Monday, August 20, 2012

Adventures in Plastic #2: The Day I Met Princess Leia

    As many men my age, I can trace back the realization of my heterosexuality to one very specific moment in time:  the disrobing of Princess Leia in Return of the Jedi.  Not that Miss Carrie Fisher went unnoticed by my young eyes in the first two incarnations of Star Wars, it was just the impeccable timing of biology meeting the gleam of her gold bikini that made this moment especially memorable.

Instantly she became my first boyhood crush (a list that would grow throughout the years with the likes of Daisy Duke, Alyssa Milano, and Scully from the X-Files).  I was prepared to kick Harrison Ford’s ass if that was what it took to win the affectionate hand of my princess.  But alas, our age differences and the fact that she was world famous made it impossible to ever connect...until now.

Carrie Fisher had began a run on Broadway staring in a one woman show based on her hit book “Wishful Drinking”.  Although I am now already married to the woman of my dreams (who oddly enough was never in a movie or television series) I still felt that this was my opportunity to bask in the radiant glow of my childhood fantasy.

Somehow I managed to convince my wife that attending this show would be the perfect way to celebrate our first wedding anniversary.  This is akin to a fan boy menage a trois; sitting next to my significant other while starring at the first woman to give me tingles in my Levi’s.  If there had been a comic convention in town, I’m sure they would have been compelled to bestow upon me some sort of ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award.

We arrived at the theatre according to stalker time (two or more hours early) and proceeded to park ourselves near the back entrance, hoping to meet Ms. Fisher and sign the book that we brought with us.  An hour and forty five minutes later after seeing her hurriedly rushed into another door that was nowhere close to where we had camped out we could fell nothing but dumb.  There was no choice but to tuck our tails firmly between our legs and go warm the seats we had payed so much money for.

The show was as amazing as I had expected it to be.  Borrowing heavily from her book of the same name, she regaled the audience with every sordid detail that she could fit in to two hours.  From Star Wars, to sex, to the complicated Hollywood family tree that she blossomed from, nothing was held as sacred.  It was the equivalent of watching a tabloid magazine perform.  

After the show we decided to try our luck again and made a hasty retreat to the rear of the theatre (albeit to the correct door this time).  I had lugged a poster from the original film around the city that day that had been signed by other cast members, hoping for Carrie Fisher to scrawl her name on it somewhere.  This thing survived multiple subway rides, an encounter with a defecating homeless man, and the massive crowds that populate the streets of New York on any given day.  It could not, however, outwit the mulleted and mustached fury that was Ms. Fisher’s handler.

My wife and I positioned ourselves against a barrier that had been erected next to the back door that was occupied by two security guards that were more interested in the updates on the Yankees game they were receiving on their cell phones than the people that were hanging around.  During what must have obviously been a commercial break in the action, they informed us that the star of the show would indeed be coming out to meet us but would only sign ticket stubs or programs from her show.  Waves of devastation attacked me first, as my dream about getting the entire living members of the film to sign this poster quickly deflated.  Then I was hit with indifference as I ignored what they had said and held my prize just out of their sight, hoping that if it made a stealth appearance Ms. Fisher would obviously not refuse to sign it.  But just in case I had my playbill in hand, having decided not to tempt the fates but so much.  

Just as she was exiting the doorway a white Hyundai pulled up and out stepped the last member of the Billy Ray Cyrus fan club.  He was a flurry of trucker hat and Budweiser shirt as he made a bee line to where I was standing and said “You have to put that away”, gesturing towards my poster.  The look in his eyes was mixed with so much false authority and irritation I thought the Nascar season had been abruptly canceled.  When I did not move as quickly as his achey breaky heart desired, he attempted to grab it from me.  I pulled it back and we stared each other down, each of us waiting for the other further the situation.  In the end he backed away and my play was graced with the signature I prized.  I was prepared to kick Han Solo’s ass to win her heart, but I ended up almost coming to blows with someone whose transport was in even crappier shape than the Millennium Falcon.

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