Always better off going through state ADA complaints first over federal DOJ over ADA because more likely to get action. But in this case the state is causing the action being forced …

  8. Oh, my. Reminds me of my yesterday. Not good, since I’m making a big effort to “raise my vibrations”!

    Gov DeSantis (sane man) wrote an order so that the public schools, among other places, couldn’t force face petri dishes on the students. It was the parents decision. Hallelujah! Along come a few LIb parents and they get it in front of a Lib judge who rules that the CDC (which opinion on what day?) has more authority than Gov DeSantis, and all the kids have to wear the petri dishes again. For 30 days, to be reviewed ONLY if the number of “cases” drops below 50 per 100,000. That’s .02%, so I can’t see a review happening on those terms.

    E-mailed the Principal of school my grandson attends (that’s who sent out the message about the decision) and he said not my fault, talk to the school board. Since their meeting and vote already took place (saw no prior notice about it) I watched the video of their meeting and vote. Only1 out of 5 made any sense. The rest were terrified, mockingbird covidians. Can only hope DeSantis gets this reversed, giving power back to parents. If the school itself wasn’t as good as it is, we would be doing the homeschool routine.

    So, needing some calming relaxation, I do my 20 minute drive (each way) to a golf course where I have a membership to use the practice facilities. Most times, especially when it’s cooler, I’m wearing a short sleeve polo with a collar. (Some golf courses are anal retentive about having collared shirts, even though they are always worried about having enough members or growing the game into the youngest segment!) I started to notice quite a while ago that many on the practice facility wore shirts without collars. Nothing outrageous. Plain, close at the neck, maybe a logo like Nike or something. I followed the lead, as it’s a little more informal, comfortable, and relaxing.

    I go up to the counter to get a bucket of balls and I’m told by the guy, who I’ve never dealt with before, that I can’t use the facility unless my shirt has a collar. I told him that the 2 guys I normally deal with there don’t enforce that for the practice range. He then thanks me for the information and refuses to give me the golf balls. I tell him that I think it’s ridiculous, since the other guys always let people play in reasonable shirts without collars (picture Tiger Woods in a Nike shirt w/o collar), and that I will wear a collared shirt from now on. Nope! Go home and change, or buy a shirt in their shop, or leave! I will go back, once more, with a collared shirt and talk with someone else there and cancel my membership if I get the same response.

    So, it’s back to the drawing board to “raise my vibrations”.

    1. Oh man, my blood’s boiling again at that. I can’t believe a JUDGE actually ruled the CDC has authority over the governor of his state. I’m going to have to look up that decision because that’s going to have to be another post because that’s bullshitj!

      That shit needs to be appealed up, because I don’t see that holding up.

      1. Only in this case. When the governor is following the Narrative, and the CDC is not, it will go the other way.

  9. Mask mandate? MANdate? Sounds sexist to me.

    Domino mask, hey it’s a mask, where does the mandate say it hast’a cover the nose?

    Note left on table: The asylum guards ejected me, wanna buy some really great books? Meet me in the alley behind the ̶a̶u̶d̶i̶t̶o̶r̶i̶u̶m̶ ̶ asylum, the password is ‘Don’t give up living’, the countersign, reply, is ‘to keep from dying.’

  10. If you paid by credit card, you can call the cc company and ask that the charges be reversed on the basis of denial of service…I’m a business lawyer, and it has worked for me on occasion, but no guarantees….In any event, good luck!

    1. It worked for me with the University of Arkansas, and all I had to do was tell the Dean of Students that I’d paid by credit card, and I was going to call them and have the charges reversed. I’m surprised he heard me over his own shouting and throwing spit-spraying. If the floor had been carpeted, he would probably have been down there chewing it.

      Well, pointing out that the school directory I had been given had the names, addresses, and PHONE NUMBERS (it was forty years ago) of a hundred-odd regents and board members printed in it, and that I would start calling them at midnight (answering machines were rare then, and voicemail nonexistent) and working my way down the list explaining my displeasure with the Dean might have had something to do with it.

      You can make the kids on grants and loans cringe and jump through hoops, but it’s a bad idea to do that with an adult who paid by credit card. Especially if you’ve been jerking them around for a couple of weeks already and they just went around your secretaries and into your “private” office, flaming mad.

      I shouldn’t have expected any better from a school that chose a condom for its mascot.

    2. Hey Pyrrhus! I can try. I’m a health law lawyer, so I don’t know that area. I can definitely try it.

      1. Call? Hopefully you are tracking your CC charges online. My CC’s all have a feature online to Challenge a Charge. No calling required. Generally 90 days from the time the charge posts. But there is some leeway for charges when the time between charge applied, and paid through statement, and the services weren’t available long after the 90 days. So, a complaint of denial of service, or misrepresentation and subsequent harassment, is perfectly applicable. Especially in light of the documented stated facts of medical exemption recognition by the event sales person.

  11. Just a thought for the future, but when the Karen went after you, it probably wouldn’t have hurt to pull out an inhaler (I’m guessing you have one), asked her to hold on a moment, and then made a show of using it real quick (even if it only looked like you were doing so). And then after you finished, asking her to continue. An actual show of the relevant health issue sometimes takes the wind out of the sails of those types.

    1. “I’m so sorry! I thought it was my inhaler, but it looks like I got the pepper spray instead. I never can remember which way the nozzle points on that thing.”

    2. I did have my inhaler on me, and had to use it beforehand. I didn’t even think of it in the moment.

    1. Joe, I have all my paperbacks. And I don’t want anyone to buy anything that they don’t want to read. Check my link out, if the books sound good, order some 🙂 With me, you know you won’t get woke bullshit woven into your fiction.

  12. I think you did great. Really.
    You thought you were there to sell your work. You were really there as the vanguard of The Other. You were there so you could write about it.

    I was so beat down once that my little sister (11 years younger than I am) had to come rescue me from my workplace on my last day. Honestly. It’s almost too embarrassing to tell.

    Thank you so much for the story, and for the kitten pics. I had Ming The Merciless when I lived in the Keys, and those little babies look just like little Ming.

  13. Damn it, sorry to hear about that. Unfortunately, we’re going to have an infestation of Karens(1) for a while. They’ve tasted blood and they want more. It just means we have to clean out the infestation faster and easier. Massive virtual drinks to you of your choice and make it clear EVERYWHERE YOU CAN that you were set up to be Karen chum. Lay out names. Make it clear that you aren’t Karen chum.

    (1-A friend of mine is making Karen cuckold/NTR porn. It sounds terrible. It is terrible. And, it’s making her a lot of money. I’m glad for her, but I still want to wash my eyes out with napalm…)

  14. {{hugs}}

    Not quite on that scale, but I can relate. My sister and I were verbally accosted in a grocery store for not wearing masks. Woman (and PW male) were something like 10 feet away when she started telling us to “put your mask on”. I told her that the mask triggers my ptsd. Hoping that would get her to walk on. She said ptsd had nothing to do with masks. Ah, I’m a sexual assault survivor. (Having something on my face, inhibiting my breathing causes stress and anxiety, and yes – flash backs. ) ((I think a quarter of the store heard me)) This person had the audacity to laugh and say “both of you”? As a matter of fact, Yes.

    She tried to get the staff to make us wear a mask, but they know us (we’re regulars there) and politely listened to her and then let us walk on by.

    We finished our shopping as quickly as we could, both of us so angry we were shaking. My sister ended up with a migraine.

    All because of fear for a virus with a 98% survival rate.

    1. “Ah, I’m a sexual assault survivor. (Having something on my face, inhibiting my breathing causes stress and anxiety, and yes – flash backs.)”

      Yep. #MeToo

      I describe how it feels as that scene in The Abyss where the dude finally has to breathe “water” – that’s how it feels to don the muzzle. Instantly. I feel like I’m fighting for my life.

      1. On the other hand, being a sexual assault survivor doesn’t seem to be stopping people from pooping on Mike Z. Williamson’s wife, Jessica S (I can never remember how to spell her last name, the heck with actually saying it 😛 ). People who were probably mindlessly repeating “believe all women” during the Kavanaugh hearings apparently have no problems dismissing her situation.

    2. All because of fear for a virus with a 98% survival rate.

      98% survival rate in those over national life expectancy for the sex, for tested cases.

      At the high point, it was 2% of those hospitalized who had COVID, plus those counted as COVID who were an unattended death. (Such as the heart attack patients refused treatment in New York.)

    3. 98% is old data. If you’re vaccinated the odd of you dying from Wu Flu are slightly higher than the odds of dying from being struck by lightening.

    4. No! That is totally up on the scale! I am so pissed off for you. I wish I could say I can’t believe some rando got in your face about that, and laughed. I believe it though because I’ve seen these people and how they act. They have a feeling of power, and some of them get off on it. I don’t have the words for how horrible that is. I’m so sorry you and your sister went through that.

  15. You lost a battle. It happens. You were able to withdraw in good order and made some effective parting shots.

    Lessons Learned:

    Have a hard copy of all correspondence saying you don’t have to wear a mask with the relevant portions highlighted.

    Don’t engage with Karen. Tell her that you made arrangements with Jennifer and you’ll only discuss the matter with her.

    We really need to make “Fuck off, fascist” a cultural reflex to mask Nazis much like saying “bless you” when someone sneezes.
    —————–
    Potential Responses to “How do I get other to wear a mask if you aren’t?”:

    Sounds like a “you” problem.

    Have you considered not bothering other people and doing something useful with your time?

    I’m not particularly interested in how your cult enforces orthodoxy.
    ———
    Remember that the Karens are abusing your basic decency to get what they want. That’s extremely rude so there’s nothing wrong with being rude right back. We aren’t the baddies.

    1. This. All of this. I like your suggested/potential responses. I’d add “Well, since masks work, they and you shouldn’t be worried about me.”

      1. “It’s against my religion to wear slave paraphernalia.”

        “Why? Doesn’t your vaccine work?”

        “Get bent, you tin-pot fascist.”

        “If you’re -that- afraid of me, maybe you should leave.”

        All of which have only been said within the safety and privacy of my own skull, but…

        Oh, and I bought books. The Scorpion series looks awesome.

    2. Have you considered not bothering other people and doing something useful with your time life?


      I have no problem at all being rude to insufferable assholes. When they repeat the lies they’ve been taught, I tell them, “That is a lie. Only an idiot would believe that.”

  16. Hugs and sympathy for all the ridiculous abuse you suffered at the convention. I have COPD and can’t cope with masks which gives me some ability to relate to what you went through.

    I’m also inspired by the cat pictures you included. My three cats appreciate them.

    There is so much good advice already given by the people in this thread that’s the best I can do is ordering your monster book pack, which I have already done. Good luck with all your endeavors.

    1. The one time (early in the 2020 panic) I wore a dust mask properly, I realized I was about 10 seconds from passing out from CO2 issues. Went to the 3M blue masks below the nose until I got some shields delivered.

      If I ran into serious mask-Karens, I’d ask them if they minded if I collapsed on them–at 300 pounds, somebody’s going to get hurt, and I’m tall enough to take out a couple of people. /VBEG

  17. Will be posting this here – and elsewhere. And some will know about what I’m referring to.

    The human body should never be abused in such a manner as to produce a poison or pathogen harmful to the body. All the mRNA vaccines in use are designed to force human cells to produce spike proteins- a known pathogen- and release them into the body. The Church of Human Expansion finds such efforts to be a violation of Church beliefs. All believers in basic Church tenets should resist such experiments by whatever means necessary.

    And a reminder- you do not have to be a formal member of the Church of Human Expansion to share it’s beliefs- the beliefs are compatible with most other major religions. So if you need a religious exemption- here’s your formal church pronouncement.

  18. *virtual hugs* Allow me to join the chorus of support. You did what you could, and there’s no shame in that kind of retreat.

    I’ve had some success planning out “what if” scenarios on how to extricate myself gracefully (or at least without being charged with assault and battery or homicide) under stressful situations, or when I thought there might be a problem. Twice, having a response at hand and an exit option kept me from having a full-out anxiety spell or attacking someone. And, alas, once I had to apply my elbow to the other person’s gut and THEN depart the scene with dignity and rapidity.

  19. That really sucks. I would have hoped that coronamania would be long over by now, but some people want to drag it out forever.

  20. Here in my state, the second child (under 18) to pass away from COVID-19 this year, died this last week. The first child was back in March. Very sad for families. But 2 in 7 months is WAYYY better than our flu deaths for the same age range. Last year, before we understood everything, there were a few more deaths in children and youths. Nobody comparing death rates to the disease we mostly accept as normal risk. Yet, the call for masks in schools and “the governor is horrible for even wanting parents and children to have a choice on whether to mask up or not” (Sorry. That should read “the governor is evil because he wants children to die because he banned masks.” as per MSM) are getting shriller and shriller.

  21. Sorry you went thru that. I have a family member who is a bully. When I finally thought about it after a particularly bad episode I told her next time I was going to record her with my phone. After that all I ever had to do was hold my phone in my hand when she came around. “Karen” doesn’t want to be in a viral video. If you can dispute the credit card payment do it ASAP, send them the emails you describe and good luck. I have asthma also and just can’t breathe with the masks. We are flying next month to visit mother in law and I am dreading the whole process. 🥺

  22. There’s an entire list of people I now know not to trust or interact with again (starting with two separate doctor’s offices) because of stuff like this. I’m sorry you went through this… but at least you know these people are disingenuous and should be avoided, and you are warning other people about them too. That might not be bravery at the time, when you were directly attacked… but you have marshaled yourself and done what you could in retrospect, and that’s important too. They are hoping we will be demoralized into accepting their worldview. You have chosen not to be, and to keep fighting. I salute you.

  23. Thank you for doing your part for freedom (even if it was miserable). People have to object to this lunacy, or it will continue to get more invasive and more violent, culminating in some atrocity.

    Somehow we have to figure out a way to break these conformity spirals.

    1. Breaking that spiral is the question all right and I’m at a loss for how to do it, especially considering how bad I am with reading and understanding people. The joys of Oddness, huh?

    2. I know. I’ve done better at local things, like normal shopping or me being in a place for political or author events. I’ve managed to keep cool and say I’m not wearing one and you can’t make me, or physically remove me or get out of my face. But there, it got to the point of too much before I could counter it.

  24. In slight defense of Jennifer….I suspect Karen was bullying her, too. “You better do something about her! She’ll get us in trouble! If you don’t do something I’ll tell!”
    Would that make sense? No. But would it give Karen the lovely thrill of being cruel while believing she’s a Good Person Who Only Wants to Protect Others? Yep.

    1. I wind up with Random Cats. One is pure black, kind of chunky, and purrs like a maniac. He’s doing it right now. A Happy Cat is a good cat.

      1. We have random cats too. One long hair gray with white tux and paws, one ginger tiger, one black with random yellow (not a true tortie, but at glance looks like one), and the new one is black with white tux and paws. The latter 3 are all short hair. Middle two are from the same liter, never mind that the ginger male is twice the size of his sibling, and she isn’t particularly tiny (anymore). If Freeway, the newest, lives up to her paws, she isn’t going to be dainty.

        1. We acquired a black and white stray dumped at the local girl scout camp as a kitten. When he had his vet appointment all she could say was that he was going to be a “moose”. He did end up about 15 pounds when at his ideal weight, and lived to 18.

          1. Big feet on puppies and kittens means a big adult. They tend to grow into their feet. Amber surprised us me a little. She was barely 3#s at 6 months, and did not have the big paws of her brother. Figured she’d be a smaller cat. She is average size. Her brother OTOH is a big boy, and still growing. We’ll see on the newest one. She’s got big paws and weighs 5.8#s at 6 months.

  25. “This is why you have to stand up, and, get others to. Because they can’t control us all. But I was on my own, and beaten down. I didn’t stand up. I was on empty. In that moment, I gave up.”

    Hey, you don’t have to explain yourself to me, Amie. I’ve seen that shit before. Deja poo.

    Your experience happened to me once. I was at a show. I bought tables, I was selling stuff. On day 2 of 3, one of the other, larger vendors complained. My price on some items was “too low.” As in, lower than theirs. I was informed by show management I would have to raise my price or leave. Lucky me, I’m huge, male, and I wasn’t having a splitting headache/panic attack at the time. I said I’d be overjoyed to leave if they refunded what I paid for the tables. They gave me a full refund. Off I went. And never did another one of their shows, let me tell you.

    The mask thing, people are insane about that right now. You’re not going to be able to walk around indoors without a mask, it doesn’t matter how many medical exemptions you have. Karen isn’t listening.

    There’s video of a guy getting tackled and stomped on by security at Canadian Tire last February. Google search “Canadian Tire Mask Fight” for the story. Take careful note of the way that the guy is not being covered in the news a person with a medical issue who can’t wear a mask. He’s an “anti-masker”. He deserved that ass-kicking, y’know. Yup. Asking for it.

    1. Your experience happened to me once. I was at a show. I bought tables, I was selling stuff. On day 2 of 3, one of the other, larger vendors complained. My price on some items was “too low.” As in, lower than theirs. I was informed by show management I would have to raise my price or leave. Lucky me, I’m huge, male, and I wasn’t having a splitting headache/panic attack at the time. I said I’d be overjoyed to leave if they refunded what I paid for the tables. They gave me a full refund. Off I went. And never did another one of their shows, let me tell you.

      Oh, right, Canada.

        1. Ontario. The corruption is almost palpable these days. It’s like a film of slime on everything.

          I’ve seen one (1) person make the “mask exemption” thing stick, some crazy biker chick told the teenagers at McDonalds in Caledonia to shove it. They mumbled something about corporate policy, she said medical exemption so f*ck off, and that was that. I think they were afraid she’d wreck the place. But they went at her anyway, which tells the whole story.

          Relative who frequents Toronto tells stories of being screamed at in the street down in Roncy by the Woke Karens to put a mask on -outside-. Relative screams right back, not a shrinking violet. “No, I don’t care about your health! Yes, please go and die right now!”

          Toronto is where they arrested some guy for running in the park during Lock Down in 2020. Yep, the crime was running through a park. Past the homeless encampment.

          In Canada, Antifa and the homeless and the Indians who were trying to set trains on fire do not spread WuFlu. They have magical protection. But some guy out for a run? GET HIM!!!

          Canada is a pretty weird place, really. Everybody thinks it’s like the USA, but it is very much not.

      1. People are always surprised when corruption appears in Canada, but they shouldn’t be. Price fixing, muscling competitors, government complicity, this stuff is every-day. I see it all the time.

        1. Maybe it’s just, people are surprised when somebody mentions the corruption in Canada. Everybody is tired of hearing about it, or even talking about it. Like rain in Seattle.

          1. No, I’m talking about -Canadians- continually being surprised when they find out just how crooked stuff is around them. It’s like they’re wrapped in a fluffy blanket that keeps Reality out. I really don’t understand how they get through life.

            The pandemic has made some big holes in that blanket, let me tell you. People all looked at the cops arresting the guy for running in the park, and then they looked at the cops NOT arresting the fruitcakes and Communists who were camping in the park and burning cars and marching through the streets breaking windows and stealing shit. And they they said to themselves “WTF is this?”

            Final straw for a lot of Canadians apparently was Trudeau calling an election during “4th Wave Corona Emergency!!!11!” when it is becoming clear that the “vaccine” doesn’t work and they’re threatening another lock down… but only after the election. Even the dumbest stump can see that Trudeau cares about getting a majority a lot more than he cares about people catching WuFlu.

            Trudeau is getting literally chased out of suburban neighborhoods by angry crowds of locals. To be clear, these are not paid agitators being bused in like the Left does. These are the actual people who live in the neighborhood walking out the front door to boo at Trudeau and hold up handwritten signs that say things like “F*ck off Justin!”. I’ve never seen that in a Canadian election in my life.

            But a lot more of them still wrapped in the fluff, shocked and surprised at the blast of cold air coming in as it becomes more and more obvious the game is rigged.

              1. I have to tell you, it’s not time.

                I mean, we’re literally having an election in the middle of a pandemic and no one seems that bothered by it. Everybody still wears their mask, hardly anybody shows up to protest Parliament when they call for pandemic passports, almost 90% of over-60 aged people got vaccinated with the friggin’ mad science genetic modification experiment. They -all- went for it. All in, baby.

                http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/2021/09/03/it-should-be-over/

                What will it take for it to be time? The answer is more than a plague. Probably more than a famine. We’ll need all four of the Horsemen before the sheep look up.

          1. I would say that FDR f-ed over the USA more than any president before or since. Worse than Kennedy or Clinton, for sure. Jury is still out on Barry, he’s got a third term after all.

            1. Yeah. Most people say if they could go back in time to kill someone in history, it’d be Hitler. Mine would be FDR, or Wilson and see if that cut off the road for FDR.

            2. If you want to slice technicalities very finely, Jefferson Finis Davis.

              An American, a President, a Democrat, and his polity (the CSA), did not survive his term in office.

  26. If you have a medical reason for not wearing the mask, then technically you have a disability and they are required by federal law (American Disability Act) to not discriminate against you. Then tell the screaming harpies that they can either shut up and leave you alone, or they can pay a $100,000 fine for violation of the ADA.

  27. About my third question to Shrieking Harpy would have been:

    “Who the fuck are you? Are you on the Con Committee? Are you in charge of the venue? Are you a government official legally empowered to enforce rules here?”

    If the answers are NO, my next proclamation would be a hearty “Go fuck yourself!”

    Repeated as often as necessary.

    They assume we will be polite while they berate us. STOMP on that assumption. Don’t be angry or threatening, just tell them to fuck off.
    ———————————
    The world is full of self-important, self-righteous, obsessed assholes, tormented by the conviction that Somebody, Somewhere is Doing Something they don’t approve of, and driven by a compulsion to Do Something About It at any cost.

    1. Note, depending on the state, profanity or obscenity means that you are in the wrong, legally.
      Even when someone has been doing verbal harassment.

      “Go jump in a lake” or “go piss up a rope,” perhaps “get back to fornicating with your mother” even. (Depends on delivery.)

            1. Ox also know to ‘steal’ from the best sources.
              If you ever encounter a recording made by a group (1970’s…) ‘Blue Kangaroo’ it’s worth saving/duplicating/digitizing. Funny. Not at ALL PG, but funny.

        1. Knew a priest who was so not-angry with the cop who set up a speed trap to catch him, he offered to marry his parents next time they came to visit.

  28. Sorry to hear things went so badly… I can relate to a lot of that. Bad training and experiences make it hard for me to deal with those situations so I know I’d have reacted very closely to the way you did, if not worse since I have very little support in my area. That bait and switch bullying, plus the constant switching the terms that Karen did, was despicable. That said, I’ll check out the books when I get a chance and I loved the kitty pics! My four, especially R the black smoke, say hi to all of them! I hope the introduction goes well and that they end up being good adopted siblings! Funnily enough L the tortie latched on to the bigger one H, not long after I adopted her and they became good adopted sisters and same for C the Balinese mix and R becoming good adopted brothers!

    1. Our most recent adoptee Freeway has been 100% adopted by the two we adopted last year. Little over 24 hours of hissing, and now they wrestle and groom. No cat pile sleeping arrangements. The two siblings are just 11 months older than Freeway.

      Freeway saw our veterinarian today. Full set of adult teeth. Which makes her at least 6 months. 5.8#s and doubled in size in the 5 weeks we’ve had her. So, right at 6 months or smidge more. Already had her first heat a few days ago. Worried us, we’ve never, not once had a cat go into heat. She is already on the schedule for spaying. 15 cats (and counting) we’ve never had a cat give birth to kittens. Never had a cat go into heat … do not want to repeat.

      1. Always nice when that happens! Thankfully the torties get along with the other two pretty well, though L the Princess runs the house for the most part. Heat does suck, though, and same for finding homes for kittens if it ends up being too late. Then again that’s how me and my late mom got the late queen of the house and her late brother, who cemented my love of black cats so it works out sometimes.

        1. Bits surprised the heck out of us. We’ve had up to 5 cats at a time. Rarely the same age. Or if they were the same age, or close, not brought in at the same time. In fact siblings brought in together has happened exactly twice, our first two, and the two last year. Always got along and took in the babies rescued. Bits? She’s always been standoffish. Only one of 15 cats who doesn’t get along with the other cats is Bits.

          What is weird is we’ve only once taken the steps recommended to introduce new kittens to the existing household cat(s). (Didn’t know there were proper steps!) That was last year because of Bits’, prior reaction to Thump (who we lost 18 months ago). Didn’t work. But we tried. She’s not red eye demon about it. Just hisses when she gets invaded. Since didn’t work introducing TJ and Amber, we just let Freeway loose in the house. We have 3 buddies and one old grouch.

          What is funny is first Thump, and now Tj, would go out of their way to antagonize Bits (we call it the “little brother” syndrome). Thump when we wouldn’t let him out (Tj isn’t allowed out, yet). Tj, just because, still very much a kitten at 16 months. With addition of Freeway, Tj hasn’t been antagonizing Bits 🙂 Probably because Freeway takes the action as invitation to play and Tj gets distracted.

          1. The adoption agency, Fluff in Nashville, gave us steps to follow to acclimate them. We put them in a room without Merlin seeing them, kept them separated, then rubbed socks on them and Merlin, and let the other side smell the other’s socks. Merlin was pissed at first smell. He hissed up a storm when he first smelled them. But we did that over a few days, then had the twins in the playpen, while Merlin ran around so they could see each other, opened the door a crack to have them say hi through it, and after about a week, had the twins out. It was just going to be for a minute, but them and Merlin sniffed and licked each other, so they were all cool. 🙂
            Klaus has little brother syndrome bad. He follows Merlin around, pounces him, and sometimes they play, and sometimes Merlin just tries to ditch him.

            1. We know NOW the correct procedure. Even followed it with Amber and Tj, May 2020. They had their own area, not isolated from Bits, just … do you know how hard it is to find < 2# kittens in a 2200 sq ft house? She had plenty of time to learn to at least tolerate them. When we brought her in, we had two elderly cats, while not buddy, buddy, she accepted them and they her. Then I found Thump. He was tiny, tiny, just beyond bottle baby. Figured she'd be good, she'd have another cat to play with. Boy were we wrong. To be fair she's not real cuddly with people except on her terms (more so than most cats). Poor Thump had to play with the dog (an English Toy Spaniel we had then). I'd like to think Thump would have bonded with Amber and Tj (we were looking for kittens after the second of the two elderly cats above crossed to the Rainbow Bridge). But he didn't get a chance. OTOH he didn't waste any time sending them our way, in the middle of a local kitten desert (sometimes it works that way, I swear!)

      1. Looking forward to them! Kitty pics are the mainstay of my social media accounts, actually. People like you and our hostess do far better with political and social commentary than I do so the way I see it I’m giving people a break by focusing on the floof. And as you can imagine C the Balinese mix is Mr. Popularity, online and off…

  29. I lived in NJ for 32 years. My kids say I channel my NJ b**ch. I’ll lend her to you. I don’t get profane, I just don’t budge. Also helped that I worked on committees where I pushed back every meeting against bad ideas. Threatening legal action will almost always work. Practice, to keep your cool. My daughter says working several years in retail will also help.

    Sorry for the misery. Channel a mama grizzly if the NJ is too alien. It’s worked several times here in Colorado. They didn’t know what hit them.

    Get the refund and ask for expenses. Contact Knoxville TV stations. TV stations have clout and want to protect the individual. You have more power than you think.

    I pray a quick recovery for you.

  30. I wanted to post more kitty pictures, but WordPress comments apparently doesn’t allow that. Hmmmmm, I’ll have to figure out where to post those then post a link or something 🙂

      1. Thanks Sarah. I’ll get those loaded up on a webpage today and send the link to you for tomorrow. I have so many freaking pictures of them. They’re just too cute!

        1. That’s an adorable bunch of black floof, past and present! I still miss both of my long-gone black cats, especially the one that was 17-1/2 lbs in his prime! He was a Maine Coon mix, I think, and made sure to keep up with R and C when I was recovering from eye surgery last year, holding out just long enough for me to go back to work before he passed. You really can’t beat black cats for loyalty and love.

  31. Please don’t be hard on yourself for not being able to stand up to repeated abuse. Next time you will feel more prepared to take on the bullies. We are all going to have to deal with more and more of this pressure soon. We will have to decide what we will do when someone tries to force us to do something detrimental to our health. I had a medical procedure cancelled recently, because the doctor had suddenly implemented new restrictive covid measures (either the covid jab or a negative covid test, both of which I refuse to comply with) after she was exposed to covid from a VACCINATED patient at the hospital, not her private office where I had had to wait three months to get an appointment for a worsening medical condition. The doctor simply could not comprehend that her measures would do nothing to protect her or her staff from getting covid. I have now found a new neurologist who -for now- only requires a mask, but must wait another 3 months without any diagnosis for my worsening symptoms. The worst part was that my husband is upset with me, because he feels that at some point we will have to submit to this tyranny in order to get medical care, and that I should have just gotten a covid test so I could be seen. I refuse to inject poison into my body and I refuse to enrich the coffers of these tyrants by paying for a worthless covid test. I will not be bullied just so I can access medical care. I’ve done my research, given this a great deal of thought, prayed about it, and I’m completely at peace with my decision. My husband is not, because we are getting up in years and he doesn’t want me to die prematurely. But if we don’t all collectively stand together and say “No” to these initial insults, we are doomed when they begin dragging us out of our houses for forced injections and freezing the bank accounts of the unvaccinated. Be strong and be not afraid to stand up for what is right. When you see someone being bullied, speak up in their defense.

    1. I’m sorry you’re going through that. We all need to stick together and yeah, stand up for each other. And your husband needs to get behind you on this.

  32. First, thanks for adopting black cats. They have a hard time finding homes. Four of my (now 6) are voids.

    Second, if you aren’t hype for confrontational verbal conflict, consider picking up one of those mega-loud canned air horns like they use on boats and indulge in some negative conditioning. Karen wants to flap her yap, give her a blast until she shuts up or leaves.

      1. Too true, thinking back to the two I’ve lost. Thankfully R has plenty of years left in him unless something goes seriously wrong.

      2. Hugs. Yes to both. I dedicate my books now to my Gremlin over the rainbow bridge, and to my babies with me today.

      3. Yeah, Bear the Great and Terrible(minus one ear – lost it to cancer back in March) agrees about black. A black domestic long hair who in his youth was ~16#. He came to us after being abandoned in the neighborhood. Down to 11# now. OTOH he ‘s somewhere between 28 and 33 y/o and has outlived two vets and is working on the third. Blind now, but can still find his food dish, the cat pan, and the bed. And complains bitterly when I forget his liver med or if he feels the bed sheet needs vacuuming.
        The Gordon – a white calico – known as She Who Does Not Exist – was found as a 8 inch long behind our fence complaining about her place in life. She never got over being left there. She runs and hides the instant she hears the front door open, even if it’s just me. Consequently none of our friends believe she exists. Other then walking across the computer keyboard anytime I’m using it she’s okay. Also somewhere around 20y/o as she came to us sometime before 2000.
        CATS RULE

        1. I had a tortie like that. Most of my friends didn’t believe we really had one. She hid all day, and in the evening, if you sat quietly on the sofa, she would come out and curl up *near* you. She did also sometimes sleep on the bed before I was married. Even our girls only got to see her for a minute or two each week. We called her our Indoor Feral.

    1. I want a black cat. Mom and Dad Red want a cat they can see in dim light. We currently have a cat-of-many-colors (Athena T. Calico) who loves to shed white tummy fur on my dark colored clothes, and dark or orange fur on my white blouses and summer Edwardian white dresses.

      #CatServantProblems

      1. C sheds his Balinese white fur all over my black desk and I’m always having to pick his fur out of my keyboard, too. Light-colored cats do have their downsides.

      2. Friends way back in college had a black and white cat named Gen (for ‘generic’, at least in the ’80s in Iowa all the generic store brand stuff came in black and white packaging). We swore Gen could shed at will because if you used tape to remove the black fur from your white blouse, there would be absolutely NO white hairs on it, and the same with removing white from something black, not a black hair to be found.

        1. Ha! I swear the twins do that. They’re black, but have streaks of grey, white, and silver mixed in, and when I’m wearing black, I swear they only shed the the other colors.

  33. The absolute best part of the whole horrible situation that you had was that you shared it! You could have kept it to yourself and nursed a well deserved grudge but you did not. You shared the experience and the fine group here was able to brainstorm and benefit from the experience. I’m quite inspired by the whole thing.

    I think you are extremely brave and good to share.

    Also. Thank you for the kitty pictures. I love cats. My hubby is violently allergic so I can only enjoy kitties vicariously. Yours are stellar!

    1. Thanks Susan. Yeah, this whole thing gave me an idea for a short story for my next anthology, so I got some inspiration out of it that way. I’m hoping the more of us who share these stories from real life, the more of us will be empowered to stand up and fight back, and/or be better prepared to.

  34. There is a really good book on assertiveness training written back in the 1970s, still in print, really stupid title but a truly great training book. Like martial arts, this book dissects the ways folks use to manipulate or bully people and then teaches methods and forms of response to folks like. This book is great for those of us who cannot always respond to aggressive behavior effectively and wind up doing things we do not want to do….. I taught a class (at the Women’s Free University on Campus, 1970s remember) and the response was incredible. The title is “When I Say NO I feel Guilty” by Manuel J Smith. The title and advertising blurbs do not do justice to this book, editors I suppose. Very clearly and simply written with exercises, you can read the whole thing in less than two hours.

  35. Sorry that you had such a miserable experience. I’ll look forward to reading the books when they arrive. Considering Amazon’s high handed actions in recent years, it amuses me not to be paying Amazon for them! Enjoy the new kittens.

    1. Thanks for the buy! I’m shipping orders out on Tuesday 🙂 Do you want yours made out to Gillian or Jill?

  36. Your insight into OCD is very interesting, I’ll turn that one over in my mind a few times. I think you comported yourself well, as a civilized human being should when dealing with the denizens of Jackass Nation.

    1. I’ve had OCD since before I knew what it was. From what I can see, the mask thing is mass hysteria the politicians/media/string-pullers caused by tapping into whatever neural pathways our own brains follow when we have OCD. The similarities are too great, like I outlined in the post.

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