Let it go down in history that today the 14th of October, the year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Ten, I met Simon Pegg, shook his hand, got his autograph and made an ass out of myself.
Simon's book Nerd Do Well is officially released tomorrow and today he had a book signing in London. The signing was at 5:30, and I left around 1:30 so that I could run some errands before finding Waterstone's off of Piccadilly Circus. After I bought a phone I found myself slightly off my intended course, but I suppose this is bound to happen when I don't use a map and make my way around London based only on my instincts and keen sense of direction. Instead of being on the street where I would find my beloved Birkenstock store, I found myself in Soho surrounded by sex shops, walking down seedy looking little alleys where I'm sure prostitutes must have worked probably not too long ago. But I pushed on and finally saw Piccadilly Circus, what I suppose is London's answer to Times Square. It was not yet 2:30 and I was three hours early to the signing, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to wait since I didn't have anything else planned. So I found the line, which was only 4 people long at that point and queued up, as the Brits like to say. I immediately met a very nice young man, Sam, who was quite friendly and talkative. We were joined by a girl who was quite mad and extremely talkative. She was first in the queue, having got there at 9 in the morning. It was cold, smelled of urine, and a pain to wait for three hours, but the time went by quickly as I was surrounded by amusing geeky British people. And here we are!
Sam and I hung out a little bit after the signing and now we're Facebook and Twitter friends! My first British friend!
So finally we were moved upstairs to spend the last hour waiting indoors, which was welcome but the stench of urine followed us up. At that point I overheard one of the old guys in line, which was hard to help since he was shouting, go on and on about all the celebrities he's met. He collects autographs, apparently, and has 600 signed books. It's interesting because the lady who was second in line was telling us about how she's seen him at several book signings (she also is apparently a bit of a collector) and she thinks he's mad. Which was obvious, of course, but she told us stories about how rude he is to celebrities while in pursuit of their signature. The man himself even told a story about one celebrity who didn't sign her name quite to this man's apparently rigid specifications and he tore the card up and said "if you arent going to bother with a proper signature, you might as well not bother at all" and walked away. I'm sure the celebrity was crushed.
Anyway, finally the moment came to meet Simon and I was trembling. He signed my books. "Are you Linder?" He asked, "No, I'm this one. Jasie" I said pointing to my signed copy. (Incidentally he spelled both of my sisters' names wrong on their copy: Linda and Hayly). "I wanted to tell you I wrote my master's thesis on Shaun of the Dead" I said, "Oh really?" he asked. "Yes, they let me! I'm even publishing an article on it" "Oh, what aspect did you write about?" I wanted to tell him. I desperately wanted to say "spiritual transcendence" but the words were lost. Instead I said, "I cant think of words right now. I'm very excited. I'm very happy to meet you" "Oh" he said, "that's ok." and I shook his hand. As I walked away, feeling also very stupid he said, "Let me know when that gets published, somehow. Twitter me!" "Ok," I nodded eagerly and walked away. What a sweet man. I just love him.
So that was it. It was pretty incredible and I'm very happy. It's honestly one of the highlights of my life. Well, that and @MrsStephenFry on twitter retweeted one of my comments I sent to her. I think that might rank highly on my list of achievements. I've gained 6 new followers since that! What a day!