Part of my penance was working retail. Some of that hell was Waldenbooks. The big benefit of that job was seeing the books on the shelves. Like any good Trekkie, I bought a copy of the Klingon Dictionary when I saw it. It’s not first edition but it was mine.
Dallas Fan Expo (Nee Dallas ComicCon) had the author/creator of that dictionary at the convention. I promptly pulled my decade’s old copy off my bookshelf and tracked down Marc Okrand.
As I saw him, a young lady in cosplay shouted at me: Are you over 18? Are you Single?
It could have been a soothing, seductive question. After all, she was attractive. She was young. She was dressed in something that showed off her assets. However, she barked her questions like a sentry: Halt! Who goes there?
Marc was seated next to the Geek Speed Dating sign up table. His slumped shoulders and the slight glaze in his eyes told me he was already beaten down by his neighbor. This was Friday. He had 2 more days of this.
The loudness of her voice demanded attention. Not that she had a commanding voice. She was obnoxious and I didn’t need to hear her repeat her questions.
Clearly, I’m over 18. Clearly the lack of wedding ring, identified me as single (yes, I’ve gained weight and the ring doesn’t fit any more. I’ll start mixing in a salad, I promise…). I was her target audience. I stopped and turned to her. I smiled and said ‘no’. Not loud. Not obnoxiously; just a pain simple word spoken conversationally.
Her eyes darted to my missing wedding ring. She was about to say something and I interrupted her. I told her I was here to see ‘him’ and I pointed with my missing wedding ring hand.
From the corner of my eye, I saw Marc grow 6 inches. He sat up. He smiled. I’m not sure if he thought I was joking but this was better than hearing more guard challenges issued to the nerdy passerbys.
I turned away from her and walked over to him. I rested my backpack on his table and started fishing out my book. I told him I really was here for him. As he saw my copy, he told me it was a very old copy and rare. I smiled. I knew it was old and in good shape but not too rare. I asked if he’d signed it for me.
Then we chatted. He seemed to enjoy the attention and for some reason, little miss speed dating was quiet. I’m sure Marc appreciated the reprieve.