A few years ago, my one of my best friend’s from college, one of our English professors, and myself went on a 45-minute quest to see David Sedaris do a reading. We all loved his work and were completely fangirl-ing in line, waiting to get our books signed. I’ve never met a movie star, but I suppose it’s the same sort of nervous energy. I mean, you want to make an impression, right? Just there, in front of you, is someone famous. Now, I understand that not everyone knows who David Sedaris is, but that doesn’t matter when you’re a fangirl.
So, we’re standing in line, the sun is setting and he’s still there, signing books. He didn’t cut anyone off or decide that he was too tired to keep signing books. I mean, we shut the place down. This gives the three of us ample time to figure out how we’re going to be different from any other fangirl/fanboy in line that night or at any book signing; however, Sedaris had already set the bar pretty high during his reading. I can’t remember now if someone asked him to talk about the craziest fans he’d ever met, or it was part of some bigger story, but it was there. One story, and I’m not sure what it was might have involved someone’s big toe? Possibly their toenail? I don’t remember the specifics, but I remember the challenge. Different ideas were tossed around, and then it was our turn.
I think in your memories, you tend to make yourself the star of the story – especially if it’s an epic one. I’m not saying this is how it happened EXACTLY but it’s how I remember it.
I stand there and tell him that I’m majoring in creative writing. He politely asks appropriate questions and signs my book, “To Caroline, I can’t wait to read your (underlined) book one day.” He then turns to my friend and they start talking. The time has ALMOST come to where we’re supposed to get the hint and leave, but I don’t. I pause.
“So – could I see your fatty tumor?” I ask.
This is not as completely random as it might sound at first.
In his reading, David Sedaris informed the entire audience of the existence of his fatty tumor. Is was a new thing to Sedaris – never having had one before. He mused on all the ways a fatty tumor might be use/useful. Again, it was years ago and the details are fuzzy, but he did mention using it to fry food in.
See? Are the pieces coming together yet? I mean, he’d already laid the groundwork – I just had to accept the challenge.
David Sedaris looked up at me from his sport behind the folding table he was using as a desk with a look somewhere between confusion and disgust.
My confidence began to falter, and I started to think my fangirl moment would be one of ridicule down the line and not one of the epic-good ones.
“You want see it?” He asked.
“Y-yes…” I stammered out.
“Ew, no. You can’t see it.” My balloon was deflating and that sunburn of embarrassment was starting to creep up my neck. “But!” he shouted as he jumped to his feet and turned his afflicted side towards me. “You can touch it!”
Now it was my turn to flash him the look that was somewhere between disgust and confusion, but I’d made it this far…
“Sure,” I said as my finger started slowly to close the space between it’s tip and his fatty tumor that covered by his white and blue stripped button-down shirt.
“No, not like that.” David Sedaris grabbed my wrist and pulled me forward. “You really got to get in there and grab it.” So I did. I grabbed David Sedaris’ fatty tumor and gave it a few light squeezes.
“Can I touch it too?” My friend asks.
“Sure!” And I stood there, in slightly stunned silence and watched as my roomie/best-friend proceeded to give David Sedaris’ tumor a squeeze or two of her own.
As we made our way out of the venue and back to our car, our professor was beside herself with what we’d done.
I haven’t had a chance to see David Sedaris again since then, but I like to think that every -once-in-awhile when he’s at a reading he’ll tell the story of the two girls that felt-up his fatty tumor.