If you were one of the people who read this blog when I started it seven whole months ago, you may remember that one of my very first posts was about the fact that Rey Mysterio was doing a signing in Cardiff, which I couldn’t go to. I found out about it far too late and had to go back to my office. I made quite a silly drama out of it.
But no such worries this time around. Knowing the guys and gals of the WWE would be rolling into town on Monday and Tuesday of this week, I deliberately went looking for signings last Saturday. I want to shake a midcarder’s hand and someone better make it happen, damnit! I was starting to lose hope, until I rolled into Borders and saw a giant poster advertising a Kofi Kingston and Gail Kim signing on Tuesday. YESSSSSS! I quizzed the staff on the event and purchased my £5 worth of trading cards to get my ticket.
On Tuesday morning I woke up in possession of three things. The disbelief that I was just 3oft away from CM Punk twelve hours earlier, the eyes of a panda thanks to the fact that I passed out with my mascara on, and a dilemma. A dilemma, you say? Yes, I say. Having had such a great time at the Smackdown show, I now wanted to go to the Raw show that night. Actually, I had wanted to go to both all along, but nobody wanted to drop the cash for two shows. I had to decide whether to go alone or skip it. The consensus was that I would hugely regret it if I didn’t go. On balance, the idea of spending the night with John Cena and Triple H seemed far more exciting than spending it watching Eastenders and Gok Wan on TV. I made a decision.
Now, time to think about Kofi and Gail. I had swung it with my boss that I could use some of my overtime and leave at 2:00pm for the signing at 3:00pm. Time to break out the Pepto Bismol tablets again. Much as the day before, I began getting excited enough that my stomach started tying itself up in slipknots. At this point it was suggested that I should just try being cool because it’s ‘just Kofi’. And it’s not like it’s Punk or anything. Honestly, if CM Punk was doing a signing, I’m not sure I’d even be able to walk through the door. I’d be too afraid of walking up to him and making involuntary and vulgar sex noises in his direction, ultimately being removed by security and arrested for a public sex offence.
There were some problems with this day. For starters, it was raining. And I mean REALLY raining. That in itself is not a surprise. It’s November in Wales. Rain storms are a daily and unremarkable occurrence. But I had to walk from my office to the other side of the city centre in drenching drizzle and my hair, which was beautifully coiffured in the morning, was sure to be flat as a pancake by the time I got to Borders. Also, I was in unglamorous office clothes and forgot to bring the programme from the show the previous night. I figured that adding a couple of autographs might add some value to the worst show programme in the history of show programmes. So I did the really sensible thing of forgetting it.
I made it to Borders and was buoyed by the fact that we were allowed to wait inside, away from the drizzle. Being about 40 minutes early I wasn’t too far from the signing table and expected to be on my way home and getting ready for Raw within the hour. I slowly shuffled from one foot to the other, checking the time on my phone, people watching and generally willing the clock to move faster. I hoped they might be slightly early as my green high heels, soggy from the puddles I splashed through, were starting to hurt. I switched them for the flat ballerina pumps I had in my bag…. because I think ahead when it comes to shoes but not when it comes to bringing merchandise to be signed. I wondered if Kofi would come running down the stairs like this….
But I suspected not.
I knew something was up when the staff started handing free WWE dog tags out to everyone. Clearly we were being pacified and being kept there for a long wait. The guy actually tried to walk past me without giving me a dog tag. How DARE he! I held my hand straight out and said “CM PUNK, PLEASE!” I got my goodies.
An announcement was made that there would be a delay but we were assured that Kofi and Gail were on their way. UUUUURGH! As the guy behind me said “that’ll be another hour then.” He had no idea how true that would turn out to be. They were now 40 minutes late and I was starting to get very fidgety. I’m not very good at being still. Or waiting. At 45 minutes late I thought I’d been stood up. The people in front of me were giving them until 4:oopm and then bailing. I had decided I’d stay as long as possible.
Just in the nick of time, there they both were, clutching their red, Christmas Starbucks cups and looking very sheepish. “Sorry, guuuuuys! We got kinda lost!” It’s ok, Kofi. I forgive you. Funny how I completely forgot the annoying wait as soon as they showed up. Gail looked beautiful. She was wearing a short bejewelled dress and looked so glamorous she might as well have been on the red carpet at the Oscars. She certainly looked overdressed for Borders in Cardiff. But we certainly appreciated the effort.
Once things got started the line moved quickly and I found myself waiting to be called up to the desk in no time at all. Argh! I turned to the two blokes behind me and asked if they would take my picture. They agreed and I was called forward to meet Kofi and Gail. I repeat, ARGH! I stepped forward and, noticing I hadn’t brought anything to be signed (because I’m a fool), Kofi grabbed for one of the WWE signing sheets they had on the desk. “Heyyyy. How are you doin’ today?” he asked in a deep, silky voice. And then I made a complete idiot of myself. With a big grin on my face I replied “I’m VERY well thank you. All the better for meeting YOUUU!.” URGH! Even as the words spewed out of my lips I was thinking SHUTTUUUUP! The only thing that would’ve made me more cheesy would have been if I’d winked at him and done my best Joey Tribbiani impression. Like this…
Thankfully, Kofi is a super nice guy and said “Awww that’s nice. That’s nice.” I didn’t feel like such a cheese monster after that. He passed the sheet over to Gail and I asked if I could shake his hand. “Of course” Kofi said, as he proceeded to squeeze my hand. SWOOOOON! I told him it was lovely to meet him and he returned the sentiment. I don’t believe him for a second, but it sounded sweet. Gail was quiet as a mouse, but I told her the same, she returned the compliment too and I shook her hand.
I tried to come in beside Gail to have my picture taken, but the angry security guard put his arm in the way and stopped me. Idiot! I mean, I know some nutcase punched Leona Lewis in the face when she did a signing a few weeks ago, but do I really look all that menacing, Mr. Security Guard? I’m just a girl in office clothes with flat, damp hair hoping not to look too hideous stood next to the stunning Gail Kim. All he would let me do was lean into the desk. Never lean IN to a picture. Everything falls forward. Not flattering. I learnt that from Madonna as a kid and I never forgot it. I had no choice, so I leaned in as graciously as I could and the guy snapped my picture. This picture was the result of all this nonsense.
Satisfied that I had my autographs and picture I moved away from the desk to put my coat on and compose myself. I grabbed my stuff and walked off down the street. But something was wrong. I had forgotten something. After all that time waiting, I had left my autograph sheet behind. OH MY GOD! Could I be any more flaky? I ran back and, luckily, it was still on top of some books, where I placed it while I put my coat on. PHEEEEW! Back in the shop I decided to stick around for a few minutes and watch Kofi and Gail at work. It may be an act, but they seemed like genuinely lovely people. Kofi is particularly good with the kids. It was cute to watch him striking up a new conversation with each child and watch their faces light up as he engaged with them. They probably felt the same way I did.
From there I made my way home. I had to primp myself a little bit for the Raw show.
My next task is to find a frame for this fabulous piece of paper