Monday, June 21, 2010

Black Saturday

I am so far behind blogschedule that I'm abandoning my plan for a well-executed Portland travelogue and focusing on a few main points.

*Before we start with the West Coast, allow me to tie a bow on the District of Columbia. On Saturday afternoon, after returning from brunch, I sat on my hotel bed and flipped on the television. I then received a text from Gav that read, "Michael Ian Black".

"Okay," I thought. Maybe Gav is also watching television, and he's just seen Mr. Ian Black's latest Sierra Mist commercial or an old episode of "Ed". Nine out of ten Tornado Slide readers are friends with Gav, and I'm sure eight of those nine are have occasionally received an incomprehensible text from the man, so you'll understand why I shrugged it off and went back to channel surfing.

A moment later, a more precise message was delivered to my phone. "Michael Ian Black is in the lobby," Floyd wrote.

"Oh. Okay," I thought. I put on some pants, grabbed my camera, and went downstairs to meet the two texters.

I saw where Michael was sitting immediately, through the reflection in one of the lobby mirrors, and proceeded past him to the hotel entrance. I walked outside, looked left and right, and discerned the Floyd and Gav were no longer on the scene. We would not be getting a picture together. I was left to approach the celebrity (very famous) on my own.

Since the clarifying text was read, I had considered how to address the man. Mister Ian Black? But "Black" is a stage name. Mister Schwartz?

I elected to walk up to him, seated in one of the lobby's four chairs, and introduce myself -- TURN THE TABLES.

"Hi, I'm Dan."

"Hi Dan, I'm Michael."

(We shake hands.)

"Yeah, I know! I was going to call you 'Mister Schwartz' but I didn't know if that would be dickish."

(Michael shrugs. Now that I've focused on him instead of trying not to look at him, I see that he appears very tired, and his ten-or-so-year-old child is sitting in the chair to his left.)

"Uh, anyway, I just wanted to say hi. I'm a big fan of Stella."

I assume he said thanks - at that point I was harshly evaluating my effort, from "dickish" to "hassling an exhausted parent on vacation next to his child", and was anxious to leave the scene without further damage. I managed to retreat exactly six yards, where Sarah was sitting, next to a giant box of Saltines and a large Gatorade meant to fuel @BAGEsq's revenge against alcohol. I sat down next to her to chat before realizing she was already on the phone with her mom, which resulted in me facing MIB diagonally for five minutes as I waited for her conversation to end.

Anyway, Michael Ian Black: class act.

Future gameplan for celebrity interaction: Ensure children are not present, introduce self, say one nice thing, make exit.

*Secondly, screw it, I'll postpone Portland prose for another day.

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