Here's what REALLY happened:
FYI: We are Tiger fans! This year was the first time we had season basketball tickets and went to almost all the home games. I wore Memphis shirts to school on just about every game day that I could (and even wore one the day after the Vols lost to Louisville in the Sweet Sixteen match up). We even bought CSTV (and canceled after b-ball season) just so we could see the games that weren't shown on the other available channels. THAT'S how dedicated we are to this team.
I have Joey Dorsey as a friend on my Myspace (not that he ever sends me a comment or anything, but shh...that's not the point!). ANYway, he wrote on his status thing earlier this week that he was going to be signing autographs at Circuit City in Collierville today (Thursday) from 5:30-7:30 p.m. It was for their Grand Opening.
Steve and I emailed back and forth today and I asked him if he wanted to go. "Sure, we'll go." Great! We wouldn't be able to leave, though, until he got home from work, which would be shortly after five sometime. He also wanted me add that he canceled a (potential) golf game for this afternoon so we could go to this signing.
We both had Tiger shirts on, Emmerson was wearing a cute blue and white striped dress, and we had things for Joey to sign. And we remembered to bring the camera.
So by the time we got everyone and everything loaded in the car, it was about 5:15. I'm glad I brought the snacks because Em was being crabby. I couldn't blame her. It was dinner time for her and we were quite hungry ourselves.
Fast forward an hour...because that's how long we had to drive to GET to Collierville.
We pulled into the Circuit City parking lot and noticed that it was pretty packed. A long line of people formed down the sidewalk and wrapped around the corner. "Goo! Look at that line, Shannon!" was all Steve could say. But we expected that.
What we did NOT expect is what is to follow.
After finding a close parking space, we decided that I'd wait in line while Steve and Em drove to one of the deli shops at the mall to bring us back something to eat. I grabbed my camera and purse and made my way to the never-ending line. That's when the not-so-muscular security guard stopped me.
"Are you coming for the signing?"
"Well, they told me to tell everyone else coming that the line stops at those people over there because he has to leave by 7:30."
Are you KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW? is what I said...but only in my head.
Instead, I probably had a disgusted look on my face. And rightly so! Because you know why?
WE HAD JUST DRIVEN AN HOUR TO SEE THIS GUY!!
"Okay," was all that fell out of my mouth. I had more to say, oh did I, but nothing that I was brave enough to voice. I noticed people staring at me as I turned to walk away. They were probably thinking, "
No more? You're telling me that I came all this way and no more can get in line?! I wonder if that's how Mary and Joseph felt when everyone kept telling them, "Sorry, there's no more room." (Yeah, I know I wasn't about to deliver a baby, but still....I want you to understand how I FELT.)
Hey, advertisers! I've got a brilliant idea. Do you think next time in your radio ad you could possibly say, 'Be sure to get there early enough, like before sunrise, even if you have to drive from Timbuktu, or you just MIGHT be turned away by wimpy Circuit City security guards.'?
But I digress.
So I called Steve and broke the news. "Hey, they said no more people can get in line, so come and get me." As I watched the car turn back around, others who had received the same disheartening news headed back to their cars with heads hanging down, shoulders slumped.
Once I got in the car, Steve even tried one.more.time and drove up the guard and said, "We just drove an hour to get here. Can't we just get in line?" And then the guard proceeded to tell him the exact same thing he told me. It was no good.
Disappointed and disgusted, we drove away and went to Red Robin to eat dinner. It turns out that a group of girls who had just left from the signing sat down at the table next to ours. No fair. They must've gotten there early...or earliER than we did. Obviously.
Dinner was okay. We were both pretty bummed that Emmerson wasn't going to have a picture with Joey. He probably could've held her in just one of his hands. It would've looked pretty funny, actually. Funny, but cute. While we ate, the Red Robin (mascot?) was walking around the restaurant waving to folks and such. Emmerson waved to "it" and that's about it. As soon as it came near her, she would wrinkle up her face and almost produce some tears. She seemed brave, though, and kept waving, so Steve took her over to the Robin to see if she'd give it a hug. Nope. She clung to her daddy for dear life and turned her head. "It must be because it looks too much like a Jayhawk," he laughed to the Tiger fans sitting next to us. He got a good chuckle out of them too.
Pssst...In case you non-NCAA basketball fans don't "get it," he was referring to the Kansas Jayhawks. The ones who beat us in the national championship game this year.
We finished dinner and left around 7:15. We decided to go back to Circuit City to see if the line had died down at all. I sent Steve in with the camera and told him to call me if we could come in. He never called.
It turns out that all they did was move the super long line INside because it had started raining. The line stretched to the back of the store. No chance of an autograph tonight.
But here's where a little ray of sunshine dances into the story:
One of the security guards standing near Joey just so happened to be one of the guards Steve worked with when he was with First Tennessee.
"Steeeeeeeeeeeve! What's going on, man?" he said as he slapped his hand into a handshake. "Just brought the family up here to get a picture and autograph, but the line was too long." "Well, come on up here with me!" And Steve walked right up to the front.
He was about five feet from Joey when he took these pictures. Sure, that little boy doesn't look a THING like Emmerson, but that's okay. Better than nothing, I suppose.
Once we got home, I called my parents and told them our sad, sad story (sniff). Mom told me it would've been easier to have gotten a picture of him off the computer. Gee, thanks for the sympathetic words, Mom. But it's not really the same thing. And I don't know to Photoshop Emmerson into pictures. Dad was a little more understanding. He said I should've gone into the store, held out Emmerson in front of him, and said sadly, "Joey, that mean security guard said we couldn't get in line. Can you puh-lease take a picture with her?"
And in our what-we-should-have-done story....that Joey Dorsey...he would have.