Saturday, December 18, 2004

Gabe Kaplan and Leon Trotsky

I was in Tempe, AZ yesterday afternoon for a book fix. At the coffee bar in the Border's Bookstore, the thirtysomething counterman remarked that I look like Gabe Kaplan, an observation seconded by some bystanders. Having no idea who Gabe Kaplan is, I commented that some people think I look like Leon Trotsky -- which comment elicited a puzzled expression. Turned out the 'tender had never heard of Trotsky. So I asked, "Ever hear of Vladimir Lenin?" That too drew a blank. It wasn't until I worked my way back to Karl Marx that a glimmer of recognition emerged. I tried the experiment on his twentysomething female co-worker. Same result. Trotsky, Schmotsky. Lenin, Lennon.

Borders is just around the corner from Arizona State University.