Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Closest I've Ever Gotten To Neil Gaiman OR One Of The Coolest Gifts Ever

I have the greatest, coolest, most amazing friends. They do things like this for me:

They go to the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scottland (they've told me they're going, no doubt in a moment of light-headedness). They have fun seeing a ton of great, funny, inspiring shows, most likely without thinking of me once.

Their idyll is shattered when they receive a squeeing, crazy-fan-slash-stalker-girly text from me: OMG! Neil Gaiman is at Fringe on 24th, doing a signing at XYZ-venue. If you run into him, tell him your friend Pia is his biggest fan! (or something to that extent, I sadly don't have the text anymore). 

(I found out about his presence at Fringe on Twitter, btw. Obviously, I should not be allowed on Twitter. Someone delete my user-account.)

At this point I should probably also interject that I'm - in case it wasn't obvious - a huge fan of Neil Gaiman's works (and the man himself). I've never been to a reading or signing and have therefor never met him in person. If that ever happens I'll probably turn into a star-struck puddle of inarticulate blush-juice, so I was both bummed and thrilled that I wasn't there myself (that's how stupid I get about meeting people sometimes). But to have good friends residing in the same city as Neil Gaiman? Wow! Obviously, I wanted them to partake in my joy and for them to know that they're hanging in the same city as Neil f****ing Gaiman*. That, I swear to the American Gods, was my sole intention behind the text message. Really. Honest. Cross my heart. Hope to die.

Anyway, back to the story: My friends get my squirly text. Instead of rolling their eyes, shaking their heads and forgetting it, they check out this event on the internet. The signing fits in between a couple of shows they've planned that day, so what do they do? They go and stand in line to get a book signed. 

Now this might sound like a quick trip at a convenient time, but anyone who knows a little about Mr. Gaiman also knows that the lines at his signings wind thrice around buildings and past ten city blocks - and this is only the slightest, teensiest of exaggerations. My friends told me they only waited 'a couple of' hours, which totally blew my mind. Wow!

They stood in line for two hours (if it wasn't more, not sure they're bing completely honest about that) to get a book signed by an author they didn't even know. They picked a book for him to sign. They made him personalize it to me. They took pictures of him, while he kept signing book after book (apparently there was a bucket of ice waiting under his table for when the signing was over. That may be a strange measure of how long the line was, but it gives you a good idea at least: the line was so long as to warrant a bucket of ice under the table to cool a sore hand after signing every book for every person in that line).

How amazing is it to have such friends? Since words fail me (even now, several weeks later), I'll end this post with that question and a(nother) big fat great THANK YOU, Lindsey. This was definitely on the top-five list of coolest gifts I've ever gotten.

Neil Gaiman signing my book

*turns out my friend Lindsey may never have heard about Mr. Gaiman, but she sure knows about his wife, Amanda Palmer, a.k.a. Amanda F***ing Palmer, who is a musician and very famous herself. 

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