Monday, November 2, 2009

Will you Sign My Daddy's Book? Simmons Signing, Part II - Redemption

To reread our first attempt to get Daddy's book signed, go here for Part I.

Luckily, Hurricane O'Reilly's is just up the street from a restaurant that I knew wouldn't be that busy - even on a game night - Boston Beer Works.  Still worried, however, as I look over my shoulder at 40 more people join the line that we had just departed, I implore my little princess as gently as I could to "make it quick."

I forgot though that she was still dressed up like a ghost, and she was now trying to scare passersby with not only her jarring "woohooooohooo,"  but also a frightening hand wave.  The bouncer at the front door seemed refreshingly amused.

"We're not too young for this place?" I ask as I gesture at my two boys wrestling over a balloon and my daughter now dancing to some Britney Spears tune that we can hear outside of the bar. (But wait, never mind, when she has the mask on, I can't see her. I forgot that she explained that to me earlier).

"No, no, no."  He must have kids because he can't be this genuinely entertained right now as patrons sidle up behind us, because I love my kids more than anything and I'm the opposite of entertained - antitained.  "Do you guys want handstamps?"  "Yeahhh!!"

As we walk into the restaurant with new stamps smeared on our hands, my daughter now tries to scare the four girls tending to the hostess station by jumping toward them while simultaneously whispering "wooohooooohoooo" and continuing with the menacing hand wave - then she turns to me.  "Daddy, I don't have to go to the bathroom, anymore."

WHAT?!?!?  "Are you sure, sweetheart, it might be a long, long time before we can go again?"  Little white lies, I determine, are fully biting me in the ass so I try to be as honest as one can be with children.  And really, all I want to do is take you into the men's room at 6pm on a game night while making sure that no one spills beer on her pink "blankie."  "I have to go!" my boys chirp almost simultaneously.  Way to come through boys.  Maybe you guys wrestle and talk back more than normal kids probably should, but if I need a well -timed bathroom break, you fellas always deliver.  Long story short, my new plan of action was to try to wait out the lines and get the book signed toward the end.  I doubt THAT many people want to get this book signed.

As we walk out of the restaurant, I see that Plan B might actually be working.  The line is short; it'll probably only take a couple of minutes before we're inside the next bar.  I proceed to point out the Sports Guy through the window to my kids.  Unfortunately, they are not as impressed as I am.  Although, I'm more impressed by the number of security personnel and people in suits surrounding the table.  A long way from the bartending days in Charlestown, I suppose.

I can't help but notice the ten Celtics fans screaming at each other, as we walk into our second bar in 45 minutes.  Pub crawls start earlier and earlier I jokingly explain to this bar's bouncer.  I continue to tell myself that this experience will only toughen the kids up as they draw closer to each of my legs with every scream.  Now who's scared little ghosty-ghost?  I'm just kidding, my little girl was just soaking it all in, realizing she didn't have to work very hard to elicit laughs from this crowd.  No more "boos" or handwaves for her, and the mask officially came off for good. 

The line moves very quickly now.  I'm told that he will only sign names and no special messages.  "I love your blog, it's the first thing I read in the morning!" I guess is out.  Just so I don't feel like a complete dork, though, I write down the kids names instead of my own.  Real gutsy, I know.  I use the tecnologically advanced post it note to write everyone's names and as we inch closer with book and kids in tow, I crack a joke to one of the Sports Guy's handlers about seeing Isiah Thomas in line behind us with a couple of books.   I thought it was funny, but not this woman.  "Keep moving, sir." she says to me sternly, giving my children the once over.  Don't worry, despite the hand stamps, I promise they won't buy any beer.

Finally to the end of the line, my boys are satisfied to stand behind me but my daughter takes matters into her own hands, jumping behind the table.  I ask Simmons if I can take a picture of my daughter and him.  I can see the look of slight frustration with me and my entourage.   But just as I'm thinking that my request was not a good idea, my little girl belts out a quiet "wooohooooohooo" to him and asks him "Will you sign my Daddy's book?"  Sensing that he was warming up a little bit, I get my camera ready as he nods to one of his handlers and proceeds to lean over.

Success!  It only took three and a half hours, three bathroom breaks, a crappy dinner and countless scary images and hand waves, but we just survived our first book signing.  Now let me find a scalper and get four tickets to the Celtic-Bulls game.  Yeah right, we're going to stay for another three hours.  We were home about 10 minutes later.  And it's a 35 minute drive home.


About half way through The Book of Basketball, I must say that it is thoroughly researched.  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?  Read it and find out for yourself.  The chapter with Isiah Thomas was a classic story, so there's that.  I think ultimately though, I will forget all about his book, but I'll always remember the night the four of us got that book signed.

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