So. I went to see Eddie Izzard last night at Borders downtown (Boston that is, not that anyone outside Mass reads this journal anyway). He was there to sign some of his DVDs that were previously only available in England but are now available in America.
The evening started out with everyone crammed into the author’s area of the store for a Question and Answer period. The signing was split into groups with Group A getting to sit down during the Q&A period and get their stuff signed first (bastards). Other than that, there didn’t seem to be any significance to the assignment of groups. The rest of us (groups B – D and those of A that could not get a seat) arranged ourselves refugee fashion around the fortunate ones with chairs and sat on the floor. It was a scene reminiscent of a geek Woodstock.
Eddie came out in a pinstriped suit and white shirt. He started the Q&A by interacting with the crowd, especially a guy who was standing on a waste bin in order to see over a bookshelf. Some people who crowded in next to this guy broke a bookshelf while climbing it to try to see Eddie. Goes to show that not all EI fans are smarter than most. Eddie then took questions ranging from his views on a united Europe to what kind of pie is his favorite (a question he hates, by the way, so never ask him this if you see him).
Then the signing began in earnest at 7:30 p.m.
The group A people were allowed to que up for the signing (unless you were seated, in which case you could just get up from your seat by row). Groups A – D(!) were dismissed to various areas of the store to wait as a group in line for their turn to wait in line individually. Group C (my group) was sent to the Philosophy/Psychology section. By 8:30 group A was done, and group B was allowed to que up. At about 9 – 9:30 (my memory is fuzzy on this now) group C moved to the reference section which is comparatively closer to where Eddie was. Long story short, I had my DVDs (and post card) signed by Eddie at 11:00 p.m. 3.5 hours from the time I had entered the line of doom.
A word about the people there. Izzard fans are a motley crew (as you would expect). There are the usual assortment of socially ill-adjusted goth people with Hot Topic clothes and festively colored hair. There are the overly-intellectual Bohemian artist types who feel the need to pick up books in the sociology section like “The Sociology of Men with Tight Pants: A Chronicle of the Trouser-Restricted” or other such rubbish and comment liberally (in more ways than one) about it to everyone within earshot. There are the extremely nervous people who appear to be wound so tight that if you cut a loud fart near them they’d jump 3 feet in the air. There were at least two guys I noticed who had painted their fingernails black, presumably as a homage to Eddie being a transvestite. Then there were just ordinary folks. It was interesting to get to know some of the people I was on line with and chat with them about various things.
Ultimately they ended up sending a bunch of people home it seems, since the line ended about 20 people behind me at like 10:30 when previous to that it had been much, much longer.
I must say that I was impressed that Eddie stayed as long as he did. He took time to sign every item and pose for a picture with most of the people. I asked him how he was holding up and he said “I’m….just….about…..finished” very wearily. I know I was exhausted and I hadn’t been signing things and posing for flash pictures for 3.5 hours. So thanks, Eddie I hope you have fun in Atlanta tonight doing the same thing.