After one week of viral stardom Marilyn Hagerty, the 85-year-old North Dakota restaurant critic famous for her polite review of the local Olive Garden, is rebelling against her new fanbase of disaffected New Yorkers. Have we pushed our beloved Marilyn too far?
In New York to review the Times Square Olive Garden and Le Bernadin, Marilyn published a letter to her sister Shirley in home newspaper The Grand Forks Herald. In it, Marilyn recalls the day "the whole world went crazy," when she became famous:
When the Village Tattler or whatever called from New York, I didn't understand who they were. I didn't understand that I had gone viral. I didn't know that meant it was like hits on the Internet.
That's some intense Midwestern passive-aggression. For fame was a double-edged sword, and though Marilyn has received bouquets of flowers and attention from The New York Times, she has also been called "pathetic" and is "not sure where all this is taking me, Shirley." Hagerty ends the epistolary with a rather ominous post-script:
P.S. This, too, shall pass. I soon will take my hammer named Margo and go down to the river. There I will meditate on the 15 years that have passed since the flood of 1997.
Christ, that's straight out of a David Lynch movie. "Then they will know me, Shirley. Then they will know." Stay strong, Marilyn.