I withheld a tiny (pun not intended...you'll get that in a minute) portion of my Super Mega Show experience because I was getting an autograph as an add-on to a wedding gift (my usual $10,000 gift that I give at weddings). That wedding has now passed, and while I can't be sure that the happy couple has opened the gift, I at least feel confident that I won't spoil the surprise by recounting the tale here. The only way that could happen now is if they check the blog during their Italian honeymoon, which surely would be a sign that the marriage might be in trouble. So, here goes.
Howard Stern listeners are doubtless aware of Lester "Beetlejuice" Green (those unaware can go here, the delightful dwarf whose shining moment was perhaps his inability to spell "red" three times in a row, even after hearing it spelled correctly after each miss. Look, I'm not proud that that's what makes me laugh, but it does.
Anyway, when I saw that Beetlejuice (born in Jersey City and frequently spotted at the bar at Rita and Joe's in my fair city) was at the Super Mega Show, I figured it would make a nice, unique add-on to a wedding gift for my friends, who are also Stern fans. I would like to say that this is the first time a Z-list autograph has figured into friends' weddings, but it can't possibly top going to a wrestling convention to meet Captain Lou Albano the morning of another wedding (in that case, the couple had to wait a long time to get a signed memento of that occasion).
Coincidentally, Captain Lou was across the room from Beet in Fairfield, which probably meant he wasn't as bothered by Beet as the rest of the celebs (particularly the women) who were closer to him. Virgil (as in the Million Dollar Man's valet in the WWF) was directly next to Beet and at least seemed slightly amused (at least at the beginning of the day...I imagine it wore on him by the end of the day). Both Virgil and Beet were doing a similarly slow business, so Beet's handlers seemed extra excited that I was willing to shell out cash for his autograph. Particularly considering the following exchange at the beginning of the transaction:
Me: Hey, can he write "To [Names redacted to protect the innocent]..."
Guy: (in a low voice) No, man, he can't read or write.
Now, a lot of people would look at a moment when they hand over money to a dwarf who can't read or write as the moment when it was time to reassess the path being traveled. I, however, looked at it as Saturday. And then, to add to the experience, his handlers told Beet to "show him how you eat ass." Proud moment.
So, yes, I paid money (again, the actual sum is not important...and by "not important" I mean "not something I would ever share in a public medium") for an autograph to a guy who can't write his own name. Now, a lot of people hate Howard Stern because of his perceived mockery of mentally disabled people such as Beet, making them the butt of endless jokes that they don't fully comprehend. And you're certainly welcome to that opinion; it's an entirely valid point. But consider this: I gave Beet money to scribble a bunch of lines on a photo. And then more money to take a picture with him. So, who's the joke on now?
If you're hesitant to answer questions you think might be rhetorical, let me tell you that the answer is "me."