American on Purpose
Book reading & signing
Barnes & Noble book Store
New York City
September 24, 2009
Arriving at the Barnes & Noble Book Store in Union Square at 4:30ish, my hands were full and I as anxious as I can possibly be. As I walked into the seating area, I was instantly embraced with Craig love. It was really weird, like a Star Wars convention. Here we were all meeting for one common purpose and you could feel it in the room.
I had received a tweet earlier in the day that someone was saving a seat for me. Not someone I know personally but who was offering a kind gesture. The room was was a bit crowded so I started looking for a seat. I don't know what anyone looks like and no one knows what I look like, amongst other things, so that complicated things. I noticed a group of chairs in the first row with no one sitting but a dude fixing some jewelries and a lovely older doll trying to read. I started a game of 20 questions with them and realized that there was a seat indeed waiting for me right in front. I was so shocked by the gesture I thought I was misunderstanding it...for the first few minutes I was jumpy, waiting for the real seat owners to return and give me a piece of their mind.
To my surprise, the very lovely Corp Heidi returned and introduced herself. A very kind die-hard Craig Addict Supreme that I will forever be indebted to for being so considerate. The gesture made me feel quite special and placed me right up front, within feet of His Chattiness. I suspect we'll meet again Corp Heidi...
As the room filled up, a tiny woman approached the microphone on the stage. On her tippy toes, she announced that more people have come than expected. She strongly suggested we all not hold seats for those who weren't in the building. B&N employees started moving around shelves of books and adding rows and rows of seating. Oh my...
From the corner of my eye, I noticed someone that I recognized. There was only one person on the net that I know what they looked lik, so I approached her, looking to make a total fool of myself. Phew...It was indeed my good buddy, Lip Syncing Scot! She wasn't seated too far away and came to join us for some Craig-socialization.
The little group I sat with was quite interesting and most pleasant. All exchanged stories of our favorite show moments and some chatted about the Tweet-A-Thon that occured 2 days before. Ahhh yes, the wonderous Tweet-A-Thon! There was still some pride beaming even 36 hours after Craig was done trending on Twitter.
I found the TAT quite the endearing experience. So many Craig fans joining together to bring the King of Late Night to trending status on Twitter, a form of popularity on that site. The tweets ranged in a variety of verbiage that was loving, but also sharing their favorite popular video clips, pictures, articles and quotes...with a dab of naughtiness in between the cracks. I felt a great pride from the experience in doing a bit of crazy with other Craig Addicts.
There's always one rotten apple in the bunch. At some point, when single seats were filling in, a rickety older gentleman (stay with me) sat down in the second row behind me. He proceeded to flap his gums at me about how he didn't appreciate that I was standing by a group of empty seats. I understood what he was thinking and I immediately explained the people were in the store. I gave him three sentences of assurance in between his ranting accusations of how I thought I was special, or better than anyone else and how I didn't have to follow the rules. Blah, blah, blagh...Creep. I wasn't alone in this battle. Before I knew it there were 4 women yelling at this old flake and I felt the urge to step back. It was starting to get ugly. And he continued on. I solved the situation by giving him a pleasant listening face. He slowly faded like a crap tube radio... It was the mutual feeling of the group seated that this old fart stunk up the place.
A sudden roar of clapping occurred just after 7:00pm. You could feel the giddiness fill the room, like the build up of steam in a warming kettle. He approached the stage and sat as he was introduced.
Craig seemed to be in quite a pleasant mood as his face had a soften look about it. He looked well rested and absolutely delicious. He started to read from a book but it wasn't his. The book was "High on Arrival" by Mackenzie Phillips. After a few sentences, he made his point...that book is full of crazy. Holy Crackers!
Instead, Craig decided to do a small Question and Answer session. A mic was offered and managed to come my way first.
Mal: Are you going to renew your contract?
After an awkward pause
Craig: What contract?
Mal: THE contract for the show
Craig asked if I was with a reporter from the New York Times. I made sure to quickly respond negatively. In Craig fashion, he gave a round about answer and then asked:
Craig: Is that the answer you were looking for?
Mal: It's the answer I expected
Craig then proceeded to answer honestly, stating that they were in negotiations.
Another question asked if there would be Killer Duck puppets on the show, fashioned after his bad childhood acid experience. I believe his answer was "I dunno."
Another question asked if there were going to be any more obscure songs used in the puppet song sketches. That is when he let on that another song with the puppets was being planned. We pressed him to reveal but he denied us in an attempt not to spoil the surprise. He suggested we would see it next week.
Another person had a comment, not a question. They said they were going through some heavy changes in their life but no matter the horrid day they've had full of stress, they are certain to end the day with a chuckle...allowing all the day's badness to drift away. Craig seemed to take this comment to heart. At this time Craig explained that there are days he doesn't feel like or want to do the show but once he gets in front of the camera, that feeling goes away... He promised that he would no longer continue to do the show if he didn't feel good doing it. I whole heartedly agreed with this with a positive verbal response.
At this event, those who know me on the net, that got to meet me, may have realized why I use ellipses so much in my comments...I'm quite Chatty and have a lot on my mind. I found myself somewhat annoying during the Q&A because I was verbally responding to some of Craig's comments. It was so bad, I had to keep trying to stop myself. It's not my fault. I'm used to Craig being on tele and tend to speak to the set when I watch The Late Late Show. It is what it is... I just pray I didn't make too much a fool of myself.
Another person stood up and told Craig that she sleeps with him every night and asked if she could hook her husband up with Megan, Craig's wife.
Craig: Let me get this straight. You get to watch me on television while your husband gets to screw my wife?
And then someone shouted out "yeah, but she'd be saying your name, Craig!"
It was certainly a good crowd indeed. I believe we made Craig feel right at home because he was his usual, uncensored self. No tie=cussing Craig
My mind is a bit like swiss cheese right now so please forgive me if I've missed something. There were a few questions and I honestly can't remember them all. I'm not even sure I heard them all...
After the Q&A session, which Craig admitted he was enjoying, we were lined up in precise order. We were given strict orders of no flash pictures, no conversations & no signing of anything but the book...but as many copies of the book as we liked. Yikes! I was one of the lucky first few on the stage.
Same handsome face, but skinnier since we last met face to face.
Warm, lovely hands as usual, without a smidge of roughness from the bouts of drumming a couple of months ago.
We exchanged a few revealing, kind words and before I knew it, I was leaving the stage.
The rest of the time after, as Craig continued to sign hundreds of books, we hung around the store, chatting each other up with our signing experiences.
It was really such a pleasant time but for Mister Waving Fist Crank-A-Lot, who apparently was denying the Craig love that was flowing throughout the room. It was fun meeting some tweeps, YT users and even some good ol fashioned viewers. Perhaps I'll be lucky enough for our paths to cross again.