Move over Murphy, if that’s your real name.
A couple Thursdays ago, I was reminded on how romantic my faltering truly is. In part of this whole disconcerting characteristic is part-absentmindedness — I’ll often leave my wallet and sometimes even belt home — and part (a larger percentage) shit luck. Some times this luck can prove to be a misnomer, and the scene to play out proves to be quite positive.
The positive shit luck: I interviewed Alton Brown in my car, in Wegmans’ (of all places) parking lot.
The Thursday started out with Social Media Breakfast Syracuse’s panel discussion on analytics — how, when and why to use them. Before taking my seat to live tweet the event, some of the coffee spilled out of the cup I was holding and onto the seat I was to sit in. It was soaked up successfully, and my butt occupied that seat out of taking one for the team. No worries with soaking my pants.
Flash forward an hour to my arrival at work, settling in at my desk and realizing I left my recorder home. The Brown interview was scheduled for 10:40 a.m., so there was time to return for a prepared interview. In the meantime, I finalized my Thursday events newsletter.
It was just after 10 a.m. when I walked out the door for my car, and this was the same time John (Brown’s public relations guy) gave me a call to to double check the time. Thinking it was a telemarketer — Who the hell would call me from Los Angeles at 7 a.m.? — I didn’t pick up. The mission, which I had no choice but to accept it, was afoot.
I know what you’re thinking: No, there were no recorders at the office. I searched frantically.
John asked me to bump the meeting up, his voice flowed through the car speakers, to 10:20 a.m.
A returned phone call verified the new time, which had to be accepted. Who knew when the next opportunity may be? His “Eat Your Science” tour arrives in Syracuse on Tuesday, April 26. This piece had to get into the following week’s edition.
Miraculously and semi-patiently following the rules of the road, the car arrived with 10 minutes to spare. Three minutes were eaten up leaving the vehicle, grabbing the device off the desk and returning to drive off to the nearest parking lot.
Knowing full well that I wasn’t going to make it back to the office on time, the first idea that came to my head was Split Rock Elementary School, but that would be weird. Try explaining to the officer at the window about interviewing the celebrity while explaining to Brown I was in a parking lot of an elementary school.
At least I would have shown the officer my notebook full of questions as proof.
Alas — yes, dear reader, you may have guessed this — my notebook was left behind at the office, because of the generous time gap prior to leaving.
Brown called two minutes early, and I cringed while the directional kept clicking prior to turning. My progress was paused. Cheers to the stoplight! Yet, I made the right turn into the lot. In the interim, I tried to make small talk — to a small degree of success — as an effort to conceal the turing and parking nosies.
The interview went really well. My allotted 15 minutes became 17, and so Brown was thanked for is time. I remembered a lot of the questions, which allowed the Q & A article to turn out well. The reason being: It was frosted with personal anxiety.
Regardless, I was going to interview him in a parking lot and while sitting in my car. The speakers are great, and it’s quieter than an office.
At my desk, upon finally arriving, I was able to take a deep breath and return to finish, send the events newsletter. However, when opening the program, all my previous templates and campaigns were missing. The newsletter would have to be rebuilt.
I play with words and invisible objects.
A mind, a pen and a piece paper have the best relationship ever.
"Remember this--if you shut your mouth, you have your choice."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald