Have a bit of time to throw up a post, but not enough time to write a review. That means it’s story time.
This is the Tale of How I Once Met Jim Butcher….in what approximates to a real world Blue Beetle.
Back in my….Sophomore year of college (I think it was Sophomore…yeah, it had the blue bumper by that point, but hadn’t died on a freeway onramp yet). Back in that year of college, some friends and I heard that Mr. Butcher was going to FINALLY be having a book signing in the Chicago area. Now, only being an hour and a half ride from Chicago, myself and two others decided it would be a grand plan to go visit him.
Never mind that we had classes the next day at OH MY GOD EARLY O’clock.
Being the only one with a car, it, of course, fell to me to drive this almost two hours to Oak Brook, IL from Kenosha, WI. In my car. Which..well…
To give you some idea on what my car was like…
1993 Ford Escort Station Wagon. Stickshift. When you stepped on the brakes, the speakers on the front passenger side would go out. The clock didn’t tell time, the CD player occasionally ate CDs and I had to pry them out, and that CD player was likely worth more than the Blue Book value of my car. The front bumper was bright blue from the one and only accident I have ever had (a story for another time), while the rest of it was a lovely beige and the back passenger door didn’t open.
In short, it was my first car and I loved it.
The night we left, it was hitting 5pm. And it was drizzing, as it had been on and off mostly all day. This is my first time on IL toll roads as a driver, and they are under construction as an added bonus. If I stick my arm out the window at a bad moment, the passing Semi could easily just rip that right off.
And then my windows start to fog up ON THE INSIDE and the defroster won’t work. I put my friends on Napkin Patrol, and the start wiping down the windows when I need to see out of them.
W make it (somehow) alive to the Borders, grabs some floor space and enjoy a wonderful time listening to the Q&A from one of our favorite authors. And then signing starts. Fast forward about two hours, and it’s finally our time up there. The conversation at my turn to get my copy of Storm Front signed goes something along these lines…
Butcher: So where are you from?
Me: Kenosha, Wisconsin.
B: *looks up* Sounds like quite a ride.
m: *nods* But fun. I have the real world version of the Blue Beetle though. So I’m just glad we made it alive.
m: Is there time I could get a picture?
*picture is snapped*
m: Thank you.
B: You’re welcome. Thanks for coming and um…drive home carefully. I don’t want to wake up tomorrow morning and read about a firey crash of a car and college kids in the paper!
The ride home (once we manage to make it on the freeway going the right way) starts at about midnight. And it has been downpouring most of the time we were at the signing, so there are a few places where the roads on the Freeway are FLOODED.
And I’m navigating with a print out from google maps, so it’s not like we can just go around. Praying to any and all gods listening, we make it through, and back to college by around 2:30 am.
And then I get up for an 8am class.
And that is my story of how I drove the Blue Beetle to meet Jim Butcher.
And somewhere…there are pictures. I’m going on a hunt tomorrow to find these….
ETA: Found them!