Yesterday me and Kyle and Jessica went to the Provo library to see Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. They're authors. Good ones. Diverse ones — as in, their writing, not they themselves, seeing as they're both white, middle-aged, American men. Barry was a nationally syndicated humor columnist. Pearson a murder-mystery novelist. Together they wrote the "Peter and the Starcatchers" series, a collection of five books that explore Peter Pan, Wendy, Capt. Hook and Never Land.

That's why they came to Provo, to speak about the fifth book in the series. I confess, I've only read the first one, but I've admired Dave Barry from a young age — I even give him partial credit for my becoming a journalist — and didn't want to miss the chance to see him in person.

So, there's the introduction to the point of this post: #8 on my List of Things to Do Before I Die is complete. I met Dave Barry. And he is, in my book, "worldly" famous.

Can I tell you the story of what happened when I met him? OK, thanks.

After they spoke, Pearson and Barry went downstairs and 20 people at a time followed to have their books signed. I was in the fourth group, so I waited a few minutes, during which time I said goodbye to Jessica and Kyle since they had no books to have signed, nor a strong desire to shake the authors' hands.

So there I was, all by my lonesome, three novels under my arm and a camera in my hand. I got in line, where I contemplated what I would have them write in the books.

"To Elizabeth." Nuh-uh, too boring.

"To Elizabeth, our #1 fan." Nope. Both false and arrogant.

"Keep it real." Uh, no.

By this time I was half way through the line and I could hear other fans saying things to the authors like, "I just loved your books," and "My son used to hate reading but now he reads all the time because of you," and more incredibly touching, sincere garbage. I tried to take some pictures through the line, but people were not willing to get out of my way. Rude.

Finally it was my turn. I handed my books to Dave Barry. Yes, the Dave Barry and smiled.

"Hi. Nice to meet you," he said.

"Hi," I said in return, shaking his hand. (He has a weak handshake, by the way. But, then again, he's left handed, so his right hand doesn't get as much exercise, right?)

Closing the covers of the books, he passed them on to Pearson and said, "Thanks for coming."

I smiled, no doubt awkwardly, and mumbled something like, "Oh. Yeah. Uh, no problem."


Ridley Pearson shook my hand next and said about the same thing as his co-author.

"Hi," I said, staring at his curly gray hair and top-rimmed glasses like he was, well, a famous person that I had nothing to say to.

He smiled hesitantly back, as if he was saying, "Wow, I've seen some weird fans before, but seriously, hun, you're creeping me out."

I'm not sure if it was your stereotypical star-struck moment, or actually my concerted effort not to be star-struck, that resulted in my horrifically stupid encounter with two famous authors. I so wanted to tell Dave Barry that he was a childhood hero of mine. But it sounded pretty ridiculous in my head.

"Stho, uh, Dave, I am, like, a sthuper big fan of yoursth. Sthuper."

So I opted for the freaky stare.

Oh, and to top it all off, Ridley Pearson says to me, as he hands me my books, "Would you like to take a picture?" Undoubtedly thinking to himself, "Please say no, you weirdo. You're really creeping me out."

I'd forgotten about the camera in my hand, but was glad he reminded me. I mechanically handed it to the girl next to me in line, hoping she was capable of such a big responsibility and forgetting I didn't know her, and stepped behind the desk to pose between Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. Two famous authors.

So, in the end, I did it. I met two famous people and even got a picture to prove it. So all the shameful tongue-tied idiocy was worth it.

Ridley Pearson, me, Dave Barry

P.S. Ridley Pearson has also written a series of books called "The Kingdom Keepers" about five teenagers that have adventures in Walt Disney World after it's closed at night. It's for young readers, but I bought the first one anyway, and it's pretty fun. Especially if you love the Disneyland parks.

P.P.S. I didn't have them write anything in the books in the end. I just had them sign them. I figure I can now sell them or give them away as gifts if I wanted. :o)


  1. That is really cool! Well it could have been worse, you could have said just anything that was on your mind like, "I sniff my hands after I get wax out of my ears, or I am so nervous I just farted." but that's pretty cool you got to meet them and that they came to Provo.

  2. My dad would be jealous....I once gave a friend a page of the newspaper because it had a picture of Harry Potter on one side. Come to find out it had Dave Barry's column on the back. My dad hadn't read it before I gave it away. I got in trouble, probably the most trouble I've ever gotten into with my father. OOops

  3. That is so cool. I mean super cool. I would kill to meet a real author. Well not kill, but I might trip someone and pretend it was an accident to me a famous author. Which books did you get?

  4. That was stinking hilarious! I would have loved to meet them. Way to mark another thing off your list.

  5. Dave Barry has aged. I have a bunch of his books sitting on our shelf, probably from the 80s and 90s, and his picture is on all of them. I remember reading his books and column and laughing so hard I would cry. That's an idea of what you could have said to him; "Your writing always made me weep."

  6. Okay, so I think you are hilarious! You are so funny and such a good writer! I love reading your posts.