I mean after the last time I sort of had a bad taste in my mouth. But this one WAS in Anchorage, and it WAS at MY Costco store, and it WAS a whole year later. Surely this time it would probably be a rather tame excursion to one of my favorite stores which might provide a relatively entertaining story to share with you my loyal readers. So why not?
Perhaps I should have remembered just WHO I was talking about.
I arrived at around 10:00 AM to find that most of the crowd had been let inside the building. But since I was newly arrived I was forced to wait outside for many, many scrotum shrinking minutes while they moved people around to make room for the rest of us. The temperature was only about six degrees and in no time at all I had lost most of the feeling in the parts of my body where I really enjoy having feeling.
Finally I made it to the side entrance where they were allowing us in, only to find myself stuck halfway between the frigid outdoors and the relatively warm indoors. You might not think it, but for some reason that was infinitely worse then the twenty minutes I had spent outside. Fifteen minutes later, just as I was envisioning saying "Fuck this" and going home to take a nice long bath in steaming hot cocoa, the line moved and I was finally allowed to stumble the rest of the way into the warehouse.
Inside I was confronted by a very pretty young Costco employee who asked to see the receipt for my book and my Costco card. It took a moment, since there was no feeling in my hand below the wrist, but eventually I was able to comply.
Once it was confirmed that my book was purchased at Costco and I was indeed a member, she placed a band around my wrist which allowed me to have my book signed by Caribou Barbie herself. (Be still my beating heart.)
Then I stood in line and listened to the people around me share what had made them decide to brave the Arctic chill to just have Sarah Palin sign the book she had somebody else write for her.
Surprisingly many of the people were there to get books signed for other people. (As practical jokes I have to assume.) But there WERE a few actual Palin fans.
The line wound around a in a snakelike pattern, returning to the beginning, and the cold air, before heading off toward where the Queen of the North Star awaited.
On the last pass I asked the pretty young Costco worker how many of the 500 arm bands, allowing people to meet and get their books signed by Sarah Palin, they had given out already. I was told they had only given out about 380, and that the the line to get them had dwindled down to nothing. Her response sounded much like what I had heard was taking place in other book signings for Palin's new book so I was not surprised. This was at about 11:00 AM.
A few minutes later I came to the grocery aisle where Palin had made her grand entrance.
For reasons I cannot quite explain this gave me an embarrassing case the giggles, which attracted a few suspicious glances in my direction.. (Is that crepe paper?)
Soon I was very close to the the Grizzled Mama. So close in fact that I swore I smelled moose chili and the faint scent of fading glory. (Fading glory smells a bit like burnt toast in case you were wondering.)
Then I saw Snowdrift Snookie herself, and she had even brought along Toad! Well THIS should be interesting.
Ah, what am I saying. NO way will Palin make a scene like the last time. And I had already been standing in line for such a long time, without incident, how could ANYBODY claim I was going to cause a disruption. (That is called foreshadowing kids.)
Just about the time that I had that thought, some lady, about ten people in front of me, started yelling at the Palins and had to be grabbed and escorted out by the security staff.
Whoa! And here I thought this might be a real snoozefest.
A few minutes later a security guy who had helped get the protester out of the area (no NOT the Drop Zone guys, these were REAL security guys.) came back and started bitching to me: "Yeah this is America, but that is no excuse to act crazy."
I certainly agreed, and personally I was not planning to make a scene at all. I just wanted to successfully get through the line. Get my book signed. And then say to Sarah, "See, there was never any need to throw me out, I am perfectly civilized." At least THAT was my plan.
Finally it was my turn. As I walked up the handlers took my book and told me that I would get one directly from Sarah after she signed it. Sounds good I thought, though I was a little confused as to why I could not leave with the same book I had walked in with, but hey not a biggie.
One of the handlers directed me to the table, and as I arrived I found Todd's outstretched hand waiting for me. ("Finally!" I thought. "Now they will see that there was no reason to throw me out last year.")
I shook Todd's hand and returned his warm smile. (He really is a nice looking man up close, though quite thin and slightly built.)
He had a book open in front of him, with pen in hand ready to sign it. "What's your name?" He asked.
Unlike the first time I met Sarah I was not about to give a false name. So I told him my first name.
It took a second, but I saw the slow realization come over his face. So I smiled harder.His face darkened just a bit, and his pen did not move. "And your last name?" He asked in much less friendly tone. Uh oh.
Well, in for a penny in for a pound I thought. So I told him my last name. And, what the hell, I smiled again.
"What do you want?" He asked in a rather confrontational tone.
"I want to get my book signed" I said. I kind of thought that was obvious.
Todd leaned over to Sarah, who was talking to somebody else and said my full name loud enough for everybody to hear it. (Nope, this is NOT good.)
No smile from Sarah, as she snatched the book, my book, out of Todd's hand.
"Oh you are the one who is trying to destroy my children!" She snapped.
"No I'm not" I responded.
"Well I will talk to you later, I am talking to this nice lady now." She said as she motioned for the security to come over.
This time there was no hand on the shoulder like in Wasilla, but the nice gentleman motioned for me to walk to the exit out of the book signing area, and away from the Palins. I did as requested (I really never had any intention of causing a scene), and I stood there for a minute, a little confused since Sarah was still holding my book under the one she was signing for the "nice lady."
A few minutes later one of the handlers walked up and handed me a book, from who knows where, and gestured that I should leave the area. So I did.
As I walked outside I found myself, much like the time in Wasilla, overcome with a case of the giggles.
How absurd I thought. She actually had me kicked out not once, but twice, from one of her book signings. Has she learned nothing?
If she had just signed the book, I would have had a relatively boring post to write. And she would have looked like the bigger person, having grown a thicker skin and learned to take the high road. But she simply CAN NOT do that!
I drove off to the Snow Cafe, to meet friends, some of who had also been to the book signing, to commiserate and compare notes. They of course thought it was the height of hilarity that I was escorted out again, and all agreed that she is indeed her own worst enemy.
Those who had attended like I did also had their own stories to tell. It is not my place to tell you of their experiences, they will have to do that on their own, but I do have a picture that sort of sums up the feeling we were all left with after today's Sarah Palin book signing escapade.
Eloquently put, don't you agree?