It was impossible to forget that the Expo was sponsored by Channel 4 since their booth and displays were front and center when you walked in. There was also a 30 foot tall inflatable Channel 4 logo and a guy in a peacock suit terrorizing children.
Of all the lines we could have stood in to get free junk, the longest was the one that started immediately when you stepped off the escalator and ended in Bob Ryan’s lap. Well, technically not his lap since he was standing behind a waist high desk, but at least right up in his grill. Seriously, the queue was Kings Dominion Shockwave circa 1986 long, minus the blunt force head trauma but plus the feelings of nausea. Your reward for patience was an autograph from Ryan, Jim Vance, a certain sports anchor with whom I may have attended college and have pictures to prove it, and the beautiful Doreen Gentzler.*
If the line had been Kings Dominion Shockwave circa 2007 long or a line to the Doreen Gentzler kissing booth, I may have considered it. But a chance to meet the #2 Morning Traffic Reporter was not worth any line torture. So the D and I, wandered around had the adventures I mentioned earlier.
We was at a booth we had ignored earlier because it was extolling the virtues of walking or eating healthy or some nonsense, when I noticed a pleasing looking figure sitting by himself with absolutely no line of people trying to talk to him. He was so close, in fact, that I had to take few steps backwards to really get a grasp of who he was. I said to my sister, probably too loudly, “Is that Jared?”
His handler saw us staring and asked if we wanted to meet him. Since I ‘d forced the D to stalk down McGruff the Crime Dog for an earlier picture, she said it was my turn to pose with a demi-celebrity. I introduced myself as a big fan of his work with legitimate appreciation but quickly realized I had no follow up compliment. What do you say to a guy who’s notoriety was obtained after losing half of himself 10 years ago? “Congratulations for not putting it back on?”
Actually, that is exactly what I ended up saying. He stared silently for a moment and then looked down to start signing an autographed photo. With all confidence quickly evaporated, I asked for a picture and tried to scurry on my way. But as I was leaving I noticed a pair of his old, giant-sized jeans on the table. I asked if I could wear them, but was told by Jared’s people that while I could pose with them, I could not try them on since they were on loan from the Smithsonian.
Okay. That very last part isn’t true. But I still wasn’t allowed to wear them.
So we left again because we were late for our appointment to kick the guy in the peacock costume in the crotch.
*While looking up the spelling of Gentzler’s name, Google Firefox tried to suggest the name Doreen Virtue. I ignored it a first but went back later in the hopes that it was the stage name of a porn star. Even better. She's kinda a big deal. She's the world's most renowned practitioner of Angel Therapy.
“DOCTOR Doreen Virtue is a spiritual doctor of psychology and a fourth-generation metaphysician” who believes “everyone has guardian angels, and these angels perform God's will of peace for us all.”
It’s like The Secret but with more fat, porcelain cherubs.