The International Homosexual Conspiracy
by Larry-bob Roberts
Manic D Press, 160 pages, $14.95
I MET Larry-bob Roberts once. We connected through the small press world: I had contributed to his long-running zine Holy Titclamps, and he listed my own self-published rag, Slumber, in Queer Zine Explosion, a sort of catalog with short reviews attached. He was coming north for a comedy event near where I lived, so we met up beforehand and chatted, attended the event, and afterwards, since I don’t have a car, he was kind enough to drop me off at home.
During the stand-up comedy, at least five people came up to say hi to Larry-bob. He always took time out to introduce his friends to me, explaining how he knew each of us to the other. Being nervous around new people, I immediately forgot everyone’s name and felt like a colossal ass, especially when, to a person, each of them used my name multiple times during even a brief exchange. The next day it occurred to me that what struck me as exotic behavior was in fact simple politeness. It changed the way I dealt with people from that moment forward.