Friday, January 9, 2009

Glenn Beck... in an Irving (TX) Wal-Mart

Friday, December 12, 2008
Last night, Chris (my boyfriend) and I went and ate a fantastic dinner at Ali Baba (off MacArthur and 114) then headed over to the Wal-Mart off of MacArthur and 635 for Glenn Beck's "The Christmas Sweater" book signing. While I am I huge fan of Mr. Beck (or GB as I sometimes refer to him), this book was not as high on my priority list as others, but contributing to him beating Stephen King on the NY Times bestseller list and actually seeing/touching him in person (swoon) swayed me.

I was excited that the parking lot didn't look terribly crowded as we parked and went in, though we found the parking situation was not indicative of the line (think starting right behind the registers at your standard "Super" Wal-Mart, going straight back to the main back aisle, wrapping to the next major front-to-back aisle, and almost all the way to the front). We were approx 2/3 of the way from the front. Glenn was scheduled to sign books from 8-9, but had been at a signing in Tyler from 5-6 (the assumption is that they were driving in his big, fancy, book themed tour bus... ). As could be expected given the time frame, he was late... almost 45 min late. While waiting, the line socialized, from a family in front of us, to a middle aged woman right by us (with her fancy camera that takes video and has a USB port built in and was sent on a mission by family members to get several books) to a young guy who sounded like he was from Boston (and used the word "wicked" way too much) but claimed to be from North Carolina (I'm still skeptical), referenced Rob Zombie and bought snacks. (Some of my favorite observations while in line: a man wearing an Obama shirt grocery shopping, sweet irony, and a movie with zombies on a plane, placed interestingly close to Snakes on a Plane)
Once he arrived (highlighted by a cheer rising from the front of the line) things went quick. We had been provided with a sheet of "rules" (which were soon referred to as the "Line Manifesto") preventing any hold ups like personalization or posed pictures. As I got to the front, Chris prepped with a camera to capture the moment. With a quick handshake and signature, I told Glenn what a huge fan I was. His response was "How huge?" to which anything else I wanted to tell him went out the window and I stammered about listening online everyday at work... he then quickly asked "Big enough fan to drive to Tulsa for my show tomorrow with golden circle tickets?" and pulled an envelope from his pocket. Shocked and caught off guard and trying to figure out how the hell to get out of work the next day (today) so I could get to Tulsa, all I could do was ask "What time is the show?" he noted my hesitation and obviously I was missing out on the offer, as I was being shuffled out of line, one of his "Team Beck" assistants answered me... and I realized it was too late, and I should have shut up and taken the damn tickets.
Walking out of the Wal-Mart with my signed book, I was berating myself for hesitating and asking Chris why the hell he didn't tell me to shut up and take the tickets. After a quick smoke, I decided to be one of "those people" and went back in for another glimpse (the line was about done) and a fleeting hope that I could still get those tickets... Seeing a young woman in uniform (Air Force maybe?) with the tickets in hand made me feel better. It appeared that those may have been the only set he had to give away... and, frankly, I'd rather them go to a service-woman that some random schmuck (since I was too dumb to take them). I took another picture as his appearance was obviously reaching its end, and as he was being ushered out by his staff and the Irving PD, I got to shake his hand again (note: good handshake and eye contact).

I have convinced myself that he may have actually noticed me, as I was the one offered the tickets before the person who ended up with them... Either way, I'm flattered. I wrote him an email this morning, as I said above that what I wanted to say went out the window when I was caught off guard with the offer.

I'll have to finish my current reads (interestingly it is Glenn Beck's An Inconvenient Book, which I would highly recommend), I'll have to emotionally prepare myself for The Christmas Sweater which is sure to be a tear-jerker (a Hallmark ad can get the waterworks going for me).

At the end of the day, this was my first book signing I've ever been to and I'm glad I went... and I'm more inspired than ever to get involved and make a difference.

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