As Tom and I left Proof the other night after a We Love DC writers meetup, we were approached by a young man who introduced himself thus:
“Young man, young lady, I’m Black Rain Man. Name a country. Name any country on God’s earth. Young lady, name a country.”
Amused, I responded, “Djibouti.”
“Djibouti!” said Black Rain Man. “Djibouti is the capital of Djibouti, and it borders the Red Sea. Young man, name any country.”
“Iraq,” said Tom, his mind clearly on current events.
“Iraq! The Euphrates river, the home of the Babylonian empire, and the birthplace of Abraham,” Black Rain Man responded with a flourish.
And so it went for a few more minutes, with us naming countries, and Black Rain Man rattling off a few facts about it, as if to mock us and our dependence on Wikipedia.
Finally, predictably, Black Rain Man asked us if we could spare a few dollars so he could get something to eat. Impressed, we pulled out a few bills and handed them over. It’s hard to maintain a memory like that when you’re hungry.