I was in a small college classroom, with all the chairs arranged around a large central table, waiting for the professor to arrive. One of my classmates, the movie actor Pierce Brosnan, wanted to get to his seat, but there were some backpacks and things lying on the floor between the table and the wall, blocking his path. He just stood there silently, glancing now down at the bags and now up again, and looking very uncomfortable. Finally, one of the girls in the class noticed and, looking quite annoyed about it all, got up, moved her bag, and let Brosnan through. He took a seat across the table from mine.
I thought his behavior was ridiculous and decided to take him down a notch. I said in a very loud voice, “JAMES BOND–”
“James Bond!” whispered the person next to Brosnan, nudging him to get his attention. Brosnan turned (a little too quickly, I thought, for someone who’s supposed to be cool) to face me. Everyone else was looking at me now, too.
“–wouldn’t do that,” I continued. “If something was in his way, he would move it or walk around it. He wouldn’t just stand there and wait for a woman to help him. But it doesn’t matter because you’re not Stallone anymore, anyway.” (I’m not sure why I thought the names Stallone and James Bond could be used interchangeably, but it made sense to me at the time.)
After a brief pause, Brosnan said, “I did that on purpose to demonstrate a little vulnerability and make myself more approachable.” He didn’t say, “So there,” but his face communicated as much. He’d put me in my place with that snappy comeback. Still, I could see I’d embarrassed him and pissed him off.
Later, after the class, I was in the lobby of the building. My socks were too loose and had sagged down, and I was pulling them up. Brosnan walked up to me and said — I could tell this was his idea of revenge — “Ha! What are you doing? Pulling up your socks?”
“As a matter of fact, I am,” I said, as if it were my proudest accomplishment. “The elastic has become a little loose and so I need to pull them up from time to time.” — this in a “What are you gonna do about it?” tone of voice. Brosnan, having no answer to that, just walked away sheepishly.