I’m from Twitter. Here’s a merkin. 3

I met Amanda Palmer last night, kind of, in a flurry that lasted about seven seconds. Amanda and her husband Neil Gaiman were on a short West Coast tour, performing a mash up of songs and readings, sometimes alone, sometimes together, sometimes alone but with the other adoringly watching. To put it less clearly, here’s a video of Neil Gaiman eating a banana.

I got free tickets to the show because of my ex-girlfriends, Twitter, and my amazing friend Jamie, who mentioned me to Amanda at Wednesday’s show. The long version is: Back in June, I wrote an AfterEllen column about my tendency to pursue unavailable women.

“I think we also tend to chase after unavailable women because we aren’t necessarily in a place where we want to settle down. And that’s OK. Friends are quick to point out patterns in our love lives — Curiously, these friends are often happily coupled — but patterns don’t always mean anything, nor do they have to become self-fulfilling prophecies. I’ve dated a crap-ton of Sagittariuses and almost all of them have been in love with Amanda Palmer. Is that a pattern? Yep. Does it mean I am doomed to forever live in the shadow of Amanda Palmer’s awesomeness? Probably. But it’s not the world’s biggest deal breaker.

This was not an exaggeration. Approximately 90% of girls I’ve dated have been die-hard AFP fans. One even had an orgasm from merely LISTENING to one of her songs.

Anyway, Amanda Palmer somehow read that column and asked me out on Twitter, thus appropriately reaffirming my habit of chasing married women. Then I tried to start a rivalry with Neil, but he was just like, “Have fun on your date! Amanda’s swell.” And, “Take her to a a crowded, interesting bar.” So I told her that I would take her to a bar where the patrons only speak Russian and will take their fake eye out for you. (Ed. note. I may have lied about my ability to procure Russian cyclopses to impress Amanda Palmer).

Then I was like, Wait a minute. I work at Mother Jones! I should totally interview her and get her to confirm our date in a legally-binding matter of public record. And, like, ask her about music and stuff. So I did that. And it was a video interview, and she was topless. Here’s a snippet of me harassing her. Sadly, that video service is no longer. WAAAAH.

Then she came to San Francisco for two shows, and Jamie and the very talented Eliza Rickman scored tickets to the first show at the Brava Theater. After the show, in the signing line, Jamie was like, “Hey Amanda. Remember that girl who promised you a one-eyed, Eastern European bar experience?” And she was like, “Oh right. Email my assistant and she’ll hook her up with tickets to Friday’s show.” Once I found that out, I promptly contacted several of my ex-girlfriends and was like, “I bet you wished you hadn’t dumped me NOW, HUH?” (Ed. note: These conversations didn’t actually happen in an arena involving actual people, i.e. out loud.)

So Jamie and I went to the Palace of Fine Arts, and I made Amanda a merkin out of one of Jamie’s thongs, a cut up, hand-knitted beanie, and about 20 staples. Because, yeah.

merkin for a living

And then I wrote a limerick and stuck that in there as well. Then Jamie was like, Amanda Palmer only gets one limerick? And I was like, You’re right. She deserves at least 12 limericks. But we were short on time, so together we wrote her just one more. It went something like this:

On this tour, so hard you’ve been workin’,
with barely enough time for jerkin’.
We hoped to torpedo
your ailing libido,
by giving you this sexy merkin.

The show itself was incredible. It was like a love letter personified, directed both at each other and at the audience. Afterward, we got confused about which line we were supposed to stand in to meet Amanda and Neil, and ended up at the very back. It was after midnight by the time we got within spitting distance of the pair, and by then, they were moving through people at SPAM factory production line speeds. Suddenly Neil was standing right there. He looked at me, then we both looked at the merkin I was holding, and then he moved on to the next person. Amanda followed milliseconds later, and this is what I said to her.

Thank you for the show. I’m from Twitter. Here’s a merkin.


I’m sure she had no idea who I was, but hugged me anyway and said, Thank you. This is what that looked like, if one were viewing the scene after having done a few shots of Jaegar and then spinning around wildly.

And then we were whisked out of the line and into the parking lot.

Russian cyclopses or no, it was obviously one of the better dates I’ve been on.

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