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The deep imprint left upon the television landscape by seminal 1980s osteoporotic sitcom The Golden Girls is indisputable: Swap in some Cosmos for a cheesecake, you're looking at a post-menopausal Sex and the City; add an angry lesbian and some Hot Topics, The View. Not surprisingly, the series carries with it a fanatical following, comprised mainly of gay men of a certain age, and no one else. Many of them showed up at Book Soup last night to hear Rue "Blanche" McClanahan read and sign from her new autobiography. A Defamer operative reports from the scene:

I was at Rue McClanahan's book signing the other night (05/02) at Book Soup, an event which was truly gayer than a picnic basket. I thought I had a bizarre fixation on The Golden Girls until I was waiting in line next to a man who has vanity plates and an actual Jello mold from the show's set. Right as McClanahan began to sign books and pose for pictures with fans, Betty White showed up, which you can imagine put all the fags and hags over the edge.

Two lucky fans got to pose with both Golden Girls before White ran off to buy four copies of McClanahan's book, My First Five Husbands...And the Ones Who Got Away. What a thrill! Too bad I left before marveling at the woman who wanted McClanahan to pose with a nude painting of Bea Arthur.

For anyone wondering how that last chapter played out, our friends at The WOW Report have all the entertaining details, with photos of the naked Bea Arthur portrait in question. (Warning: Not safe for anyone.) As for Betty White's surprise appearance, a single Golden Girl sighting has been known to rouse the deadened spirits of even the most jaded of Gays. Two, we imagine, would launch them into Beatles-on-Ed-Sullivan-levels of ear-piercing hysterics.