Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter and the Soccer Mom Zombies

Harry Potter CamYou ever cover one of those Harry Potter Midnight Parties? Neither have I, but as the parent of a thirteen year old, I have attended a few. That of course includes Friday night’s hallowed event; a big box bookstore filled with middle-aged wizards, soccer mom zombies and enough shrieking ‘tweens to make New Kids on the Block mull over a comeback tour. Actually, it wasn’t so bad - but then again I was plodding about the place in flip-flops and a coffee buzz. While my daughter chatted up her friends and compared costumes, I headed for the History section, hoping to find an antiquated yard that didn’t feature Muggles and such. Unfortunately, my beloved aisle was playing host to a Hogwarts beat-down, a coming-of-age ritual in which three underage Harry Potters beat the crap out of a fourth. When my shadow fell over the melee, a beefy kid with a lightning bolt tattooed on his forehead looked up, muttered something about ’Five-Oh’ and returned to ratcheting his young victim’s wedgie. Knowing street justice when I saw it, I turned to go browse the Biographies. That’s when I saw him…

Interviewing the bookIngram. Brad Ingram. Wedged into a corner by the front of the store, he and intrepid reporter Eric White stuck a lens into the grill of anyone willing to answer in complete sentences. Knowing my offspring’s propensity for ten dollar words, I launched a hard target search for the one Hermione present who shared my DNA. Finding her immersed in a raging Snape debate, I laid low for a minute before extracting her from the pack. As I did, a tired voice overtook the intercom and announced the further lining of J.K. Rowling’s pockets would commence in fifteen minutes. This proclamation caused much joy among the gathered masses and as the volume of their voices rose, I began eyeballing the exits. You see, I don’t trust crowds. Having skittered along the perimeter of so many summits over the years, I’ve seen mobs form where reasonable people once stood shoulder to shoulder. For that reason, I nudged my firstborn toward the door, not to block the exit mind you, but to escape unscathed should the room suddenly go stupid.

Whitey Interviews MalfoyI need not have worried, for in the end, the cross section of Potterheads refrained from rioting - though I did wonder for a moment when the final countdown began. One minute! The crowd pushed forward at the news of impending midnight, reminding your by-then-delirious lenslinger of a certain Who Concert. Forty-five seconds! To my right, Ingram popped up on his wide-angle lens and began sweeping the crowd, his thousand yard stare firmly in place. Thirty seconds! Behind the check out counter, costumed booksellers ripped the paper off a stack of Potter boxes and the crescendo thickened. Fifteen seconds! I swear, a lady in a purple cape genuflected at the sight of the unadorned boxes. Ten…Nine…Eight! Pressing forward against a line of jumpy looking police officers, the mob screamed each syllable with evangelistic fervor. Seven…Six…Five! Laying eyes on my oldest, I saw that, unlike the Rent-A-Cops stationed outside, she was having a ball. Mission accomplished. Four…Three…Two...

Ingram's had enoughAt the count of one, bedlam overtook the bookstore. IT guys high-fived each other, girls in striped neckties twirled and Muggles hugged. As the whole place went slow-mo I scanned the rapturous crowd and was surprised at how many familiar faces stared back. Piano teachers, main anchors and a local blogger or two - all locked in frozen ecstasy over the unsheathing of a book. Granted, I’ve never read a word of Rowling’s mythology, but with a daughter who holds a Doctorate in all things Potter, I never felt I had to. As for mass allegiance to sheer fantasy, I could claim ignorance, but I got half a squadron of Lego Stormtroopers back home that would no doubt beg to differ. With thoughts of my domicile in mind, I grabbed my offspring and headed for our place in line. Before I did though, I sidled up to Ingram and said Hello. I’m not really sure how he replied, but it sounded an awful lot like lines from ’A Clockwork Orange’. Hey, that’s cool. Even seasoned lenslingers like Brad get rattled when two thousand lunatics are vying for your attention, be it teenaged wizard wannabes or truly delusional American Idol hopefuls...

But don't take my word for it. Watch the piece Brad Ingram and Eric 'Hot Chocolate' White put together - an enjoyable enough ninety seconds in which my daughter waxes philosophic and I nearly get trampled by a trio of pre-teen readers. Well worth a few viewings...

4 comments:

Kenneth said...

WAY TO GET INTO BRAD'S SHOT. SOME PEOPLE WILL DO ANYTHING TO GET ON TV.

turdpolisher said...

I promise to don my finest cabanawear for the release of Lenslinger, the Novel. Hell, I might even bring my fancycam.

mangler said...

you were incognito there without one's lens. me and the wifey made an appearence, she's the southern belle on the open of the segment.

Carolyn said...

yay, Gabby! Even in that brief instant, I can see how collected and smart she is. Alas, I too, am a bit of a Potter-Head. I read the book in one sixteen hour sitting....