The Day of the Jackhole

The Day of the Jackhole

Celebrating 40 years on this earth

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2000. Rack Space Encounters

September 15, 2011

I’m standing in line on stage. I glance around. Not many women up here with me. All lads, actually, clutching their copies of “The Right Stuff” or Chuck’s autobiography to sign. I am woefully unprepared for autograph hunting, having not actually planned on attending this talk let alone rushing the stage to get a scribble from a seventy-year-old flyboy. But when you’re a rube from the bush, straight off the onion truck, you take what you can get. I flip my press pass over.

He can sign the back of that.

Guilt. I should really head home and file this story. Earlier, I spoke to some CEO at this conference about innovation and he shook my hand so hard I winced. But we spoke and I wrote notes and that’s why I’m at this conference. And I really should go home and file this story. But…

Chuck Yeager.

They’re closing this conference with a talk from Chuck Yeager. Fly boy. Super spacey Septagenarian. It’s too flight suity to resist.

He talked for about 45 minutes I guess, about space and adventure and shot a missile over the bow at John Glenn (it had something to do with Metamucil and him going back to space, and I’m guessing there’s some sort of rivalry there?) And when the talk ended, he offered to sign books.

I have never gotten an autograph from anyone—never seen the point really, and feel it is somewhat demeaning to bother people for such a frivolous thing—but something in me stills.

What if this is it? What if this is the one brush with a famous person that I get? And in this moment, I say nothing? Do nothing? What if this is my story? The only one I can ever tell “Well, there was this one time I met Chuck Yeager…” (At which point, everyone will go ‘who?’)

I’m standing in line on stage.

We shuffle forward, one by one. Nerds in business casual, with the conference bags and their books open, ready to sign. Three giggly fellas in front reach the table and one asks Chuck to sign his chest. His baby blue business shirted chest. It’s vaguely weird, but Chuck stands and walks around the the small desk, raising the Sharpie to sign.

There are not a lot of women up here with me. In fact, there are none. I am wearing a cream-colored turtleneck. It’s… tight. In the right or wrong places, depending on how you look at it. I wouldn’t mention this at all, only…

Chuck stands and walks around the small desk, raising the Sharpie to sign the chest of the man in front of me. I wait patiently. I am next.

As Chuck signs his name with a flourish on the flexing pectoral of this gent, his fly-boy eye drifts over to the next chest. My chest.

“Well, hey now,” he laughs, and motions as if to continue the journey of the Sharpie over in my direction. As if he’s about to continue his signature in a long cursive flow right over to my rack.

He wants to sign my bosom, and he’s just made a joke about it.

Chuck Yeager just made a vague innuendo about my rack.

I should be OUTRAGED!

How dare he make such a sexy joke and demean women like that! I shall be outraged and shake my fist and say: “MR. YEAGER! How DARE you, sir!”

But do you know what I do? Do you know what this grown-ass woman does when confronted with a rack joke, about her own rack?

I giggle. I giggle in that ‘oh, you!’ way. That ‘you’re such a cheeky flyboy’ way. Because I really don’t give a shit.

I giggle and hold out my press pass and tell him to sign it Noodle. He lowers the pen from chest height and signs.

As I walk away, I hear the fateful words.

“Chicken.”

And I half turn back as I’m walking and giggle again.

I then proceed to walk straight into the giant curtain that’s at the edge of the stage and get caught up in its bilious skirt.

It is a banner day for racks and super-cool Noodles.

But if this is to be my one celebrity encounter, I’ll take it.

 


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