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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Of socks and sci-fi

I took a couple of days off. I was at the "use 'em or lose 'em" stage and, when faced with the possibility of going to work or NOT going to work, my path seemed clear. Besides, there were a few things I wanted to do. I wanted to cut out and stitch together the tunic I bought the fabric for a week ago. It was promising to be hella hot and a nice, lightweight tunic was something I was looking forward to. I was going to drive to the beach and sit on the sand. Maybe take my older son. Four whole days (counting the week-end).

Well. Yeah, Now I had promised to drive my younger son and his girlfriend into Hollywood very early Tuesday morning. They are big science fiction fans. I like some Sci fi, not a bunch but this particular predilection of theirs is one I share and I have for a long, long time, in fact I introduced the kidlet to it. So...a local record store (yep, we have a few of those, although I agree, they sell mostly CDs and DVDs) was getting in the most currently pressed box set of DVDs from season whatever it was. The stars of the series were going to come to the store and SIGN. Yep. A signing. Now...suffice it to say that these people NEVER do this kind of thing. So it was BIG news.

BUT...the signing is limited to the first 200 people. The first 200 people who BUY the box set the instant it was available for sale. Thus the early hour. We lined up at something like 6:45am. When you bought the box, you got a slip that entitled you to entrance to the signing the week later.

Now, frankly, neither the kid, nor his girlfriend nor myself for that matter were chomping at the bit to buy this box set as it's only a HALF a season. But it was a chance to meet the guy and then put the box on eBay. You didn't have to get the DVD signed, they will sign ONE item, which, I assume includes everything from DVDS to memorabilia to your laundered tighty whities.

Well, to make a long story only slightly less long we got in line with about 50 places to spare until three large hoards of people joined the line at the last minute, because their friends were "saving their place" for them. As the four people in front of us got to the front door, the employee who had obviously drawn the short straw stopped them and said "there are no more tickets for the signing but you're welcome to come in and buy the DVD."

Okay, if they had WATCHED the damn line, or issued wristbands or something I wouldn't have wasted a day off down there, my kid wouldn't have been late to work and I wouldn't have spent THREE days in the sweltering heat scrubbing my apt on my hands and knees because my son invited his girlfriend to spend the night at our place because we live WAY closer to the music store than she does and she doesn't drive and, sorry, but the place has to be immaculate for a girlfriend. Not so much one of the guys. Besides, I'll admit...I'm the only one without a "y" chromosome in the place and I've become used to, well, let's call it "guy" housekeeping. A raised toilet seat is nothing to me anymore just to end up with a Jack In the Box breakfast as we headed on our way.

However...this also meant that the guy in line behind me wouldn't be at the signing either and, frankly, the fact that I wouldn't be at said signing with him looking for me sort of took the sting out of the entire debacle. Dave spent two and a half hours in line behind us. He had a book but never read it. He quickly learned all of our names and used them. Frequently. He told me all about how much he loved the show and how much he loved the cast of the show and how many fan boards he was on and what his favorite episode was.

He told me all about the gift he had purchased for the star of the show because he knew the guy's taste and what he collected and he was looking forward to giving him the gift (socks. I swear. Socks) at the signing. He wanted to know what time I would be arriving at the signing and would I take a picture of him giving the guy the socks.

Dave had actually heard the star of the show had been in town several weeks ago to conduct some business about a movie. Dave had reasoned out just what the star (and his girlfriend) would most likely do on a Sunday and he went to the area and walked around for 4 hours, waiting to run into the star and gift him with the socks. Alas, the hoped for rendezvous never came to pass and so there was Dave, in line right behind me.

My son and his girlfriend quickly wandered into a conversation between themselves leaving me to deal with Dave. I would periodically try and catch someone's eye in a pathetic non-verbal plea for rescue but no, it was just me and Dave. Because, in case you haven't guessed, Dave was by himself.

As the line started to move forward, Dave got ever more excited. He told me that he was planning on wearing a costume to the signing. But I shouldn't worry, it wasn't "weird or embarrassing." it was just clever and the stars of the show would understand it as soon at they saw him. Dave? You're older than I am. The very fact that you're planning on wearing a costume to a signing is already "weird or embarrassing." Just saying...

And as we trudged off in the heat and humidity, Dave right behind us headed for the same parking structure, we made small talk until, thankfully, he went to another section. We got in the car, fired up the A/C and unanimously decided that, given two hours with Dave, we were probably just as glad we were not confined in a space the size of a record store with 197 other Daves.

My son's girlfriend patted my arm sympathetically and assured me that, for a sci-fi fan, Dave wasn't all that abnormal and was, most likely, harmless. I'm still not so sure and, frankly, I'm grateful that neither myself, my kids, their friends nor the stars of the show will have to deal with Dave and his socks. I dunno, giving someone you've never met socks you found at a yard sale just seems off to me. Not to mention that Dave seems to know the celebrity collects odd socks. Where do people READ this stuff? I suppose the News of the World might have hacked the star's voice mail and discovered an affinity for socks which means that people like Dave actually READ that rag. I'm not sure which is more disturbing, the thought of Dave going to yard sales looking for queer socks or the thought that he bought and read the "News of the World" sometime within the last 30 years or so after it really went to hell.

It's times like this that I think trying to keep a lively mind and an active interest in what's going on in the world today is overrated.

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