A few weeks ago–in fact, the night we celebrated our anniversary–Evan and I saw a sign at Barnes & Noble indicating Weird Al Yankovic would be at the store signing his new children’s book.
I love children’s books–especially those signed and personalized by the author. And Evan love Weird Al (admittedly, I have fond memories of “Eat It” and “Amish Paradise” as well).
Tuesday, once I knew that our ice storm was in the midst of a rainy intermission for a few hours, I drove to the store to see if I could get a ticket and a book and get the book signed for Evan. I was shocked to see 150 or so people already lined up, but they were still selling books and still giving away tickets, so I got in line somewhere back in the romance and graphic novel section. Oh… why couldn’t I get stuck near fitness/health books and cookbooks? Or fiction? Or magazines? Of all the sections!
In truth, it wasn’t all that bad. Although the dude in back of me kept talking about all of his Weird Al paraphernalia (which was a little, well, Weird), the family in front of me was pretty nice. A Barnes & Noble employee came around asking us what we wanted “Weird Al” to write in our book, jotted it down on a Post-It note and stuck it on the appropriate page, in an effort to expedite the line. Someone from their coffeeshop distributed pretty darn delicious shot-sized samples of hot cocoa (complete with mini whipped cream towers and fudge drizzle). It made the two hours waiting pass relatively painlessly, despite being stuck in between piles of paperbacks emblazoned with Fabio’s air-brushed image.
Finally, it was almost my chance to meet Al and all I could think of was how his hand much be cramping and he must be tired of smiling for photos. I wondered how many Sharpies he burned through signing the 200+ books (and CDs and whatever else people brought) before me. The folks in the line ahead definitely seemed fanboyish. Some brought gifts and told him which concerts they’ been to back in the day. He smiled and posed with each and every one, taking time to admire the gifts and respectfully show his appreciation.
And then it was my turn.
Have I ever told you that I hate meeting famous people? I generally make a conscious effort to avoid it. I hate it because I’m afraid I’ll be disappointed–that the image I’ve created of them in my mind is so much better than the real person. Or that whatever I say will have already been said by 50 other people, just irritating this person that I like and respect.
So I walked up to his table, after handing my camera (okay, my cell phone) to the Barnes & Noble employee responsible for photography duties and he sees what I wanted written in my book:
Al says “So does this Future Baby Ferstenfeld have a jetpack?”
I say “No… it’s means that we’re expecting this July. But if he or she is born with a jetpack we’ll love and accept him just the same.”
Al laughs and says “You’ll be good parents!”
And then we took a photo and I drove home just as the freezing rain was starting to surprise Evan with his signed copy of Weird Al’s new book and a story about meeting a celeb. (For the record, he was a little jealous.)