Hodgmania

Sep. 30th, 2015 12:21 pm
kadenza: (macpc)
[personal profile] kadenza
Finally met Hodgman last night... I've been waiting 9 years for him to come to Toronto. Not gonna lie, it was a thrill.

M. and I met downtown and took the streetcar out to the exhibition grounds for the 7 pm show (apparently part of the Just for Laughs festival). The auditorium has a seating capacity of 3,000 but it wasn't quite full at the back. I was really hoping to get my books signed, but he tweeted the day before that the venue needed a fast turnaround for another show at 9, so unfortunately there would be no meet & greet. WAT. He did apologize profusely, and said he would figure something out.

What he figured out was kind of the best part of the night, though the show itself was pretty good. At the very end, he urged us to be at The Canadian House of Pizza and Garbage* on Queen West near the Drake at 9 pm. Marshie said he just wanted to go home. WTF, Marshie! Eventually, I got him to see reason and accept that Queen was actually quite a quick walk (15-20 min) via the Dufferin gate. We were one of the last people out of the theatre and were expecting a mob scene. However, the crowd heading North on Dufferin thinned out with each passing block. By the time we got to the Drake and found what we hoped was the correct Pizza Pizza nearby, there were still a couple of tables available. I grabbed one while M. stood in line for a slice (this in itself is pretty funny, as we had discussed at length beforehand what restaurant we should go to on this rare date night, and PIzza Pizza was definitely not on the list). Marshall chowed down while I watched the door. It seemed to be the right place and there was a fair crowd, but people were eyeing each other and generally looking doubtful. But! True to his word, Hodgman strolled in almost exactly at 9 to a burst of applause, startling those few patrons who had no idea what was going on. I guess it did count as a flash mob of sorts.

In retrospect, the inconvenience of having to move to a second location was actually a huge advantage, because it filtered out the casuals. I'd say maybe only 30 people showed up. So instead of standing in a long line to talk to him for 20 seconds, we sat at tables eating while he came around visiting with everyone individually, shaking hands, asking our names, telling a few stories and just generally shooting the breeze. He was absolutely delightful to be around. It was all so chill, I really couldn't believe our good luck. The restaurant staff were pretty confused about the whole thing, but Hodge went up and gave them a tip (and a large one, judging by the reaction of the cashier). So yeah, a long time coming but a definite WIN. And he did sign my book.

* This is a reference to a Judge John Hodgman podcast from four years ago, "Pepperoni Pauper"

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