As I stood in line for John Ratzenberger, the guy in front of me was very excited. He talked constantly, mostly to himself. He tried to engage others in conversation but somehow didn’t understand that ‘conversation’ implies dialogue, which means going two ways. The others quickly dropped him from the dialogue and he really didn’t notice.
The line might have been short, only because John just got there. He was laying out photos with the help of his handler when I arrived. Once the line started, it moved. Not quickly, nor slowly, but it moved. People had a lot of memories to share with John. As I eavesdropped, I mostly heard comments about the Pixar movies. The crowd was too young to remember Cheers.
As I glanced among the couple of dozen photos John brought, I found one I really liked. I knew it was the one to get signed. How can you turn down a photo with him and the characters he voiced?
As I decided which photo, the guy in front of me decided I wanted to talk. With only a 3 or 4 people in front of me, I figured how bad could it be? And it wasn’t torturous by anyway means. I didn’t encourage him but I didn’t ignore him.
My ‘friend’ finally got his moment with John. My ‘friend’ spoke...mostly at John. My ’friend’ bought several photos. My ‘friend’ bemoaned the fact that a photo was absent of an obscure movie Ratzenberger was in. John took that in stride and called his handler over. John told his handler that NEXT time make sure there were some photos from that obscure movie. John said that he had people asking for that photo. The handler was of course confused. I tried not to smirk.
Then my ‘friend’ explained that he needed the dated added to the photos so he could remember when he got them. Not too unreasonable of a request. Authors do it with books all of the time. As John finished signing and dating the photos, I was next and handed over my photo. My ‘friend’ was gathering his stuff and working on his backpack when John if I wanted my name on the photo. Before I finished with my pat line of: Just your signature, if that’s alright…? My ‘friend’ popped his head up and announced that’s SO going on eBay.Really?
As many places as my ‘friend’s’ conversation had wandered over the last 10 minutes, that was the first thing to pop out of his head? It irritated me. I hope I didn’t blanch. I’m sure I cocked my head to the side in frustration. I mumbled: No it won’t. As I looked at John, I realized it didn’t faze him. He didn’t care if I sold it or not. And that helped restore my calm as I left. I was very happy I didn’t bump into my ‘friend’ again.