Hello Bloglandia!

So Mr Husband and I were on a walk a few weeks ago and we got to talking about weird things people do.

Which, yes, is most things.

And one of the things we decided was weird was collecting autographs. 

I mean, it’s a little weird to go around begging someone to scrawl their name on pieces of paper, perfectly good album covers, or, well, body parts (cringe).

But then I realized I really couldn’t call autograph hounds weird.

After all, several years ago, we’d gone to see a lecture by Christopher Hitchens. After the lecture we saw the man himself loitering behind the building smoking a cigarette (one reason Hitch is no longer with us).

And well, I kind of sort of confessed to Mr Husband that I’d wish I’d gotten his autograph when he saw us and said hello.

Why?

I don’t know!???

It’s a completely bizarre thing to do or to want.

But maybe I couldn’t help it. Maybe I have to blame my dad for this signature seeking behavior.

Let me explain.

When I was a kid, my dad was all keen on going to this local appliance store where a celebrity would be signing autographs (or maybe my mom was trying to get us out of the house).

Yes, you read that right….an appliance store. Talk about glamorous locations!

I didn’t want to go. I mean, this was probably Saturday morning and there were cartoons to watch, damn it!

But off I was dragged.

Who were we meeting? Hold onto your celebrity-adoring hats…

Big Al from Happy Days.

Sorry, did I just overwhelm you with celebrity-ness?

Okay, so it wasn’t the biggest star in Hollywood, but I liked Happy Days, I liked Big Al (he’s the first guy who ran the diner, in case you’ve forgotten), and well, I had no choice but to get in the Toyota hatchback and go meet this guy.

As you can imagine, there was NOT a line out the door.

And then we soon found out why.

Big Al was pulling a no-show.

I guess the appliance store scene was too hip for him.

But the appliance store didn’t want to disappoint, so like a human bait-and-switch they’d brought in someone else: Arnold (he’s the second guy who ran the diner in Happy Days).

Arnold? Who the hell was Arnold?

Okay, I kind of knew who Arnold was. But he’d only been on the show for a few episodes here and there. He was a nobody. 

This was no substitute for Big Al!!

Ron Howard and “Arnold” (credit to ABC Television Press Relations, image from Wikipedia)

But we were already there, we didn’t need a new fridge or washer, so we might as well get in the line of five people.

In very little time, we were next.

And then I panicked.

Don’t ask me why. I was a weird little kid who got really freaked out when it came to meeting new people.

Needless to say, I wanted to get back in the car. I didn’t want to be in that damn line. I wanted to go back to the safety of my cartoons!

My dad was having none of it. I mean, we’d driven three miles and waited in line a whole ten minutes. We were getting SOMEBODY’S signature, for pete’s sake.

It was my turn.

I mumbled a Hello (mostly to the floor).

Arnold, obviously seeing I was a freak, told me I had nothing to worry about, that I just needed to think of him as Santa Claus.

Okay, this guy was NOT Santa Claus. Even as a kid, I could figure that one out. I mean, he he was skinny, he had no beard, and he was Asian. This was way back when when all Santa were old white guys, so I wasn’t about to be fooled.

Still, this guy was pretty nice. He was friendly. He was taking a fair amount of time to calm down a weird little kid. 

And he was having to sit in some damn appliance store on a Saturday morning, signing HIS autograph on a picture of someone else (see below).

Plus, he cared enough to spell my name correctly on the autograph (people misspelling my name is a slight pet peeve of mine)

What a guy, right?

It was only years later when i really realized who this Asian Not-Santa Claus was.

Pat Morita.

Yes, Mr “Wax On Wax Off” Miyagi from Karate Kid.

And I still have his autograph.

My name is spelled right! Unfortunately, it does not say “wax on, wax ooff”. It says “Arnold loves you”.

Why did I keep it all these years (in a frame, no less)?

I have no idea. 

Just like I had no idea why I wanted to run over and ask Christopher Hitchens for his autograph in a dark alley.

As I said, people are weird. Myself included.

Wax on, wax off, my friends : )

What About You?

Do you collect autographs? Have any that you brag about? Any you kick yourself in the butt for not getting? 

Go ahead and leave a comment to share your thoughts!

***

Speaking of collecting….

I just finished watching the first season of the BBC’s The Detectorists, featuring Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones

It’s a show about two best friends who spend their time with their metal detectors collecting junk and looking for treasure, but it’s also a show about so much more while still being humorous.

Plus, it’s got the best theme song, ever!

So, if you’re looking for something to watch, be sure to check it out.

 

Note: Some links above are affiliate links. If you buy something after clicking the link, i get a teeny tiny commission to keep this site running, but it costs you NOTHING extra. What a deal, right?

18 thoughts on “Can I Have Your Autograph?

  1. I’m not an autograph collector (and I kind of freaked out the first time someone asked me to sign one of my books because… why would someone want me to do that, aaaaahhhh!), but that is a GREAT story! I can’t believe they had him autographing someone else’s picture!

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    1. I know! How rude, right? I guess he was that much of a “nobody” then that he didn’t even have his own press pack. And yes, I agree that signing books is bizarre. I never know what I’m supposed to write. I mean, is my signature good enough? Do I need to have a clever note? Can I just lie and say my pen dried up, then run away before they pull out a fresh one?

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  2. Awww I love your story. So heartfelt and very understandable for mini Tammie! I never really got anyone’s autograph, though I have signed book copies before and kinda get the appeal. It just seems like so much trouble to go to for someone to write their name 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, it’s so weird, right? It’s just ink but somehow people go gaga for it. Wait, maybe there’s something “special” in that ink that no one told me about 🤪

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      1. Yeah, I mean, if Stephen King offered to sign a book I’d be excited, but I don’t really think it’s a thing for me.

        Right, maybe it’s a piece of them you can bring back later or something. Annnd there’s your next story!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You know, I feel like I want to, but what if my clones just don’t work out? I mean, I’d hate to have to fire myself. Although, wait, does that mean I can collect all their unemployment checks? Hmmmmm…..

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great story! I was laughing while reading it. Sorry you did not get to see Big Al – ha! But then you get to meet and EVEN BIGGER MORE FAMOUS STAR! That is so cool. It made me think of the time my parents had to drag me a young kid to go see some singer called Marvin Gaye. I was in misery to have to go that stupid concert – ha! If only I knew what I was lucky enough to experience!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. No famous autographs 😩. However I do still have my autograph book from school days with exciting poetry like “By hook or by crook I’ll be the last in this book”. It’s certainly not a framed (!) autograph of Big Al, signed by Arnold, who went on to be even more famous. Yours is way more cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That reminds me, I did come across a couple high school year books when I was hunting down the Arnold-not-Arnold picture. Some of the things written in there are pretty funny. Although, some of the inside jokes now make NO sense 😋

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