No Better Than the Book Burners of Old
The impact of the egg striking the stack of books resounded like a gunshot in the nearly empty Borders. I was behind the display stack talking with Kristina, Kate and Rachelle. JD had already gone home. Adrienne and I had our backs turned. Adrienne was right next to the display stack, which was in the center of the store as you walked in the front door.
Following the sound, I heard a voice proclaim, “Sorry I didn’t hit you Sarah!” The egg thrower then sauntered out of the store as if victory was his. I ran toward the stack and saw several books covered in yolk and egg white. Adrienne’s outfit was splattered too…collateral damage from his attack.
I screamed out to the Borders staff…”get him…he destroyed several of Sarah’s books, and Adrienne’s been hit!” The staff told me they’d take care of it…don’t get involved! I waited…and I took pictures of the damage:
Photography by Ron Devito: Close-up. Yellow on the second book in the stack is egg yolk.
Photography by Ron Devito: Target of hate.
Photography by Ron Devito: Note the wet spot on the carpet and the egg shells. These books were located behind Governor Palin’s display.
Throw the Book at Him?
The egg thrower was caught and arrested. He came to realize that his form of “political protest” did not exactly serve him well. Borders chose not to prosecute him, because he opted to pay for all the destroyed copies of Going Rogue. In essence, this brilliant Obama Kool Aid drinker now bought the largest number of copies of Going Rogue for a single customer in the entire day!
Also ironic and providential: Governor Palin was accused of trying to ban books as Mayor of Wasilla…except for one minor detail: the books she was accused of trying to ban did not even exist at the time. But, book banning is a lie Obama’s followers continue to perpetuate. Adrienne Ross risked her job to protest a display at her school perpetuating this falsehood.
Ironic that this man wanted to not just ban…but destroy Governor Palin’s book.…and since he indicated that the egg was intended for Governor Palin herself, I was loudly pushing for him to be prosecuted…but Borders accepted reimbursement. Now it was up to Adrienne.
Mercy and Forgiveness? Or Pursue a Pyrrhic Victory?
The arresting officer told Adrienne, she had a choice to make. Prosecute him for criminal mischief and harassment; which meant she would have to stay the night, then drive four hours from her home each way to be present at his trial…or have him released.
I was pushing for prosecution. Kristina and Kate calmed me down and told me to defer to Adrienne — it was after all her decision to make….and they were right. It was her decision.
Adrienne chose the path of mercy and declined to press charges. She did not pursue him for the soiled outfit…she wanted nothing more to do with him…rightfully so.
Our tired band of Rogues went to Uno’s right across from Borders to have our farewell dinner. We discussed the incident…the pros and cons of prosecution. For a few minutes, we wondered if the right thing was done not pressing charges. “Sorry, I didn’t hit you, Sarah” played in my head over and over again like a broken record. Could he be motivated to attempt to harm her in some way later on? Would Borders’ and Adrienne’s act of mercy embolden him? Conversely, what was to be gained by Adrienne prosecuting him for harassment? To appear before a judge and say “this man harassed me as a byproduct of destroying several copies of Going Rogue“? With the primary case disposed of, there really was little point in pursuing it further.
Finally, the conversation shifted to more joyful subject matter — some related to Governor Palin, some of it not. We enjoyed our meals and conversation.
It was nearly midnight. We all exchanged hugs and the band of Rogues broke up. Having Gone Rogue, now it was time to Go Home.
Going Rogue: Rochester, NY, Part VI — Going Home