Tonight I went to a book signing by Matthew Inman, the creator of the Oatmeal blog. If you haven’t familiarized yourself with the Oatmeal, please do so immediately. It is hilarious and always provides endless entertainment. “Mr. Oatmeal,” as he called himself, is on a book tour for his book called 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (and Other Useful Guides). When I found out that the tour was making a stop in my city, I was very excited. I’ve been reading the site for some time and couldn’t wait to get a signed copy of the book.
Mr. Inman did a short presentation prior to taking audience questions, basically explaining where the concept of his site had come from and sharing some of his favorite comics. He is very humorous in real life so it was a good presentation. After answering some questions, he started the signing. Since Conrad had arrived early, we both had really good seats and wristband spots, and were among the first to get our copy signed.
I get really nervous around anyone even resembling a celebrity. When you combine that with the fact that Mr. Oatmeal is also very funny and hot, this means I was doomed. In my head, I always imagine myself being much more extroverted and funnier than I actually am in real life. Then once I start talking, I realize that my conversational skills around attractive men were left behind somewhere in middle school.
I wanted to say something to him while he was signing my book since I uncharacteristically wussed out on asking him a question during the Q&A session (and I never wuss out on Q&A’s. I asked questions to Sean Astin and George H.W. Bush during presentations I attended of theirs). I mumbled, “I’m a really big fan of your comics.” He said thank you, and I went on, “I think my favorite one is the web design one.” Pause. “Not that I design web pages,” I explained hurriedly, “but my dad does…” By this time, I decided to shut up and to save myself from any further embarrassment. He explained that people in creative fields other than web design also really like that comic. I slunk away and waited for Conrad to get his book signed. Hot, funny men don’t have the same effect on Conrad for obvious reasons, so he had a more fluent conversation with Mr. Oatmeal like a normal human being.
Conrad also got his wristband signed, by request. “I don’t want to hold your hand while I sign it,” Mr. Oatmeal said as Conrad situated his hand to get the wristband signed. “That would be weird.”
Now off I go to read my new book!