Edinburgh Jaunts: Part One (An Addendum)

August 17, 2010

In my previous post I said I would explain what happened upon meeting John Green following his talk at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, so here it is. Nerds, please go easy on me.

I’ve been watching the VlogBrothers since Brotherhood 2.0 kicked off, back when Hank first uploaded Accio Deathly Hallows and it was featured. Even as my YouTube interests shifted to other users, I knew I could always go back to the brothers Green. So, I was still pretty excited to meet John. But I have to say, I was a little disappointed.
Woah, step back there, Nerdfighters of the Internet. I know how much you love your king. Let me elaborate.

I loved his talk. He was funny, charming and connected well with his audience. But, bearing in mind I’d travelled a fair distance, I wanted meeting him to be amazing. And I’m sure it was, for pretty much everyone else in the venue. I spoke a lovely girl called Amy who was in front of me in the queue and she was so freaking nervous about talking to John. As another of my YouTube amigos (name-dropping) told me, he too has met one (or both, I’m not sure – either way, there was a Katherine there too) of the Green brothers. He said they were just like normal people, and I found this hard to believe. Normal people? No, surely they were Internet gods and they radiated awesome from their eyeballs, don’t be so ridiculous.

Turns out, homeboy (no.) was right.

When it was John’s birthday, Hank wanted to make him a bobblehead of his own likeness. Turns out, you have to order a minimum of 500, so the remaining batch of 499 were put on sale. Anything limited edition, I have to have, so I bought one. I thought it’d be cool to have John sign himself, so I took that along, as well as my copy of Paper Towns.

When I got to the front of the queue, I was excited and nervous. I’ve met a few famous people before, but I wasn’t sure if this would be different, as he isn’t really famous through conventional means. For example, in an earlier blog post, I explained how I met the comedian Dara O’Briain, who was a positively lovely and charming man. He shook my hand, we had some banter, and he looked at me as a proper person and an equal he could have a chat with.

Now, John Green on the other hand… Look, I think he’s a good writer, and I love how he portrays himself on video. Thing is, as nit-picky and boring as this sounds, manners are really important to me. I don’t want a celebrity to look down at me, or be rude, especially if I’ve been a fan of theirs for a long time. Unfortunately, that’s exactly how I felt. John didn’t actually ever even look me in the eye. This is how the conversation went:
Me: Hi!
JG: Hey, thanks for coming. Oh, you’ve got a bobblehead, thank you for bringing that.
He then held the bobblehead in front of his face, shook it around a bit, whilst shaking his own head about. I see wut he did thar.
Me: Yeah, would you mind signing yourself? I’ve got a pen here, I don’t know if that’ll work.
JG: Yeah, that should be perfect.
At this point a member of staff from the event remarked on how cool the bobblehead was, and he proceeded to explain what I’ve just mentioned, about how you needed to order 500 as a minimum etc. During this he had signed both my bobblehead and my book, and as I looked at him to thank him for that, he’d already looked away and seemingly ignored my thanks.

This sounds like I’m being unnecessarily harsh and critical. I felt the amount of John Green love that was going down that day, and I have no doubts that he’s really a nice person. I can only say how I felt after the event, and if that illicits any sort of negative response, I can’t really apologise. So there you are, citizens of the Internet. Judge me harshly.


One Response to “Edinburgh Jaunts: Part One (An Addendum)”

  1. Andrew said

    I met both of them, and The Katherine. Honestly, if you get all three of them in a room, she’s the best deal, because nobody talks to her so you can talk to her for longer and she’s just as interesting as the other two. I glanced at the next post (or, I suppose, I’ve been glancing at it for nearly a year now), his points don’t surprise me. The lines of fawning teens are overwhelming to stand in, let alone be at the receiving end of them. But still, he should be used to it by now, since it was that way when I saw him in 2008.

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