So, last summer, I received a message on Goodreads from the wife of a fan. It was an unusual request. She was hoping I could send her a signed photograph or some kind of momento for her husband. In the body of her message, she said that she hadn’t seen her husband such a huge fan of someone since he discovered Neil Degrasse Tyson.
What a coincidence! I had just met Neil at a function Gizmodo put together in New York. I had a picture of the two of us. Why don’t I sign that pic and send it along?
But then — as is my wont — my thoughts got nuttier. What if I could get Neil to sign the photograph as well?
I went to CVS and had a few copies of the photo printed out. They looked great in black and white (heh. No pun intended). In fact, the photo looked so awesome, I couldn’t believe I was going to send it off for Neil’s signature and someone else was going to end up with it! To make it more likely to go through, I put an envelope within an envelope, paid for the shipping on both, wrote a note to Neil and his secretary, and included some cardboard for protection. I crossed my fingers and sent off this fan grenade. And then I waited.
And I waited.
Days went by. Weeks. Months.
I pinged Neil’s secretary a few times, and she apologized for how busy Neil was. For a long while, I thought it wouldn’t happen. I started to feel bad that I’d promised a signed photo, and now the wife of this reader would get nothing. She would think I’d forgotten.
Last week, I got the news: The photo had arrived! With both signatures! And of course, one of us being far more famous than the other, the husband wondered why in the world someone was standing beside Neil in the photo. Then he heard the story, realized who I was, and I got a thank you note in my Goodreads inbox that nearly brought me to tears.
I love that his grin mirrors the one I had while standing beside one of my idols.