Is all of Texas feuding with Fiona Apple? What's going on down there?
—P. Sockett, Minnesota, via Twitter
Well, as they say, somebody messed with Texas. And in this case it was 1990s wunderwaif Fiona Apple. After getting popped in Hudspeth County last week on suspicion of carrying hashish in her tour bus, the singer let loose on stage in Houston, implying that her arresting officers may have done something "illegal" during her detainment.
The result? An epic comeback of a letter from Hudspeth County Sheriff's Dept. Spokesman Rusty Fleming. Do I have the real dish straight from Fleming? You're sure as shootin' I do...
In a video captured from Apple's weekend concert, she appears to complain about four of Hudspeth County's finest, saying they committed acts that were "probably illegal":
"I heard everything you did," she said, as the audience cheered. "I wrote it all down with your names, and everything you did and said, stupidly thinking that I couldn't hear or see you. I then ripped the paper up, but not before I encoded it...I'm the only one who holds the key, and you and I will be intimate forever because I will hold that secret forever.
"Unless you're interested in being a celebrity, I'll make you f---ing famous any time you ask..."
After that rant, department spokesman Fleming wrote an open response. Actually, he tells me, he wrote two, an official one defending his office and encouraging Fiona to file an official complaint if she really suspects wrongdoing.
The second response? Let's just say it was...personal.
"First, Honey," he wrote, "I'm already more famous than you, I don't need your help. However, it would appear that you need mine."
Fleming adds, "Two weeks ago nobody in the country cared about what you had to say. Now that you've been arrested it appears your entire career has been jump-started. Don't worry Sweetie, I won't bill you."
He concluded: "Just shut up and sing."
If that back-and-forth weren't enough, Texas native Solange Knowles jumped into the fray. She tweeted today, "Only in Texas would a Sheriff write an open letter to an artist & send it to press starting w the words, ‘First, Honey.' On behalf of my state, #SorryFiona.
"Just goes to show so clearly these cops luv ego-tripp'n."
What did Fleming have to say to that?
"I am not trying to get into any pissing contests with anyone," the sheriff's spokesman told me today after I read him Knowles' Tweets. "My statement stands for itself. And by the way, I'm not a cop. I had nothing to do with Fiona's arrest."