Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Do You Treasure Autographs?

This is a bit of a touchy subject for me because I don't want to ever sound like some weirdo stalker or something. I only have a few autographed items. One is a Stever CD, another is a Ken Stabler autograph, and yet another is a signed Bryan Smith book called Grimm Awakening. I believe I'll getting another signed book too, but that one's sort of different than the others.

To me, a purchased signed item just doesn't mean much unless I sort of know the person. At least a little. Does that sound weird? Think of it this way. I've got Ken Stabler's autograph, but I don't put much value in it because I don't really have a connection to anything he did and I never even met him: My dad did. It wasn't a purchased autograph, either. It was just a coincidence where my dad ran into Ken Stabler at a Target or something. I appreciate the autograph, but I don't connect with it and half the time I can't remember where the damn thing is. Sentimental value just means more to me than a signed item. Maybe if I had actually been the one to meet up with Stabler than my opinion would change. 

Talk about that signed book that I think I'm getting. I don't feel like I particularly did anything to earn it. I just noticed a mistake that someone else already had. I didn't ask for my copy to be replaced. I certainly didn't ask for a signed copy. I was perfectly content to buy a different copy once a correct version became available.

Of course, I didn't try to talk the author of said book out of a signed copy once he said he'd send one. To me, that's just damn nice and I know better than to refuse someone who decides to do something like that.

But it is not the autograph I'll treasure per se. Don't get me wrong, it'll be pretty cool to have an autograph from an author whose books I enjoy reading. It'll be most awesome and badass. But the book itself is something I'll treasure a bit more. It represents a kind of kindness that can't be found just anywhere and in a way it is more unique than any autograph. At least that's just what I think. And I'm rarely on the receiving end of such gestures. I guess I just know way too many assholes or something. 

But I think my opinion on autographs can best be summed up by saying this:

I like them, but I don't collect them. I'm not going to shell out a bunch of money I don't even have even if it's for one of those super rare books that will never see print again. It would be nice in a perfect world, but this ain't a perfect world and I make minimum wage. I do however collect unique objects that I can appreciate and some of them do happen to be signed. They may not be the most expensive items out there, but they mean something to me and that makes them priceless. Maybe if I had more dough I could do some traveling and go to cons and shit and get more autographs. But I'd feel weird asking for an autograph. Makes me think of serial killers keeping trophies of their victims in their basements for some reason. Most fans are a bit too clingy, I think. And I don't want to be that fan. I'd much rather be the guy who buys writers beer and doesn't ask for shit in return fan.

1 comment:

  1. I have an autograph or two but I'm not much of an autograph person. I think the reason is I'm a rather private person and don't like to have my space invaded. If I see someone famous, I don't want to bother them. If I was famous, I would hate to be bothered so if I happen to stumble across someone famous, I feel weird about bothering them. Now, going to a book signing or an event is different, I'm just talking about running into someone famous where you don't expect it.

    Here is an example: A few years ago, I was in Milwaukee with a couple friends of mine. I'm an early riser, so while everyone else was asleep, I went down to the hotel restaurant to get breakfast. I'm sitting there eating, not paying any attention to anything and I hear some guy at the table right next to me asking for an autograph. I look and sitting a foot away from me is Dick Vitale (the ESPN basketball commentator). He was trying to eat and he was being nice and signing the autograph and when he was done, I could have easily said something to him but chose not to. At one point we made eye contact and I thought he gave me a "don't you know who I am?" look, XD.

    So, I hate standing in lines and that rules out the event kind of autographs and I hate bothering people so that rules out the second kind.

    One of the autographs I have is baseball hall of famer Ralph Kiner. We had a Mets minor league and spring training baseball stadium built here about 20 years ago and I had a friend who did some work on the stadium. He was invited to an after game party on the day of the inaugural game and he took me along. Ralph Kiner was an announcer for the Mets and was at this party. We were swilling free booze and I got Ralph's autograph. I was really hammered and said something ridiculously stupid to him (I don't remember what it was, just remember I was embarrassed, XD) but he autographed my baseball anyway.