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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

I find your lack of faith disturbing...

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So now you're scratching your heads, trying to figure out how the mind of this Psycho Toddler works. The last post was this angst-ridden plea for wisdom in raising my children on the proper path, and here's a cell from Star Wars. And here we are, days away from Passover.

Well good luck trying to figure it out! You'll get no help from me! Just kidding. I posted this picture because I was Pesach-cleaning. And part of my job is to go through the desk in the kitchen and thin out the piles of paper that have been accumulating all year. And go through the mail that my wife puts there that I never bother to look at. Like an invoice from Computer Geek World Magazine from 1997. And my driver's license renewal form. Usually I get 2/3 of the way down, toss everything out, and then I'm left with stuff that I've kept there year after year. Like my mother's living will. And some transparencies from the Rock of Sages cover shoot.

Or this picture of General Motti from Star Wars. I picked this up in 1999 when I first attended Gen-Con here in Milwaukee. This is a mega-dweeb convention based primarily around Dungeons and Dragons. Over the years it has grown to include not only role playing games, but also SciFi and Fantasy art, movie paraphernalia, and computer games.

At the time, I took my two oldest kids, then 10 and 9. We didn't go to play role-playing games. Mostly to walk around and look at all the weird items and people and soak up the atmosphere. And also to try out some cool computer games that were in development, like the Babylon 5 game that I was supposed to beta test but which was cancelled by Sierra because they thought it wouldn't make any money even though it was shaping up to be the best friggen space game ever but I'm not bitter NO I'M NOT BITT--


Anyway, it was a fun experience. And if you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a total D&D and Sci Fi nerd, so I really got into it. Then out of the corner of my eye, I saw this guy sitting at a table, alone. And instantly I knew who he was. Not because he was some great actor, or had been in a lot of films, or even any recent films. No, I knew this guy like he was a member of my family. Because although we had never met, I had seen this guy literally hundreds of times before.

It was General Motti. No, of course I didn't know his real name. In fact, I still don't. I have to squint real hard at his autograph to figure it out, and then I'll probably have to go to IMDB to spell it. I couldn't believe no one was talking to him. I sidled right up to him and started to shmooze. Of course, as soon as I got close, I knew I was right, because he had a stack of these pictures right next to him. I wasn't nervous at all. I introduced myself, told him I was a big fan of his work, having also seen him in that Space: 1999 episode where he got eaten by that monster. He seemed relieved to have someone to talk to. I asked about what he was up to. He told me that he had been living in England for, oh the last 30 years, and was doing some playwrighting and directing and such. And of course public appearances and autograph signing.

It was about at this point that my two kids turned up. I waved them over. "Look who's here. It's General Motti!" They stared at him. "You know, from Star Wars? 'Don't try to frighten us with your sorcerer's ways, Lord Vader...'" They still stared. I affected a choking pantomime. "I find your lack of faith disturbing..." They obviously recognized him, since no child of mine has reached the age of 2 without seeing Star Wars at least a dozen times.

General Motti tried to break the ice by asking them their names. Then they both looked at me with that he's talking to us expression. I gave up on the kids. I got up to go, and he signed the picture above and gave it to me. I thanked him profusely. Then he told me it would be twenty bucks. I guess I should have anticipated that.

I told him that I'd love to pay him, but I didn't think my wife would react well to my coming home with a $20 picture of General Motti. I tried to give it back. He seemed to have some sympathy for my plight. "Aw, just keep it."

I went back to Gen Con a few years after that. Never saw him again.

Happy Pesach everyone. The Matza will be with you. Always.


yitzi said...

I wish my father would take me to something as exciting as gen-con. All he ever took me to was the Greater New York Dental Meeting. The first time we went he told me there would be lots of drilling and gold. He left out the boredom. I made the most of the situation by gravitating towards the booth where they were introducing the new “male patient distraction system” which was always the latest Sega platform hooked up to a visor so you’d focus on Sonic collecting his rings as opposed to having your oral cavity invaded by people holding shiny sharp objects.
Most of the other stuff going on there was very bland. Of course, Colgate and Crest have very large loud presentations where they give out lots of samples, but the most popular booth was for rubber glove sales. Last year they had three sports stars giving autographs if you made a glove purchase of $1000 or more. My father could not be persuaded. Had it been someone from Star Wars it would have been a different story. Alas, the closest thing we’ve come to would be seeing Dustan Hoffman kiss someone on Columbus Avenue last year. He was in Star Wars, right? :)
The only other good thing about the dental meeting was collecting samples. My family has not bought floss, toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, fluoride, or any other oral health care product since we started going to these things.
Why is it no one else commented on this post? I’ve never posted before, but it has Star Wars content must be supported. (BTW, I salute you for christening your HDTV in the proper way. Can I come over?) Maybe mentioning Babylon 5 turned people away…though I am currently reevaluating B5 in light of your opinion. It can’t reach Stargate SG1 status, but I am trying to keep an open mind.
Admiral Motti came up over shabbos in trivial pursuit – “Who informed Moff Tarkin that they had reached the Alderaan system?” I got it right.

PsychoToddler said...

Those dentists sure know how to have a good time.

BTW there used to be comments here, but they were all in Haloscan and they expired.