Stars on Ice
Kurt List

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 confidence.

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 imagination. =)

Photos via Flickr