Friday night marked the second time in a year that I’ve gone to hear Wil Wheaton read, which is a bit odd since I enjoy his writing, but I don’t follow his blog and am not a rabid fan of either TNG or Stand By Me. Some of my friends, on the other hand, are a different story. Wil was in town to promote his latest opus, Just a Geek, so I joined Aaron & Nerdy Girl to hear the reading at Powell’s Technical. I arrived a bit late, but was able to secure a chair in the stacks where I could still hear pretty well. It didn’t seem quite as crowded as it did last year at the Beaverton Powell’s, but it was still pretty amazing the way the crowd hung on his every word. Since he got ripped by a couple of fans last year for not opening the floor up for questions, he did so this year. I can’t remember what anyone asked, except that one had to do with his family, which sent him into a sweet gushy tizzy about how wonderful his wife and kids are. Since the store closed at 9, he only allowed a few questions.
As soon as he said the magic words, “Okay, I would love to sign your books now” the crowd shifted into motion, desperate to get a few words and an autograph in with the geeky one before closing. An employee directed them towards the area marked off for the line, but since Wil’s fans are a pretty intelligent lot, most of them had positioned themselves to be able to go directly into the line once the reading was completed, so the line was already forming neatly before the employee said a word.
Nerdy Girl agonized over whether or not to get the book and wait in the rather long line that had formed, so she settled for sitting in the audience area watching him sign books. At this point we started goofing off with the camera and getting pictures of her in the foreground, him in the background, and debating the merits of her running behind the signing desk just long enough for me to snap a picture of her and Wil together.
It was fun to watch the signing because Wil became giddier the more fans came through the line — obviously a huge ego stroke for him. I think it’s great that he’s one of those people who is open about appreciating his fans and recognizing that they helped to get him to where he is.
Our party of three moved outside, still watching Wil + fans through the windows. A couple of other fans came out, and one guy noticed Aaron’s Bigger Than Jesus shirt, and did a double-take.
“Are you Aaron?”
Aaron nodded, and the guy didn’t explain himself as expected. After a bit of questioning we learned that this guy is a fan of the show, had heard Aaron’s call-in’s, but hadn’t been to see BTJ. It was a bit creepy, actually.
Nerdy Girl kept looking wistfully through the window, so we got one more shot of her and Wil and called it a night.