Finally, Part 3: the Meet & Greet!
Well, this is the part most of us in this thread remember because we were all there.
After the second show ended and we figured out where the guys would come out, I raced to my car to grab my stuff (my poster and my video camera). Yeah, I forgot to grab the CDs with my games on them, but as it turned out I didn't really need them! Then we spent the next 45 minutes or so hanging out - I entertained everyone with stories of my own Mel-like stalker and my almost-criminal record.
And I don't think anyone has mentioned it so far, but we didn't see Eugene or Nigel. I know Kristen came out for the meet & greet at Kent, which I'm still kicking myself about.
Bret came out first, well, actually he was trapped by the chain-link fence. He said, "Hey guys!" and everyone said hi to him. He said, "I feel like I'm in prison," so I yelled, "Jump the fence!" Someone finally let him out and he started mingling with the fans. There was no barrier like they had set up at some of the shows, and there was only one security dude with him. He was real cheerful about the whole thing and the crowd of 40 or so was pretty polite. This was my first meet & greet so I was surprised at the lack of screaming fanatics. We all hung back a bit so we could be last - saving the best for last...? He told everyone about how people were worried about them playing Detroit, because it's such a scary place and all. (I'd be more scared of filming in New York City at night, but that's just me.) From what I could tell, the crowd forgave him for calling Detroit a "derelict" city earlier.
When he got to me, he said, "Hey, how's it going?" and I said, "Hi, I have something you've never signed before," and showed him the game poster, which he got a big kick out of. I asked if he had ever seen the game - he hadn't. It didn't surprise me since he's on record as not being a big computer/internet/MySpace fan.
Me: Oh, I know, you're not really the computer guy.
Bret: Well, I do know how to use a computer.
Me: (laughs to cover up the fact that he probably thinks I think he's computer illiterate)
So I told him a bit about the game(s), including the fact that his video game character can jump higher than Jemaine's.
He said that Jemaine had probably seen it, then asked if I had a copy of the game with me, at which point I should have said, "Yeah, they're in my car but I forgot 'em because I'M A MORON." Instead, I told him that it was online and I gave him one of my BADATOM.COM business cards. I *always* have those on me. He said they'd have to put my games on their website, which was awesome.
Then I had him sign the poster to Matthew, at which point you girls went "Aww," 'cause it was so sweet of me. Sweet had nothing to do with it - it was guilt that he couldn't come to the show with me! I thanked him and asked for a picture (or "photo" as he kept telling everyone). We stood shoulder-to-shoulder (he's a bit shorter than I thought, it's the poofy hair that makes him seem taller) and I knew he was smiling, so I said, "Don't smile, don't smile. Just make a sad face. Just pout." He obliged.
I thanked him and he moved on to the rest of our group. I immediately got Matthew on the phone for his big surprise. Earlier that day, I told my mom to have him keep the phone with him all night and to possibly expect a phone call. He had no idea why, and he was really irritated about it because he HATES secrets. (In fact, he kept texting me wanting to know what was going on so I called him up between the shows and told him, "Just shut up and go with it, okay?")
So I said, "Yeah, I'm in downtown Detroit right now, and I'm standing five feet away from Bret... 'Flight of the Conchords' Bret... Are you awake?" Once Bret was done with the rest of the crowd, I went, "Bret, I have my little brother on the phone with me right now. He helped me make the game (an exaggeration, to be sure). Would you say hi to him and tell him to get a job?"
He seemed to find that funny, then took the phone and asked, "Matthew, right?" I nodded, and he talked to Matthew for a good minute or so about the game, and said "Your brother thinks that if I tell you to get a job that maybe you'll do it." After that, I thanked him, told him, "You're the best," and he headed back in, claiming to be tired. (Well, you know, what? I was tired too!
) Anyway, he was great, and it was really nice of him to do that.
I stayed on the phone with Matthew for a bit, asking him if he was willing to stay awake now that he knew what was up, and to expect another call soon. Yeah, he didn't have a problem with that.
We all waited a little while longer (less than half an hour, I think) for Jemaine to come out next - we assumed he was taking a nap (or "having a sleep" as it's called). When he did, our group hung back like before, and at this point I must mention that I was in the company of two registered Jemainiacs, to which I could only say "I'm glad I don't have your problem." I'm still trying to think of a female celebrity that would make me all
but I honestly don't get like that. Famous people are just regular people that happen to be famous.
Jemaine finally came out from around the fence, the funniest part being the way Kelly said "Hey, Jemaine...", then he started to "work the room". I refuse to waste too much time talking about that irritating and likely drunk lady who kept monopolizing his time. I hope I ruined all her pictures by giving her dirty looks in the background... But to his credit, Jemaine was very patient and polite, answering her numerous questions and taking a bunch of pictures. He's slightly less boisterous than Bret, but very friendly and talkative.
And yes, Kelly, he did make a remark about "shaving his beard tomorrow". You might have been the last person to ever touch that particular beard. Does that make you feel even more special?
Okay, so when he got to me, I showed him the poster and he clearly recognized his video game likeness. He said, "I've seen it. I have it on my laptop," to which I responded, "Man, you just made my day." (He even mentioned the music - I could have corrected him and mentioned that it wasn't MIDI, it was actually done in FruityLoops Studio using sound samples to make it sound like a Nintendo game, but really, who gives a sh*t, he played my game!) He hadn't played the second game, though, and I explained how it's based on the second season of the show and you get to fight sugar lumps, prostitutes and epileptic dogs. I said, "You gotta play it!" My forum friends voiced their agreement.
I asked him to sign the poster for Matthew and to write something about making him clean his room. It was either that or "help your mother around the house". He obliged - I offered him my back to sign it but he just used his knee instead.
Then he got to Kelly - she gave him her poster to sign and noticed that he still had my pen. So I mock outraged, "You tried to steal my pen?!" and grabbed it out of his hand, to which he responded, "Well, how do you think we get ours?" He's quick with the jokes.
I snapped Kelly's picture with him and I'm glad it turned out so well! And she was fine with him, too, she didn't drool or collapse into a pile of goo or anything. While he was talking to Laura (for a good couple of minutes!) I got back on the phone with Matthew and told him to expect another conversation.
When Jemaine was done, I asked him if he would talk to Matthew, who "helped me make the game, but not really that much." He took the phone (yep, he remembered Matthew's name too) and talked to him about how the game was brilliant and that he'd played it.
Me: Tell him he needs to clean his room.
Jemaine: Is it really dirty?
Me: You have no idea.
They had a nice little conversation about the game, and if he was working on other games (which he is, he wants to do it for a living), and that he needed to clean his room. When they were done, I got the phone back and immediately hung up on Matthew - no, Matthew, Jemaine did not hang up on you, that was me, I hadn't taken a picture with him yet. So, he puts his arm around my shoulder for the picture, and I was all like, "No, you have to make a mean face, be mean, like you don't want to be here." He was a good sport.
As he left, and the crowd dispersed, I called out, "Remember, play whatever you want!" Don't know if he was paying attention or not, oh, well. He was really nice, and I'm still getting over the fact that he knew about and played the first game. And apparently didn't tell Bret about it? For shame...
In conclusion, the guys were a class act. If everyone treated their fans as well as they do, the world would be a nicer place. It wasn't like an assembly line, or a "sign it - who's next", they both took their time and carried on conversations with me and everyone else. We also got lucky that they didn't set up a barrier or anything and we got to just hang out on the sidewalk. Aside from that one lady, the group was small and polite - we kept whispering and tried our best to stay out of people's pictures. And the weather was beautiful, okay, a bit windy, but better than rainy Kent State.
So we all went our separate ways. I can't thank Kelly enough for inviting me along, and everyone was great. This was the first time I had ever met "internet people" in real life before, and it felt like I'd known them forever. I had completely forgotten about the horrible trip to Detroit, and the fact that I hadn't eaten or slept in 24 hours - it was 3:30 AM. As I walked back to my car, I got back on the phone with Matthew and asked him, "How much do you love me right now?"
I snapped some pictures of the theater on my way out, then managed to escape downtown Detroit with no map and no trouble at all. It's that keen sense of direction I have, you know. I got home in a little over an hour, then I stayed up until 8 AM thanks to the energy drink I chugged on the way home. Big mistake.
Here are the pictures of the signed poster:
And the 33 seconds of video I took of the meet-and-greet. I would have filmed a lot more but I think filming other people in the crowd is sort of creepy. I just wanted proof that it actually happened. And from the sound, you can tell that it was VERY windy.http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fusea ... D=56398180
Wow, I'm tired just from writing all that! If I forgot anything, well, I'm sure someone will tell me...