Like all good crunchy vegetarian liberals, I give money to NPR, and about 1000 years ago, the incentive for donating was tickets to a live taping of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me at SCSU. It took most of Kevin's and my combined brain power to remember that it was last night, but we did, and we went, and it was lots of fun. (Now that we've freed up that space in our brains, think how productive we'll be!)
It was a little weird hearing everyone's voices and seeing them at the same time--it was hard to remember that those people on the stage were actually the talking, not lip-synching to the radio.
There was a reception after the taping, and at first I was worried that there would only be 8 people there and we'd have to make small talk with Peter, Carl, the panel and guest (the panel was Tom Bodett, Kyrie O'Connor, and Charles Pierce, and the guest was Christopher Buckley). After I few minutes, I realized there was nothing to worry about because our entire section had passes (Backstage passes! Laminated cards on lanyards! Which I refused to wear except while in the room where the reception was held, because I didn't want the other NPR listeners to think I was a dork. Apparently, I'm the dork who's too cool for whatever dorky thing I'm doing.), and the was no danger we'd have to talk. Or be able to, if we'd wanted.
But in those few minutes, I tried to think of things to chat with them about. Possible conversations went something like this:
1. Hi Peter. I listen to a podcast by someone who I think mentioned one time that she knew you. Maybe that she went to school with you? Anyway, she said you were funny in school too. So Heather, who doesn't know me, would say Hi if she knew I was talking to you.
2. Hi Christopher. My department has your father's papers. Everyone says Hi, by the way. Do you remember if you gave permission for Mr. Smith* to see the papers? Because he came in the day before yesterday and we couldn't find your email. Our filing system is a little... creative... so it's probably in there somewhere. Anyway, could you send that message to us again when you get a chance?
Perhaps it's just as well there were a lot of other people there. I will now segue into a semi-related story--Kevin, his parents, a friend from grad school and I were in Cleveland a few years ago for a Indians-Red Sox game. (Kevin's family is from Ohio and our friend is a big Sox fan.) We were in a food court near the ballpark eating lunch, when suddenly our friend was having a conversation with someone about the Red Sox's previous game. A real conversation--like he knew the guy, like they were friends who always talked about sports, like they always commiserated about unfair calls at away games. Except that the guy was a member of the Red Sox. I do not have that skill... not even with not-famous people. The end.
*Mr. Smith is not the researcher's real name.