A local radio host was holding a book signing at the Barnes and Noble on Wednesday night. I am a fan of his show and I know some people that are fans of his show so I went to the signing to get some gifts.
The store was mobbed, not only with people wanting to meet the radio show host but also with the normal Christmas shoppers. I bought a couple copies of the book and registered with the signing people. They handed me a green colored card marked “B” and told me they would be calling out people in the specific groups. I was Green B. After some conversation I realized I would be in the second group of 100 people to get the book signed.
I walked around the store a bit and then found my way towards the end of the line. The Green B people already were forming a line although they were not announced over the loudspeaker. There was about 30 or so people in the Green B line. The store was hot, and I could tell that the people waiting were getting antsy. I mulled around the front of the line when a woman at the front of the line turned towards me and sneered.
“THIS is the FRONT of the line.” She pointed a bony finger towards the end of the line and said. “The end of the line is down there.”
I guess she thought I was trying to cut in.
I laughed at her attitude and I said. “I bet I could convince at least 12 people at that end that they are the FRONT of the line. Then where would you be?”
I smiled and walked toward the end of Green B Line. More people gathered and the line snaked in and out of the various sections and shelves of books. The longer we stood in the line the more aggravated the people around me became. I started joking with the people in front of me and behind me. I refused to be aggravated. The more I joked the more people started to listen to me.
An angry man approached the line and started to argue with a Barnes and Noble employee about how long he was going to have to wait to get his book signed. He scowled and walked towards where I was standing.
“Is this the line?” He growled at us as he threw his arms up in disbelief.
I looked around at the signs marking the section of books we were standing in front of and said in my most sincere said, “No Sir. We are all just interested in Philosophy, Gay and Lesbian Studies and Astrology.”
The people around me cracked up. I now had an audience and that is one of the worst things someone like me could have. I continued to joke about various things and our section of the line started chatting back and forth.
The line started moving and we snaked in an out of different rows of books. We were standing in front of True Crime section when a customer, who was not there for the signing, walked up and he asked to look at the books behind us. He was clearly agitated at the fact that his shopping was interrupted by the mass of people there. He kind of shoved his way past me.
Again, I refused to get annoyed and I asked him, “ Are you looking for your biography?”
The man in front of me in line spit out his coffee. The two ladies behind me cackled. The man looking for the book chuckled and he left. The guy who spit out his coffee turned to me and said, “How do you do it? You actually SAY what I was thinking.”
I explained how sometimes I do not have a filter from my brain to my mouth. I started to get cocky and started to tell my “audience” what I was going to say to the radio host when I met him. I had a funny story to tell him and I knew I would wow him and he would have to mention me on the radio. All the people laughed and told me I should tell the host. I was in a great mood and I was on fire with my quick wit.
I was about 5 people away from the host, and I was joking with the staff of the radio show and the Barnes and Noble employees. I felt great. I was on fire. The people in front of me got their books signed and waited around to see the host’s reaction to my story and my humor.
I handed him my book and I ….
I mumbled something about how I liked his show, shook his hand and I left.