Saturday, February 6, 2010

Seeing George W. Bush Brings Out the Worst in Some People


I crossed an item off my bucket list today -- I was in the same room with George W. Bush.

OK, so were several thousand other folks. But I had a press pass, which gave me very quick access to walk up to his table and snap a few photos of him greeting the association big wigs shaking W's hand. Even if the Secret Service didn't like it and kept telling me to leave.

Jealous, aren't you? Well, apparently so was the guy sitting next to me at the luncheon. He introduced himself as Steve -- no last name on his name tag -- and said he had traveled to the International Franchise Association convention because he was looking for a business to invest in. Turns out he's been looking for 13 years without any luck.

Such devoted indecision makes you a "Professional Convention Attendee" in my book. Maybe he finds it less expensive than making a career of going to college for 13 years, or investing in a hobby like golf.

He was certainly excited about the fact I had gotten those photos. But Nikon D70 cameras take up a lot of table space when they bring around the rubber chicken meals, so I put it down in the bag at my side. A few minutes later, I reached into that bag to check the time on my phone and ... wait a second. Where's the camera?

I hauled it up to peer closer because with my eyesight, it's possible I didn't see a coal black SLR that takes up 3/4 of the space in a blue tote. I looked on the back of my chair. I looked next to my chair. Nope, not under the chair, either. I checked the table, thinking I'd only dreamed of removing it. My camera was gone. I stood up in a rather panicked voice and asked if anyone had seen it. Steve was the only one who studiously ignored me. The gal to my left suddenly pointed and said, "There it is."

Tucked deeply underneath Steve's chair, with his feet resting on it.

I immediately looped it around my neck and ate with my camera firmly attached to my body. Likewise, I clutched my iPhone in my tight little grip while I recorded the speech. If Steve wanted a souvenir that badly, he was going to have to be able to lift and drag 150 pounds of me out of that room to get it.

Because trust me, I don't tuck underneath a chair easily.