Letters to Strangers: Dude at the Bar

Posted: January 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

Dear Dude at the Bar,

Thank you for at least taking the time to notice what I was doing before you came up to interrupt my lunch. Yes, I’m reading! And Yes, I’m reading Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

But your comment really rubbed me the wrong way.

“So, you’re one of those people who reads the book after the movie comes out, huh?”

Let me break this down for you… All of the reasons that this is not the best thing to say to, well, anyone.

One, no, I’m not one of those people that reads the book after the movie comes out. I’m one of those people who reads books to pieces and has to occasionally buy new copies. And Tinker, Tailor is one of my favorite books of all time, since my grandfather gave me my first copy.

Two, the tone that you used to say this to me… I can’t tell if you were showing off your superior knowledge of Cold War spy novels, movies, or if you were just trying (unsuccessfully) to neg me. But really, talking like that to people only makes you look like an asshole. Which brings me to…

Three: I would’ve loved to talk about John le Carre, George Smiley, Jim Prideaux and all the rest… but you were giving off real asshole vibes. If you catch me and would like to try again, go ahead. I’ll give you a little hint:

“John le Carre, huh? That’s an awesome book. I really liked it. Have you seen the movie yet?”



  1. Tori says:

    My other favorite is when people do the, “So, you’re one of those people who reads the book after the movie comes out, huh?” thing, and I’m like, “It happened to be next on my reading list; plus, I have no real intention of seeing the movie.”

    • Lindsay Smith says:

      I have no trouble with going to see a movie, but only after I read the book. But it’s the fact that people assume that I am only reading a book because a movie comes out. It gives me a sneaking suspicion that the only reason that they are aware of a book because of a movie adaptation…

      The other funny one, especially with Tinker Tailor, is “Dude, I didn’t think that Gary Oldman would be able to pull off a better Smiley than Alec Guinness did in the miniseries but OH MAN IF HE DOESN’T GET AN OSCAR THE ACADEMY SHOULD BE DISBANDED!”

      Then, you can tell the pros from the joes, because about 9 times out of 10 I just get a blank stare and a little sound that’s kind of like “Whaaaaaaaa…? Guinness? Beer? What? Miniseries?” And then I’m just all YEAH YOU’RE TALKING TO SOMEONE WHO KNOWS A LIL SOMETHING ABOUT COLD WAR SPY LIT-CHUR-CHURRR, you wanna talk down to me about reading a book NOW?

      And then the ultimate question for guys who think they know spy movies: NAME THE MEN WHO PLAYED BOND! (People are always forgetting poor Lazenby…)

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