Well, perhaps not “vs” per se. He was too startled to put up much of a fight.
From the Archive and North Country Public Radio‘s website, and more or less another lifetime. Pictures and nicer formatting will have to wait till tomorrow, but will be provided. Sorry, no Speedo shot. Warning: I believe this one tops out at 23,000 words. Get yourself a drink. While you’re up, get me one too.
February 27, 2003: Tripping
Viggo Mortensen, the actor best known for his role as Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings movies, returned to his native North Country to open an exhibition of photographs and read poetry at his alma mater, St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. As soon as the trip was announced, fans of Viggo (and all things middle-earthly) began to plan an invasion. The following account was written by a fan from Vancouver known as Evil Elf.
There are so many reasons this trip is impossible. So many GOOD reasons. It IS impossible. But of course that has no bearing on the situation whatsoever; we are dealing with Americans here.
So here I am in the Vancouver International Airport, on my way. Clearly, however impossible the trip is, it is more impossible NOT to go. It is certainly impossible to change the mind of a Connecticutite once it is made up, that I know for sure.
It’s all Ara‘s fault. Ara short for Aragrothien. Ara, like me, is a Viggofan. Should I back up a bit? No, why should you be any less confused than me, eh? So Ara, who lives in Connecticut, got talking to some of the other Viggo Mortensen fans on the fanbase, www.viggofanbase.com/modules/news, and she, dragonlady, gubydal, pandora, you know, that lot, well they are on their way right now to Canton, New York to see Viggo. He’s doing a big booksigning and art show and suchlike at his old alma mater, Saint Lawrence University. And these ladies decided amongst themselves and for God knows what reason that their trip would not be complete without the presence of Evil Elf herself.
That would be me.
Now ordinarily it’s just not to hard to get me out to meet a man who paints, writes, takes photographs, and acts well; it is even easier when he is tall, blond, blue-eyed, handsome and single.
Gotta dash, more later!
Evil Elf, Vancouver BC
President and CEO
Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow!
Evil Elf the One and Only
The Nubby Kanuck
Viggo’s Athletic Supporter
February 27, 2003: Tripping II
The sad fact is that Canton, New York, is on the opposite side of the continent, in a foreign country, and I have not two pennies to rub together at the moment. Also, when the idea occurs to the ladies it is Monday. The events are Saturday. At this point airfare would be about $1200. so you can see those reasons, the reasons that it is not possible for me to take this trip.
Ah, but the Americans…
Once I make my reasoning clear it immediately becomes irrelevant. So I don’t have any money! So what! Ara asks for a grand total. I laugh and say that my father used to work for the airlines so he MIGHT on a good day be able to get me a standby ticket for $60. With meals, buses, phonecalls, and whatever I figure $200-300 Canadian. Ara does some quick math that includes the equation 10 pilgrims times twenty bucks apiece equals Evil Elf!
This is getting out of hand. It must be stopped. So, to prove how very, very impossible this is, I go to Mapquest and type in Canton New York. Figure I can show her how remote it is and that should take care of this arguement once and for all. I hit ENTER. I stare in amazement: Canton is right across the river from my aunt’s house in Prescott. In all likelihood, my aunt can see Canton from her house.
Foolishly, I send Ara a quick “gee, wouldn’t it be nice if” email.
So that’s how I found myself wandering the seedy part of Granville Street well after dark, looking for the Western Union office. Oh yes, while I am there picking up the money Ara wired me I also pick up fifty dollars from a friend of mine, who wants me to buy one of Viggo’s poetry books and get it signed for her. I won’t be able to afford my own, but the way this trip is going I expect to just walk up and say, “Hi Viggo, I’m Evil and I’m really poor: can I have some free books?” Hey, you just never know.
My father misunderstood my “Hey dad, do you think you could look into a cheap fare from Vancouver to Ottawa” and has gone ahead and made an uncancellable reservation. I myself have many reservations, but it does begin to look like I’m going. And I have an email from my sister: that weekend is my Gramma’s 88th birthday. So I will be in town for the party.
Have I mentioned how weird this all is? Well it is.
So here I am at the airport. I’m an hour later than I should be because of the stupid bus. What is it with them? Can they tell it’s me waiting and duck down side streets to avoid me? What did I ever do to them? I always thank the drivers for letting me out the front doors and I never consume food or beverages aboard bus.
There is quite a sizeable throng of silent, wizened old Chinese people gathered around by the time the bus pulls up. As soon as the doors open it’s like a party started; all the faces light up, people start chatting and holding elbows, large gestures are made, and a Native fellow tips his cowboy hat to me. We all conga aboard and are off to Richmond and the airport.
Wow, you know, three hours of sleep just isn’t quite enough. Things begin to go strange on me.
There is a certain phase of sleep deprivation that is positively hallucinogenic, and that’s just where I am now. This trip has put me in touch with some wonderful people from all over, but the last phonecall I take from them every night is around 4am, and then the calls start up again around 8. This has gone on all week and I would at this point happily dig up Alexander Graham Bell and ream him out if I had the energy, which I do not. But things look very pretty as I sit and watch the ceiling move up and down, which it is not doing. My watch isn’t crawling either, but that, also, is fun to watch.
On the plane, somehow. Window seat, Yay! We taxi, rumble down the runway, take off and wheel around, giving me the tourist’s dream panorama of Vancouver and the North Shore mountains, then the Georgia Straight and the Gulf Islands. The sunset on the water is golden, no, yellow and dull, like old brass. The water itself is pewter and cold-looking. From up here it looks like ice, thick and clouded, with the islands frozen like pebbles in a winter puddle. I see Active Pass, through which enormous ferries make their way; how tiny it seems. We wing away.
Baker, my Mount Fuji. It appears under the wing of the plane, sudden and unmistakable. Its foothills, true mountains really, cluster close, flanks wrapped in puffy cloud eiderdowns, while above floats Mount Baker, mystic volcano beloved of snowboarders. When you see Baker you realize that God made the other mountains as a warmup. I think I can make out a face on the crest, and old, sad Native face.
I think I need a nap.
It’s sunset and between the dull brass glow of the sunlight, the crimson bands of cloud, bright turquoise sky and rows of long, low islands, the whole world in its glorious bands of colour looks like nothing IN the world so much as a seventies T-shirt. Only, like, with the glory of God on it and all.
I could really use some sleep.
Hey, I just noticed some buttons on the armrest. Stereo channel buttons, volume buttons, light buttons, and one with a little stick figure of a man on it. One with the same figure, only with the red line through it. Maybe the first button is for when you get a little…lonely…and you press it and a man comes over. And when you’re finished with him you press the other one and he goes away. That would be a full-service airline. Wonder if Virgin has thought of that…no, obviously not.
I think I need to sleep.
President and CEO
Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow!
Evil Elf the One and Only
The Nubby Kanuck
Viggo’s Athletic Supporter
March 1 , 2003: Sisters of the Divine Disorder of Saint Viggo on an Unholy Pilgrimage
I will leave Friday out of it entirely. The only really important things about Friday are that once again I manage less than four hours sleep and that I miss the Opening of Viggo’s Signlanguage show at SLU, even though they have a ticket for me. I can’t get a ride to Canton in time. Grrrrrrrrrrrr. But it’s fine. I’m okay. It’s all good, right? Bloody hell.
So it’s Saturday morning. A nice, juicy five hours of sleep last night has left me just exactly as refreshed and perky as you expect.
English is becoming difficult, which is not to imply that it is my second language, no indeed. At least I was woken up in my favorite way, which is by the words “Coffee’s ready!” Two cups and one shower later I’m ready to go. Janie pulls up and my sister, who is a steady type of person and not one to fly across the continent on a sudden whim at the urgeing of strangers, immediately jumps up and writes down the make and model and license of the car, as well as noting a description of the driver and passenger. I forget to ask for their real names. My sister and I take a different approach to life. Janie has brought a “chaperone” who is not a Viggo fan, much less a crazed Internet personage such as myself, for purposes of balance and also because she is going in the same direction. She seems like a steady sort of person, not the kind to go all Tony Robbins on us.
We drive out of Ottawa in a peasoup fog and get on the 416, talking about Internet acquaintances who communicate only in Elvish (Quenya not Tengmar, ’cause Tengmar sux!) and familiarize the chaperone with the Viggo filmography. I explain that I have promised Chelle I would lick his neck. Chelle says if he resists to just say it is for the starving orphans in Iraq. Once the screams from the front seats die down I explain that I was lying when I made the promise. Even for a Canadian I’m a little uptight; my own mother used to tell me to loosen up and get out more. There is a less than zero chance I’ll be licking any Americans this weekend.
If I were organized I would never have made this trip. I only began to consider it because I remembered my aunt lived in Prescott, practically across the river from Canton. As I hurtle southwards, I realize that this is not the case at all. My aunt has NEVER lived in Prescott. My aunt lives in Pembroke, about as far North from Ottawa as Prescott is South. My mistake. Oh well, I’m here now. Somehow I get the feeling Kesey would be proud. Or maybe Alice or the rabbit.
We cross the border on a long, nasty bridge made of some gridlike material. Guess neither country wanted to spring for a road or solid bridge when they’d only get half credit, so the surface is some kind of mesh that wobbles the car from side to side. The border guard is a perky mass of blonde ringlets; we explain that we are going down to visit friends, which is true and also handy as none of us wants to explain that we are Sisters of the Divine Disorder of Saint Viggo on an Unholy Pilgrimage. It would just put the poor woman on the spot and nobody wants to do that, particularly as she has a handgun. I am reminded of the prevalence of handguns in the States, and resolve to be less offensive than usual. Wonder how long that’ll last.
We make a quick pitstop at Janie’s sister-in-law’s. The woman has our tickets, which she has left in an envelope in the mailbox; also tucked in there are a bunch of clippings from local papers, about Viggo and, strangely, about us. Seems we scared some of the locals when the group drove to Canton for the tickets. If memory serves, the quote goes, “They were really organized. There was this one with a clipboard. It was kind of intimidating.” The locals claimed to be doing this on a lark, but what kind of lark gets girls out in a blizzard at four in the morning on a Saturday? And, funny, it was just girls. Well, that’s okay. The locals we had not intimidated to that point must certainly have been frightened by the article, which went on to quote extensively from the Fanbase, including Ara’s sigfile: “Sister Aragrothien, the erotic baker, who wishes to show St. Viggo her hot buns.” She would be so proud.
We drive past the turnoff for the restaurant we are all meeting at, but manage to figure it out before hitting Florida, and turn around in the parking lot of the Burger King. I know they carried FOTR figurines, and try to coax Janie into going in and asking for an Aragorn. We lay down rubber on our way out; guess that would be a no.
At the restaurant the waitress says there is a large group in the back room, so we trundle back room ward, only to be stopped by a senior-looking waitress with her arms out wide, not in welcome. “Are you Presbyterians?” she asks, implying that if you are not, you had better take your trade elsewhere, there is to be NO BACK ROOM FOR YOU TODAY! We, alas, are not Presbyterian, nor even desire to be, so we go to the front room and look around. Nobody we recognize, no tables full of women, just a bunch of retired farmers and their wives and some families. We nab a table and sit down. After awhile a timid-looking waitress comes over and says, ‘I think that may be your group in the back room after all.’ We explain that we are not Presbyterians, not even slightly, and I may even be Catholic on my father’s side. She seems to think we are alright for all that, and leads us to the sanctum sanctorum.
L-R front row, Pandora, Gubydal, Viggo_Is_Gorgeous, Debi. Second row, Janie, Rocky-T, Dragonlady, Aragrothien, Evil Elf and V.I.G.’s fiance, Brian. Photo courtesy of Aragrothien.
It is us. We are they. There are no Presbyterians in sight, just about fourteen crazy women, one husband and a fiancee. As a group, we are pretty presentable if no spring chickens, except for Sister Viggo is Gorgeous, who can only be described as gorgeous, damn her! At least she has the decency to be engaged. Dragonlady turns out to be an executive type, immaculately turned out. Aragrothien reminds me of nothing so much as a controlled nuclear reaction, except maybe for an uncontrolled nuclear reaction. Will have to re-evaluate my stereotype of Connetticutions; obviously, New England is less buttoned-down than I thought. Gubydal and Debi are as alike as two black cats, tiny and delicate, sleek and alert. Pandora is the youngest, and she is very quiet, though perhaps somewhat tuckered out, having driven since three or so in the morning to make it here. We play the “I am more exhausted and freaked out than you” game for awhile and I was so exhausted and freaked out that I forget who won. I do remember that the waitress who brought us to the back is the one who serves us, and that she spends a positively inordinate amount of time futzing with the cups and the computer and straightening many, many things around the room. Could it be that she finds our little chat…intriguing? Intimidating? Freaking weird? Guilty on all counts. Steph, the Mother Inferior of the Disorder, could not make it but sends along enough cash to buy brunch. We leave the tip (well, the others do. I am so bright I have forgotten that they don’t likely take Canadian cash, and have not gotten any US. Not that I have any money anyway, but then they knew I was a charity case when they took me on) and we get in our cars and we go.
We go to SLU, which we find out quickly is not pronounced “Ess ell you” but “Slew” like Seattle. Oh, now we feel like such insiders! We park our cars in the lot and our butts in seats in the lobby of the building whose name I forget if I ever knew it but has all the Viggo signs and security people and so must be the right one. It’s a pretty campus, what I can see of it, with pilasters and brickwork and a steeple or two around the place. We essentially take over the lobby. The gallery is through one door and the pub through another and the theatre for the poetry reading opens right into the lobby in front of our chairs. Ain’t no-one getting in ahead of us, baby!
Janie, Chaperone and I have yet to see the art, so we head into the gallery after securing the lobby for the Fanbase. This means we placed our coats on the seats, but I am loathe to give up intimidating the locals: it was fun and we were good at it. After securing the lobby, we mobilize and deploy troops to the gallery. Okay, here the metaphor will be ruthlessly abandoned, both because it clashes with the antiwar message of much of the art and also because I wish to give an impression of ruthlessness too.
The outer gallery, which is really just a hallway, shows the work of Tom Tomorrow. I am a big Tom Tomorrow fan, and spend mucho time with my nose up against the glass, nodding and dimpling if not quite laughing outloud because I am, as I said, repressed even for a Canadian. I am also extremely nearsighted; trust me, this is not a non-sequiter. A group of people comes out of the main gallery and brushes past me on their way out. The others later inform me that this was Viggo, his mother, and his step-father. I resolve to become less interested in art. Curse you, Tom Tomorrow!!!!!
Back in the lobby we are seized upon by the media. This means that Mike and Cathy from The One Ring. Net have asked for and recieved an interview. Dragonlady obliges and speaks intelligently and with admirable calm for some time on the topic of Viggo. Not a giggle in sight. Then the intrepid media team explain that they are also working on a documentary of Ring fans, modelled after “Trekkies” but a little kinder, to be called “Ringers.” They would like to do another interview for this project, so we all sort of swarm in and try to look respectable and intimidating to locals but not to Danish-Ameerican movie stars. It is difficult to pull off, and I, at least, settle for trying to look like I’m not under a restraining order.
I manage to explain how the others brought me here, and also manage to totally blow my cover by talking about what I post to the Fanbase. Oh well, perhaps I’ll become famous. They get a kick out of how respectable we actually are, and how juvenile we enjoy being on the Web. Ara and I also show our bracelets. Did I tell you this part? No? Well here comes:
Tamariel, another organized person like Dragonlady, and one who always dresses as if she is not travelling but making an important presentation to many similarly respectable people, has made us all different-coloured beaded bracelets with the word “Viggo” in them. They are beautiful and handmade and I cannot believe she went to all that trouble, but she did. So we show our bracelets and talk to TORN and our bracelets are important later. Right now all you need to know is that one woman from the Fanbase is MIA and so we have an extra.
Cathy wants to get a shot of us all, I guess because they don’t have middleaged women where she comes from, and so we pose nicely in the lobby. Then one of us, I don’t remember which, but obviouly the smart one, hands her a camera and asks her to take on on that. There is a stampede of cameras and I figure if Cath made a break for the door right now she could make a couple of thousand dollars easy selling them all on eBay, but she is nice and settles down and takes a couple of hundred pictures of us all. Mike comes back from the bathroom and sees this scene and at that point realizes that this is a different type of crowd. Bemused dimples appear in his cheeks. We are putting the media to work for us!!! Yes, any evil genius knows that controlling the media is an important part of any world domination plan. Sorry, regressing to Internet identity. Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow!
Eventually we are herded into the auditorium; actually, the Fanbase kind of stampedes albeit with great dignity and at a walking pace, but with elbows out so nobody tries to pass us. We get most of the two front rows, which is about as perfect for a nearsighted person at a poetry reading as you are going to get, and dead centre. Did the nice radio folks leave my Canadian spellings intact? “Centre?”
Just wondering. And now back to our regularly scheduled diary…
Many of the women here have taken to heart the info that Viggo is heterosexual. I look like I’m sitting in the middle of a bowling ball rack. From onstage he is guaranteed to get an eyeful. Suddenly I’m glad that I didn’t wear my Victoria’s Secret bodysuit, however cute it may be. Like I said, Canadian.
Ara has lost her bracelet. This is a major, major drama. We search the front row, we prostrate ourselves in front of the staff, we beg for help and they promise to help look for it. Must have fallen off in the stampede, dammit, and it is not to be found anywhere. Ara is upset until Tamariel points out that she still has purplepant’s, and hands it over. It is soft pastel and silver, in her birthstone colour, and looks great with Ara’s outfit. It fits better, too.
Crisis is averted. After about 15 more minutes of waiting (apparently promptness is not a particularly Viggian quality) we look over and notice the security guy, who looks like he was fairly intimidating back in the sixties, wearing a peculiar expression and dangling something sparkly from one meaty finger. It proves to be the missing bracelet. Ara decides she prefers the new one, but now we have to decide what to do with this. It is agreed by all that purplepants has forfieted bigtime, she still owes her pal much cash for expenses and she seems to have simply bailed. So some brilliant person, perhaps the same one who put Cathy to work, suggests that we pass it back to Viggo’s mother, who is sitting a couple of rows behind us. We do: we call her name and explain about the bracelet, say we’d like her to have this one. She is gracious and sweet and seemed to like it, which is no wonder as it is really quite a nice little bracelet. And one can assume she is a Viggo fan as well.
Viggo Mortensen setting up for poetry reading. Photo courtesy of Aragrothien.
The University President introduces Viggo and we can see that, while the man will never make a living giving speeches, he is genuinely proud of this alumnus, and enormously pleased that all these people are so happy to be here. He introduces Viggo and polite but repectable applause breaks out. We got over screaming when Hall and Oates were still together. I really don’t remember much of the reading. I never do remember those “live in the moment” moments, but I do remember that he has trouble finding his own poems in his own books and that the audience helpfully yells “which one do you need?” flourishing any number of his books, and that he says that’s allright. He explains that he’d be even more of a basketcase without Pilar Perez, who works at Perceval Press, his publishing house. From what I see at the signing it’s true, but more of that later.
Gotta love a man who can’t dress himself. It’s a nice enough suit, with nothing spilled on it, but it is a grey suit with a dark pinstripe and he is wearing it with an olive green shirt, grey ragg socks, and poo-brown shoes that are scuffed to hell. His socks don’t stay up, and one pointy shirt collar is out of the suit while the other is tucked in. He’s also so softspoken that I am sitting six feet in front of the guy and can’t always make out what he’s saying, even after they turn on the mike.
The reading goes on for twice as long as it was supposed to and we want it to go on for twice as much longer. Pandora cries when he reads in Spanish, although I gotta say that it was not exactly a lyrical piece; something about pooping like a monkey in the jungle.
Believe me, though, everything sounds better in Spanish.
President and CEO
Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow!
(6/11/03 5:35 am)
Reply | Edit Re: Evil Elf’s SLU Report
Part Four is it four? I thought it was still three. FOUR!
March 1 , 2003: The Scaring of Viggo
Here’s a nice juicy piece of gossip for ya!
My married pal is a very nice woman, very dignified and refined. I couldn’t stand it and turned her on to Viggo. She went for it in a big way!!!! Let’s just say that for her birthday she got two framed Aragorn posters and an action figure(!!!) She informs me that their marital statistics are 20 in 18 days! Her husband is so grateful that he bought me four packages of gourmet chocolate, including two bags of LARGE NUTS. They are both very tired but happy. See, Viggo Fan Base does wonders for a marriage!
Here is a live post that I made on a school computer from the back of the room at SLU.
Evil Elf here in Canton, New York, reporting live from a Viggo event: we are waiting for Viggo to come down and introduce FOTR.
He’s late. We’re exhausted. It’s fine.
Viggo was great at the poetry reading. You will be happy to hear that Aragrothien and I were seated at crotch level. Quite an eyeful!
AAAAAAhhhh *faint* speedos…
At the signing Ara grabbed an ex-girlfriend of his and asked point-blank “Boxers or briefs?” and the reply was a long pause, followed by “Uh, speedos. Swim team, you know.”
Gotta go back to my seat now. Oh yeah, I’m also reporting a diary for NCPR. Dont’ have time to look for it now, but maybe you can find it out there.
BTW, the only reason I’m here is that the girls decided they needed me here and they SENT ME SEVERAL HUNDRED DOLLARS to fly out. So here we all are.
We scare the locals. We scare me
And here is a typical response from the Fanbase members
From: olderwoman Re: Greetings from SLU! are you REALLY there evil one?
If so, we want both versions of the events.
Ah, she is referring to my famous “Dirty Versions of Scripts” wherein I leave Viggo’s lines along and make everyone else’s really perverted. Classics of the drama, every one and my only regret is that I will never hear Christopher Walken utter the immortal line “Drop your pants, you screaming hottie!” Unless his agent gets a sensa huma!!
Back to me again, live from the theatre.
Well Celeborn is blathering on in the background so I can type. Who gives a rat’s ass about him, he was three grades behind me in school and always had a gross crush on Glorfindel, but then we all did.
I told some of the stories I am going to tell you , but not in such detail:
Figurine of Boromir
Back at the screening I went into the chat room on the computer while Boromir was taking some arrows (great death scene, but I know how it ends) and got busted by Timberley, our SLU contact, who came in late and sat right at the back where there hadn’t been anyone, then came over after awhile to say “that’s really distracting” and ask us to shut down, so we turned the monitor off so it looked like I shut it down. Waited for her to go. We are veddy veddy sneaky. By the time she left we were too pooped to post, and just went back to the hotel!
Last post from SLU: Evil has to go or her ride will leave without her and she will be stuck at SLU all night.
More responses from the Fanbase women who were not Pilgrims:
from Chelle OMV Evil, [editor’s note: OMV means “Oh My Viggo!”] did you really scare the poor man???!! Or was it when you grabbed him and licked his neck how I asked you to??!! Or when you told him of the underground convent and how there were hundreds of Sisters waiting to service him???? That’s alright tho, he has every right to fear the Evil One, we all know you rule… And did you manage to get under the table as we discussed? [this remark is too dirty to explain and no, I didn’t] Anyway, hope you’re having a blast, can’t wait for the whole story when you get home!
Gubydal actually gave Viggo’s mom and stepfather a ride to the Noble Center appearance, where he is introducing FOTR. She was driving the van and got a little lost on campus and eventually ran into them. They were walking on the far side of campus, and were never ever going to make it on time, so Gubydal pulled up and Dragonlady rolled down the window and asked if they were going to the Noble Center and they said yes, they were going to the screening. DL asked if they would like a ride, and they would, apparently. They were very grateful, as the walk had sort of gotten away from them as walks will tend to do when time is tight. Once they are well strapped in Gubydal remarks, “Your son looks very tired tonight. He’s had a long day,” and his mother says, “How did you know who we were?” I suppose at this point she might be starting to regret accepting the hospitality of these respectable-looking ladies, but she does not make a break for it or anything as they explain that they are those weird Fanbase ladies who have been to all the events and have seen them with Viggo innumerable times by now. They thank the Fanbase women very nicely when they get to the Noble Center. Of course, his mother IS in possession of the bracelet we made, so perhaps she does not fear a Stephen King moment after all.
Viggo signing Aragrothien’s book. Photo courtesy Aragrothien
Now the story of the signing. Being in the front rows of the theatre we were the last out to the hallway, and were well back for the book signing, dammit!!! The staff which were really students passed out little index cards on which you were supposed to write what you wanted Viggo to write in your book, and the rule was you could only get one thing signed. We knew Viggo has a habit of ignoring rules like this and generally distained the little index cards: so UnViggian!
We spent three or more hours in the lineup. You’ve seen one academic hallway, you’ve seen them all, and this one didn’t even have Calvin and Hobbes cartoons on the doors. A great academic tradition falls by the wayside. So we hung around for interminable hours but one or two things did liven up the experience.
Some of the people who’d gotten their books signed went past us to get to their cars, and we would ask to see what they had. One woman’s book said “Nice to see you again” and of course we asked about this. Her pal told us she was one of Viggo’s ex-girlfriends and Aragrothien, being a total shrinking violet, immediately asked, “Okay, honey! One question: boxers or briefs?”
She looked stunned for a moment. Then she laughed. Then her laugh became wicked and she said, “Speedos. Swim team, you know!” And of course we all fell about laughing at ourselves!
Another response from the fanbase:
from Eowyn Reborn AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAhhhhhhhhhhhhhh *faint* speedos…
The local tart contingent had turned out as a group: I don’t think I’ve ever seen a skirt that is actually forty inches wide and only six inches long. You could actually see this woman’s underwear and butt cheeks. Her extensively highlighted friend was in a full-length leather coat with a rabbit fur lining. Honestly, rabbit is SO over. And there were many, many bosoms being tanned under the fluorescents that day. Glad I didn’t wear the infamous bodysuit but stuck with the wholesome-looking polarfleece, even if I was roasting.
Ara got a brilliant idea and whipped out her cellphone. She fired up the web browser and managed to get on the Fanbase, though she could not sign in or see who else was there. Still, quite exciting and almost really neat. Hey, we were in that line for a long time! We were starved for entertainment!
It was fun watching the kidlets. They would run up to the door, run back to their parents, run back up to the door, show Aragorn how they can put their foot behind their head, and run back to their parents. They were probably exhausted and unconscious by the time their turn came.
And we finally got up to the door. They were letting people in one at a time, but we are so famous and dazzlingly glamorous or maybe just polite and not dangerous-looking that they let Rocky go ahead with the video camera and let us go in as a group, though we went up to Viggo one at a time; then we went over and stood behind Rocky, so she got all of us, YAY! And the woman taking the ticket was one smart cookie: instead of putting nasty sharpie pen across the front, where Viggo’s face was, she drew a happy face on the back. Americans are so perky!
Dragonlady walked up and Viggo offered her a chocolate. Damn, will have to study the videotape to see what the clever girl did to deserve that. Aragrothien was thinking, up to the very last minute, of showing Viggo how she can tie a cherry stem in a knot with her tongue; we timed her at six seconds, very impressive! But in the end she settled for getting her books signed. Viggo_is_Gorgeous presented him with the fanbook, a book of contributions from people all over the world. Sixty-five pages of poetry, photographs, drawings and stories as well as the Viggonary, a dictionary of words with “Viggo” in them. My contribution was the word “Mortenfication” the feeling you experience when Viggo recognizes who you really are on the Fanbase. He took the book very seriously, placed his hand on it and said, “I will treasure it.” V_I_G managed not to faint, and saw that while he put most presents on the floor he kept this one beside him. Tamariel got her book signed and chatted with him about the country around where she is from, which he knows well. Then she said, “Just one book?” showing him the little one she had picked up for her son, and he said, “I can do that one too,” and he did, so she was a very happy woman.
Then it was my turn. I think I scared him.
The Scaring of Viggo
Evil Elf intimidating Viggo.
I don’t know what I did. I’m too small to be physically intimidating. I didn’t show my fangs or anything. I brushed my teeth. I showered that morning. I just waited kindly in the book signing lineup for my turn and generously let Pilar Perez, Viggo’s partner at Perceval Press, cut in ahead of me to talk to Viggo for a second: see what a sweetie Evil is? Pilar was explaining her plot to make the line move faster, which in fact it sorely needed. Or maybe she walked up and said, “Oh my god, Viggo, it’s Evil Elf! She may be armed!” That would explain things.
Then I walked up and smiled and as I did he pushed himself away from the table a good two feet and his eyes got QUITE large. He didn’t actually make a break for it, but looked as if he might try any second. I shook his hand and introduced myself (no, not as Evil Elf. I didn’t want to terrify him altogether! I used the name my alien leaders have given me) and he calmed down a little but didn’t get any closer to the table. Then I said, “first things first, this is an invitation to the Surrey International Writer’s Conference. Surrey International Writer’s ConferenceWe are really interested in Poetry this year and we have NO presenters lined up, so we would be honoured if you would come out for it. It’s a great conference.” And his mouth dropped open and he gawked a bit and then he took the envelope from my hands and said “thank you” and put it on the table in front of himself. Then I gave him a book for a friend of mine, and he signed it to her. As for the little index card, he looked at it, ignored it and wrote his own little message to her. Then he signed my program and I said, “I really hope you come out this fall; it’s a great conference!” and then Pilar came up behind me and gave him Janie’s book to sign and my turn was over. I noticed that after I moved away he moved his chair back closer to the table.
What did I DO?
After he signed all the books he cut outside for a smoke or a walk or something; according to Pandora he slipped on the ice, nearly fell into her, and actually fell into desperategames. I resolve to hang around icy patches if he ever comes here: may require renting a Zamboni.
Tickets to the events, with the ticket to the signing turned over to show the happyface that the girl drew so she did not desecrate the face of the Saint!
Then we all broke for dinner in the pub. I don’t think you can call it a pub if it is a dry campus, but it wasn’t my call. Looked like a cafeteria to me. Dragonlady bought me dinner. And we had a good time chatting and wishing we could just take our brains out and put them in blanket-lined boxes for some alone-time.
Louise_The_FerretLady plunked down into a chair beside us at dinner and introduced herself as “Ferretlady.” Now, in any other context or on any other day that would seem…odd. That day, however, it seemed perfectly natural, so we welcomed her and enjoyed a lovely meal. Turns out she is not particularly a Viggo fan but was there for some other reason and got chatting to some Fanbasers who invited her to sit with us in the pub. She runs a ferret rescue program, which she told us all about and very interesting it was, too. And now she is on the Fanbase!
Guess what they had as a special in the cafeteria? Saint Burgers! Perhaps for Saint Lawrence but probably, yes, very very probably for Saint Viggo. Naturally. I made a very crude remark about the special sauce, for which I am still doing penance, but they were tasty! And we all ate at least one!
We had tickets for the second screening, which started fifteen minutes after the first one and was in the basement. We lined up early and were again among the first people there, so we got in the front row. Viggo was, again, not on time but that was okay as by this point we got an enormous amount of pleasure just by sitting down rather than standing in line.
Eventually Viggo manifested, and we were all in our seats by then. He was intro’d by the head of the drama department, who has a terribly dry, Bob Newhart sense of humour. Takes you a minute to figure out he’s joking.
Then Viggo walked up, smiling at the audience. He made eye contact with me and WAVED at me. I know I was not hallucinating because Ara nearly killed me. “Did he just WAVE at you?!?!?!?!?!” So it really happened. He paid no further attention to me except to make eye contact a couple of times, and then beat it out of there with his family. It would have been nice to have talked to him about the writer’s conference, but he high-tailed it outta there with his family. I don’t expect he had eaten since fairly early. The reading was at two, and he had no chance since then to grab a bite except the chocolate in the signing. He scored tons of chocolate and I hardly resent at all the fact that he offered some to Dragonlady and not Evil Elf. I’m SO over that! There was a fellow at SLU who has a French Canadian name, though he is American. During the screening he was standing at the back telling this story:
Viggo was surrounded by a crowd of about thirty screaming women (according to this guy) and there was this guy just standing there, being quiet, so Viggo chatted with him. As soon as the fellow introduced himself Viggo recognized that it was a French Canadian, not a French, name, remarked on that, and began speaking to him in French. He went on for about fifteen minutes. Which was unfortunate, as the guy does not actually understand French, but being genetically Canadian was too polite to interrupt!
http://www.shattered-moonlight.net/viggo/daytwo.html (This is the report of Viggo_is_Gorgeous, who is, as I have mentioned, gorgeous herself.)
She had the decency to bring her fiancé along, or we would have messed her up quite a lot before letting her anywhere near Viggo. At the gallery opening, which I missed, he walked up to Viggo, touched his pendant (which remark you can take any way you like) and asked about it; Viggo told him it was a Thor’s hammer. So V_I_G’s fiancé has touched his hammer. Which you can also take any way you like. Then he asked where the “Nine” was tattooed, and Viggo said it was on his shoulder and would have shown him except that he was wearing a suit. So??? Peel off…sorry, reverting to Internet ID for a sec.
Also at the gallery there was a hair on his jacket that everyone noticed and wanted to pull off, but didn’t dare. Oh well, if I’d been there I woulda still been too nearsighted to see my chance. Also, given the usual state of my clothes people would have been picking dog hair off me, and I haven’t had a dog in eight months!
Mother Inferior has seen the pix of Viggo looking at me and she has already reserved a spot in the wedding party. I can hardly wait to find out what our children’s names are! She says that is not fear but love and I asked, “So there’s a difference?” If he comes up here in October she has volunteered to pay for a makeover for me and a towncar for the two of us so that nobody else need ever ride with him, and also to cover the rental on a cosy coastal cabin, for a getaway after the conference. She is a wonderful woman but she is beginning to frighten me. It hardly seems fair to poor Viggo, this trap, but she is a southern Femme Fatale and I am just a humble Canadian, and one clad in polarfleece at that! What do I know of such matters? May take her up on it, though: I could use a few days on the beach!
Mother Inferior is quite insistent that he fell in love at first
sight because of my unearthly beauty. Whatever.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled life!
President and CEO
Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow!
Edited by: Evil Elf the One and Only at: 6/11/03 5:43 am