Left work at about 5:30 to run over to Windfall, a swanky joint in the west 30's, for a College Republican's soiree featuring a brief talk by Karl Rove. Brec and Cisco were representing ISI there, Grace and I were along to help. I finally left the office when Brec informed me that there was free food and drinks and lots of girls. There were not lots of girls. But that turned out to be a moot point.
As Rove was wrapping up, Brec grabs my arm from across the table, and said perhaps the 3 sweetest words my ears have ever heard: "That's Dave Barry." She nodded in the direction behind me. My brain went on suspended-operating mode. It was like life paused. In the space of a second, as I turned my head, I probably had 5 or 6 distinct thoughts - "she must mean on the TV screen above the bar..." or "she must have mistaken someone else for Dave..." or "she's loony...".
And there was Dave Barry, standing shoulder to shoulder with me, listening to Rove and scratching notes on his note pad. I saw one of the notes, it said "red meat." He had just walked up and stood right next to me, his greatest fan. He didn't even know it. I looked back at Brec, for guidance. I was speechless. I was fumbling in my pocket for a pen, and cursing myself for not having printed out the email exchange that Dave and I had and bringing it to be signed. Brec told me to ask him to have drinks with us.
I had to stand there and wait for probably another 30 seconds of Rove wrapping up (none of which I actually listened to), but it seemed like 5 minutes. I was afraid Dave would walk away, or be too busy, or see somebody important to talk to, I don't know. Rove finally ceased his incessant ranting and I immediately introduced myself to Dave. I told him I was the same David C Knowles that had written him regarding the use of wheelchairs to cut in line at amusement parks. He knew who I was! I asked him to have drinks with us. He said he'd love to! I asked him what he wanted to drink. He said Sam Adams! I got Dave Barry a Sam Adams.
We ended up talking for over an hour, just chatting and having drinks. We had a very cheerful waitress who kept bringing hors d'oeuvres until nobody wanted anymore, but she kept coming with them. Dave reacted to this quite comically. He told us a lot about Athens and the DNC, and his other travels - a lot of the stuff we talked about was stuff that he had already written in recent articles, but it was really cool to hear it from the actual man himself. I think he may even have tried out some material on us for one of the pieces he's doing this week. He gave us the bit on Dreier having carnal relations with a llama which was published in this morning's piece - it was quite funny.
After a while, Dave had to go. He graciously took a few more pictures with us and signed a couple autographs. He is the coolest celebrity I've ever met, hands down. Perhaps its because he's not your average celebrity, per say. He really seems like a normal dude. But his humor is on another level - that was plain to see. There were jokes thrown into the conversation that some in our group didn't even catch. I probably missed one or two myself.
I was in another universe when he left. Brec gave us flyers for ISI (where she works) and sent us into the sword-fight to promote the firm. Met some guys from Berkeley - the CA delegation, a reporter for an Italian newspaper, and the Washington Bureau Chief for Investor's Business Daily - he was a really cool dude.
We ended up having a celebratory drink before we left to cap our glorious experience there, and I gave some guy from the Georgia delegation some good lines to lay on Barbara, the most beautiful bartender ever. She more than made up for the complete lack of talent on the other side of the bar. I had been talking with her earlier about her acting aspirations and previous experience, so the guy got some good material to go in with. If I was a foot taller I may have asked that girl to marry me.
Back to my office to grab Brec and Cisco's luggage, which they had left with me for the day, then a stop in Greenley Park to be in the audience for the live Chris Matthews broadcast. Off to City Bistro in Hoboken for a fabulous dinner served by Grace's roommate, Carey.
What a night. Picture proof to come.
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