Meet & Greet with Kurt Browning and Jeff Buttle - Mar. 12, 2009
Sears Eaton Centre - Toronto, ON
written by Sharilyn
Sears, in their infinite wisdom, decided to have this in a
high-traffic area -- main level, right at the entrance to the Dundas
subway and H&M. Good for visibility, not so good for logistics!
There were maybe 100 people in line to get a photo with Kurt & Jeff
(and one of the supplied SOI glossy ads signed), and tons of other
people just milling about and watching from the sidelines. I never
intended to get in line, because a) I just talked to Kurt a few weeks
ago, and b) as pretentious as this sounds, this girl don't stand in
line for nobody! (I would end up eating those words.)
I was early, so I browsed the purse department for a few minutes,
and scanned the lineup. About 3/4 of the way back, I noticed a
familiar face... wait, why is Kurt standing in his own autograph
lineup?? I guess he'd tried to get past people, and ended up stopping
for a group of kids and signing their stuff. Nobody else noticed him,
though, which was mildly hilarious when he left and the people behind
that lucky group realized he'd been standing there the whole time.
2:30 came, and the store manager got behind the podium. Blah blah
blah Sears, blah blah Samsung, blah.
Then the Samsung rep got behind the podium. Blah blah Samsung,
blah blah blah Sears.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Kurt and Jeff made their own quick speeches, again with the Sears
and the Samsung. Kurt did a great job in the lip service department,
but Jeff is no slouch either. I truly believed they were each willing
to donate their first born to (insert sponsor here).
Jeff talked a bit about what they're doing in SOI this year, in
very vague terms. He told the crowd to expect every jump in the book
- and started listing them, ending with "backflip". Kurt, standing
behind him, looked more and more pained as Jeff went, and pretended to
have thrown out his back when Jeff said "backflip". Not funny, Kurt!
They went to take their places behind a table. Kurt poured himself
a glass of water from a pitcher, and then being the smartypants he is,
put the pitcher inside the Samsung display fridge behind him.
And the signing began. The first woman on deck had brought a bunch
of photos with her - obviously a big fan - but the guys spent so much
time talking to her that I knew we were in for the long haul. After
the first few rounds of autographs, I suddenly took great interest in
the new H&M summer clothing, and wandered off for a while. There was
nowhere for me to stand where I could get a good view of what was
going on, but things improved when I went back about 20 minutes later.
A pattern had developed: Kurt and Jeff sign photo. Kurt and Jeff
stand up from table, walk around to front of the table, take picture.
Kurt and Jeff sit back down at table. Kurt and Jeff sign photo.
Obviously this hadn't been planned in the best manner, but nobody
seemed to be complaining.
I had nothing to do but stand there and watch, so I figured I might
as well suck it up and get in line. It did start moving a bit faster,
I assume because the hardcores had gone through at the start. I met a
very sweet Jeff fan in line behind me who was meeting him for the
first time, and we both shared an animosity towards the random people
walking into the area asking "who are they?". (Seriously, if you
don't recognize them, you don't care. Trust us. Just keep walking.)
Soon enough I was at the front.
Kurt greeted me with "well hello again!" before I could deliver my
big line, which was "I feel kinda silly standing in line to talk to
you after I just saw you in Winnipeg." (in case he didn't remember me,
but hooray he did). I shook Jeff's hand, had a 2 minute conversation
with Kurt, told him I'd just moved back on Sunday and was doing the
job-searching and apartment-hunting thing, and that I seem to see a
lot of him when I'm unemployed (he lol'd). I got my lame signed
glossy and my equally lame photo with them (I hate how I look), and
got out of their hair (they had like 5 people to do after me, so they
were on the verge of escaping).
As I walked away, Kurt yelled after me "good luck finding an
apartment!" I turned and yelled my thanks back, and silently wondered
if his non-acknowledgement of my job hunt should be taken as a vote of
And that was that!
I tried VERY hard to take some video, but my shots were all full of
heads, wandering senior citizens, and bored security guys (I felt for
them - it's lame enough being a mall cop, but a SEARS cop?). I only
had my p&s camera with me, and got a few in-focus shots. You can't
see the crowds, or that display fridge, so you'll have to use your
Photos via Flickr