Thanks to everyone who wrote to say fie upon the mean lady.

I'm honestly going to do my best to stay away from the fray in the future -- there are websites a-plenty that do it better than I ever could, and my job is to write novels, not lecture to everyone about voting -- but I'm really, really touched and grateful for everyone who wrote to say "hooray for liberal Jews."

Speaking of Jews -- and this may very well be the vodka and cranberry juice talking -- but did that lady really say that some of her best friends are Jewish?

Does anyone actually say that any more and not mean it, you know, ironically?

Anyhow. Onward and upward, and thanks for your support (God, now I sound like a politician!)

Meanwhile, I need to think of a snappy way to answer the question "Are you making a lot of money?"

I spoke at an event this afternoon and someone asked, and I was caught so off-guard that all I did was blush and stammer.

Contenders (with apologies to Steve Martin in Roxanne) include:

1. The size oriented (delivered while pointing to self): "Well, obviously I'm not starving!"

2. The borderline snarky! "Yes, I'm doing okay. Why? Do you need to borrow some money?"

3. The truly snarky! "No, I'm actually broke. Can you lend me some money?"

4. The political! "Well, thanks to George Bush's generous tax cuts, I could actually buy you and sell you!"

5. The coy! "I'm doing all right."

6. The rap! "I'm doing a'ight."

7. The Clintonesque! "Define 'a lot.' Okay, now define 'money.'"

8. The freaky! "Yes, but I'm giving all of it to this cult I found on the Internet."

I don't know. I think I'm going to be stuck with the shrug-and-blush combo.