Elaine Kaufman fixes a lighting problem

Though Elaine Kaufman loved her male guests, she had little fondness for their female dates. One evening Norman Mailer visited Elaine's for a late dinner with a fiesty young woman who immediately raisedElaine's hackles by complaining about their table, the slow service, and the lighting. When the woman unscrewed the bulb in an overhead fixture, Elaine promptly appeared to screw it in.

Some time later the woman unscrewed the bulb again, whereupon Elaine unleashed a torrent of invective which she had never heard before. "As I was turning away," Elaine later recalled, "this ditsy broad hit me with her elbow, gave me a whack, so I spun around. 'Listen, sweetheart,' I said, pointing at Mailer. 'Him I have to take it from, but no half-a-hooker is going to f--- with my light bulbs!"

[A bohemian at heart, Elaine disdained such mundanities as numbers on the menus and often used tarot cards to tabulate her clients' bills]

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