Thursday, September 18, 2014

Remember: Fan Is Short For Fanatic

I've attempted to write a blog post at least 3 times in the last two months and that is absolutely deplorable for two reasons.

Firstly, I haven't physically had a chance to try write anything other than work or university related things. Not even a shopping list. Every since the start of uni for this last and final semester I don't actually have any days off. I spend 5 days a week at work, the sixth at an internship and the seventh at university. I have half the day on Tuesday and Thursday to do things but since I have to wake up at fuck o'clock to go somewhere the motivation has already reached empty by the time I throw my keys on the dining room table.

The second reason for this horrific act is that I only tried to write something here THREE TIMES! That is a pathetic attempt to fulfill my dream. The whole reason most people write a blog is to talk about something they are passionate about, whether it be food, travel, fashion, or the atrocities Kanye West commits on a daily basis. The reason I started this blog is to practice, hone, and display my writing skills.

I am shithouse writer.

It's true. I met a whole bunch of writers while I was working at the Brisbane Writers Festival and they are all far more awesome than I in their own way. Some are awesome because they actually give a shit about the people who stand in line for half an hour to get a squiggle on their stack of dead tree. Some are awesome because their personalities won't sit at the book signing table I volunteered at unless their name is printed in bold and not hand written because the printer broke. HOW DARE YOU IMPROVISE! is what their eyes accuse you of.

Why they are really awesome because each of them had the mental concentration to put pen to paper and create something tangible, understandable, and most of all: influential. The look on those old ladies faces when they start gushing over the passing-middle-aged balding intellectual whose wardrobe consists of nothing but blazers and slippers.

I will say I did get another wonderful opportunity to experience the horror of customer service. The only good part though is as a volunteer, I didn't have to fear getting fired for doing a bad job. Intentionally.

Now, most film fanatics who meet their idols will eventually be confronted with the fact that Nathan Fillion isn't actually a sexy space smuggler, he just plays one on the television. An author, however, is responsible for everything even if they aren't. What this means is that the sun shines out of their buttholes according to all their blind followers. Wait. That didn't really help the situation.

Here's an example:

So this girl comes up to me at the table and asks if this writer, Trudi Canavan, is going to be here to do a signing. It being my first day at the festival I ignorantly said "Yes!" in a far too enthusiastic tone. She then toddled off to wait for the mother/lover/idol/meal/sister she had always wanted in a far off corner holding an ipad with a loaded video, two of the authors books, and what could only be a manuscript she had written herself.

Now I don't want to be mean, but the girl looked like the female version of this:

Oh so sexy.

Except with more vibrant colours, a bigger hump, and jeans so high and tight she must need a crowbar to get them off. I didn't really think a person like this could actually exist but they do. They really do. Now I've met people like this before, but not this severe.

So she wants to meet this author, the author is supposed to turn up to my table to sit for a while and sign things people put in front of them. The thing most people forget about authors is that nobody tells them what to do. Not their publisher. Not a volunteer in an absurdly pink t-shirt. Nobody.

They only listen to their egos.

So as it happens, most authors will disappear after they do a speech or a workshop because they've just spent 3 hours stuck in a room trying to figure out who is the most likely to try and sniff them when they pass. This means most of them bugger off to the pub right after to hang out and get drunk. The ones who do stay are usually quite well known and wouldn't be able to walk out of the centre unless every single fan had had their genitals signed.

I digress.

So she's waiting less and less patiently. Time is going by and only two of eight authors have turned up and you can bet that Trudi Canavan isn't one of them. It's at this point that another author, the pretty awesome P. M. Newton turns up with her publicist and explains that she got all her signing done after her event. Which makes sense. If you came specifically to see someone you probably would have paid to go the actual even they are speaking at.

Not this girl. Not this veritable mess of hormones and fanfiction. Oh wait I found a picture that would best capture her situation:

Pretty soon she comes over to me and asks what's going on. I explain that like P. M. Newton and the other authors she's likely signed some things and just buggered off for some grog. I said it in the nicest ways possible though, not like the bastard I actually am.

Now her heart didn't actually break. It just sort of, entered a vice grip of terrifying tightness. Her voice starts to crack as she starts exclaiming "Why didn't you tell me! I was standing there the whole time! Where is she?! Get her down here! I can't believe this!"

The most terrifying part is that she seemed to think I could Trudi magically appear and would murder me swiftly if I didn't do so right now. Fun fact about volunteers: they don't know shit. I wasn't one of these fancy people in the purple shirts who had radios and clipboards. I had a pink shirt, a lanyard, and smile that was slowly starting to crack. I didn't know shit. So I did the best thing I could possibly do for the both of us and pawned her off to someone else.

I'm not a monster, I just know when things are out of my hands and helping would only ending in tears, blood or severed limbs. I watched nervously as MegaFanatic talked to another volunteer about where TrudiGod might be. That volunteer then passed her off to another volunteer in a purple shirt who then radioed someone.

Trudi was gone, purple shirt received a lot of swearing, MegaFanatic waddled of somewhere to cry.

Again, I do not say this to intentionally be mean, I can just read the personalities of people from their general appearance and mannerisms. The fact that she was wearing clothes made for comfort that weren't actually comfortable, hadn't washed her hair in days, and was sporting a pretty bad case of "I spend every waking moment at the computer" humpback, she was obviously the type of person who can easily slip into her own world of delusions and refuse to leave even when people in purple shirts tell them to give up, Trudi's too busy getting pissed at the pub.

I spoke to the poor purple shirt afterward who had actually tried to get The Lady Trudi to make an appearance and he said there was many swearing, much tears, and he felt bad.

I didn't. Not since Trudi turned up on the next day to do signings and MegaFanatic was nowhere to be seen. Obviously she wasn't that big of a fan if she didn't know where Trudi was every second of the day. I mean, FAN really is short for FANATIC. And believe me, you do not want anyone to be fanatical about you. That's how horror stories start. Or super villains.

The moral of the story is, be nice to volunteers. They're not getting paid to deal with your shit, they are actually doing this because they want to help. Or in my case because it will look good on a resume of a graduating and possibly jobless writer.

Blogs are back baby!

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