Like most people, I’m not one to be that interested in famous people. I don’t go out of my way to see them.
I’ve never, for example, been to a book signing.
Now, the fact that I enjoy Weird Al’s music is a part of the public record. I’ll go even further. I think it takes genius to do what he does.
His ability to mimic pop musicians is impressive, his original melodies are always very singable (and often make you want to sing along), he continues to be funny and his voice . . . well, even if you don’t like the tone, you have to admit he has a fairly big range and acrobatic ability.
So we went. I admit I wanted to see him in person and briefly talk with him.
I took my family. As we drove, I wondered how many people would be there. And as we walked in, I was handed a slip of paper which indicated that I was 251st in line. And all of the books were sold out. Ah.
So we waited until he walked in and he was introduced. And then he began the arduous task of signing all of these books. Cheerfully.
We went home. I took a nap. And then my wife and I left the kids at home and went back, two hours and twenty minutes later. He’d signed about 150. So we had some nice cool drinks in the Starbucks there (we usually go on a Sunday date anyway) and did a little shopping.
I spent some time in the comic section, which happened to be partially within earshot of Al as he signed books. He was generous and pleasant and patient as person after person, after couple, after family came through the line, told him how much they loved him, and got their picture with him.
At around the 3 1/2 hour mark, they finally called the set of numbers that I was in. And then it was my turn. The bookstore had nicely given us stickers to have him sign (if we promised to order the book, which I will!) I asked him to put down the initials of our kids. Which he did.
I commented about how I appreciated that his music was family friendly* and he thanked me. I asked him to look bored when they took the picture of us. Which he did. And he laughed afterwards.
And then it was done. As we walked away, he still had many people waiting in line. And he was still smiling.
A few more comments:
- He told me this was one of six days in a row that he was doing this. Can you imagine doing that for five hours, for six days ? It would be a different (not entirely unpleasant, not exactly thrilling) kind of existence.
- I’d just like to point out the fact that the handed out piece of paper’s note that seating was NOT guaranteed proved to be true, largely due to the fact that there was no seating, except for Mr. Yankovic.
- The people in line were an eclectic mix of lots of different kind of people. Like him, they were quite patient and pleasant.
In any case, I’m glad I went.
*Depending, I guess, on your definition of ‘family friendly’.
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