Yep, it's me again. No, I can't believe it, either. Calm down.
As you can well imagine, an international star of my magnitude doesn't get a lot of time to put his feet up and just chill with a Netflix or whatever you people are constantly braying about. My point being: Mandy's time is Mandy's time. End of story. Simple, right? Anyone could understand it, right?
Now this young lady, who couldn't have been much older than 19, interrupted my afternoon macchiato at Au Bon Pain to inform me that she "just downloaded season five of Homeland" and it means so much to her because she has bipolar disorder and is interested in international espionage and—I let her keep going for a minute or two (or was it six hours?) while I watched the foam dissolve in my cup before I raised my shushing hand.
"Download?" I said.
"Yeah, BitTorrent," she replied. "It's not on Netflix yet."
I drank the rest of my now lukewarm coffee, waited a perfect beat, then snatched the Gruyère tartine off the small plate she was holding. Lightning speed.
"The hell?" she asked.
I explained that I could've given her the full lecture on the economic system she was helping to destroy by stealing my work—or I could do what an artist does, and show, not tell. The tartine was so hot that it burned my tongue, to tell you the truth, but it was worth it.
It was one way of handling the situation. If I had it to do all over again, I suppose I could simply have asked her the question on everyone's lips: Hey, illegal downloader, WHAT ARE YOU THINKIN'?