Thursday, February 27, 2014

a TRAITOR was KNOCKED out cold by BATMAN

Combo hunting has been relatively slow. In part due to the freezing cold, in part due to being too lazy to embark on what I view as "chores". 

But that being said, I had one full day of combo hunting and a couple of other scattered meets. For this report I will cover the full day and leave the others for another post. Cause this report I want to write it while it's nice and fresh in my head. 

Seth Rogen and Ben Affleck were both due in town. Both were due in the same building, different floors, at almost the same time. I started by looking for flights for both. I find incoming flights for both! Sadly, it turns out Affleck was flying into another state. 

Now I already have a combo with Ben but never got Seth. So my plan was simple. 

Try for Seth at the airport, if I don't get him I try for him at his event. If I get him I try for Ben at his event. 

Seth was due to land at 5:30 AM! But he's a good name that I don't have, I deemed that worth it. 

I start the drive at the crack of dawn and get a call saying his flight is 30 minutes early! Damn I better hurry, but I knew I had time to make it. 

I finally make it. We are three people, two graphers and a pap. Seth finally arrives with his girl. At first he hides behind the door as if he didn't want to come out, but he finally did. I approach and ask for the photo op and he goes "sure". He asks the pap to please not follow him cause he finds it embarrassing and to get his photos here and now. He also signs my three items! 

After this sweeping victory, it was time to sleep and rest up before heading off for Ben. It was oh so tempting just to sleep the whole day and say screw Ben since I have a combo, but I already freed up my day for this (mainly in case I didn't get Seth at the airport) so I figured I'd ride it out. 

I begrudgingly get up, head for the spot for Ben, and wait. It was a GREAT feeling going there knowing that I already had Seth. While waiting across the hallway I see John McCain! I approach and ask for a photo op he goes "quickly" and I got the shot! Now I had two photos for him to sign on me, just cause this was a spot where I knew it was possible to see him randomly. But I had no time to get them out as he went in the room. 

Two more graphers and a pap show up. One of the graphers is someone who I consider to be a Master combo hunter. We will call him KS. Ben finally arrives and we all go into attack mode. Ben is also accompanied by about 4-5 cops. Ben does nothing for no one. But one of the cops pushed KS and this caused KS to go off on the cop. Note this is not a rent a cop, but a real cop! He says that the cop had no right to touch him and this is a public hallway. One other cop responds that this doorway [where Ben entered] is not a public doorway. KS rebuffed that statement by saying that he was factually assaulted "all the way down there" (ie far away from the door). KS ended up having a polite conversation with a police Lieutenant, and I listened in just for educational purposes. 

At this point we weren't expecting Ben for at least an hour. So the pap, KS, and KS's disciple leave. I stay in the area but go away from the door. I come back and there's a whole new set of cops. Another grapher also shows up. 

Minutes later we see Ben walk the hallway again! I figure now is the chance since we're just two! The cops crowd on me and his publicist, a big fat female  gets in my face saying no! 

Now it was my turn to get in a spat with the cops. They tell me I can't do that and I say it's a public hallway. After an exchange of words the ring leader of the cops says he can kick me out of the building or I could stay. I told him I choose to stay and he says good choice. Since these were actual cops I kept my cool as much as I could and was polite, which I believe was smart of me. I so wish the other graphers were there cause if we were all there I would have been the least of these cops' worries. 

Time goes by then the ring leader of the cop comes up to me and he said they talked to the publicist and that he wasn't doing any combos with anyone today. Now it was time for another spat. It went something like this.

Me: Whatever the publicist said is never of any relevance to me. I'm going to wait it out and try when it lets out regardless. 

Cops: That's fine, but remember you cannot push or touch anybody. Understood? 

Me: Yes. And that goes both ways, no one can touch me either

At this point the cop has a look of shock in his face at the very smart answer that I gave. 

Cops: Right but if you're blocking a pathway we can arrest you for harassment

Me: When this lets out there will be more graphers that are coming, and some of the crowd that is in the room will be out, I will be the least of your worries at that point

Cops: Is that a threat? Are you threatening? 

Me: How am I threatening anyone? I'm simply stating a fact. You will have plenty more than me to worry about. I know how these things go as I do this across multiple states. 

Cops: Have you ever been arrested doing this? 

Me: No cause I always stay legal, just like I'm legal now on a public hallway. 

I then showed the cops my photo op with Seth Rogan at the airport this morning. 

Cops: That's fine but we are here to protect right now. We have a job to do. 

Me: You have a job to do, and so do I 

Cops: We're going to do our job 

Me: Good luck to you

And this comment enraged them more. 

Me: I'm simply wishing you luck, nothing more. Cause I believe you'll need it when this is done. And it won't be because of me. 

This spat went on for a minute longer till it ended, with more threats by them to eject me from the building. And I essentially stood my ground, very firm but very polite and courteous. This building is not much different than a public library. So I knew what I was doing. 

Not too long after this spat more graphers arrive just as I told them. This made me happy because now they would have more worries than me.

Then I see John McCain again, I whip out a photo I have already signed by Sarah Palin, and ask for him to sign it. He goes "I have no time" but signs it anyway. He did not take my sharpie instead used a black sharpie that he had. 

It was a nice feeling that no matter what happened I at least got a combo with John McCain, by pure chance no less. So my time here would not have been a total waste no matter what. 

Time passes by more, and John McCain comes out again. I had another photo and the disciple of KS had two time magazines. Same routine signs with his black sharpie. 

At that point I was also getting more nervous cause I was stretching the legal limit of how long I can actually park my car (for free). BUT the blasted thing FINALLY ended! At this point cops are scattered. KS and his disciple go into the room, and I follow. The room is crowded but we all get fairly close to Ben. We try and he ignores the three of us. That publicist bitch tells me "we've been through this before" and tells the others no as she pushes away all of us. KS lashes out on her "ok but DON'T TOUCH US"

As Ben prepares to leave through the back of the room KS and his disciple run outside. But I knew that outside the odds would be slim to none. So I attempt again. As he leaves I approach. I put on my best begging/pleading voice and my best begging/pleading face

I will not reveal the words I spoke to him, but what I told him was mostly true and with the said begging/pleading voice/face, it broke him down and switched him from "ignore everyone" mode to "being nice" mode. He responded to what I said then followed it with "to get me to sign your Armageddon photos". He actually SIGNED ONE PHOTO THEN THE SECOND PHOTO!! I shouted a THANK YOU and my reaction was this face

Some bystanders in the room had a chuckle about how the whole thing went, but I didn't care cause I got two items done. I had a third photo but I figure I'd just save that for whenever I see him out and about in the future. 

As I exited the room I, I still held up my 8x10s in hand with the autographs clearly showing. I then went up to the ring leader of the cops and I extended a hand shake to him as I uttered a firm "you have a wonderful day" whilst holding up my signed photos so he could see them. He looks at me with a non animated version of this face  as he ignored my handshake and uttered "thank you, I will have a wonderful day". He then proceeded to the door, and just as I told him earlier, he had a crowd, other graphers, and he was yelling "we need to have this hallway clear" and true to what I said, I was the least of his worries. Not interested in the chaos that was about to ensue, I simply left the building and ran to my car, as I saw no ticket on the windshield 

As I would later find out, Ben did nothing for no one leaving the hallway. 

It should be noted that this "B" is his standard autograph nowadays, but before he used to give a much nicer "B~~A--" as you can see when I got him the first time

Despite the hardships, I consider this a pretty successful day. A first time celebrity meet, a random in John McCain, and some Ben Affleck autographs when all the odds were against me. 

And I actually consider myself as having graduated to another level of combo hunting, because I not only stood my ground against actual police officers, but I did so AND I was successful in getting what I came for. 

In addition to that, I defied a publicist bitch, and I even one upped a Master combo hunter (something one doesn't get to do all the time). 

This truly was my day in all respects