OK, this is stupid, but embarrassingly true. One of my hobbies is collecting magic books and the autographs of the authors.
Since I knew I would be seeing Derek Dingle lecture at the 97 A-1 Convention in Sacramento, I purposely bought from Byron Walker a mint, first edition copy of Dingle's Deceptions by Harry Lorayne. It was a really, really nice copy condition-wise. The instructional content was, of course, incredible too. Not as good as Richard Kaufmans book, but still good.
At the convention, I took special care to start up a conversation with Mr. Dingle and later he kindly autographed my copy of Dingle's Deceptions along with he wrote a really nice inscription to me.
Mr. Dingle was really very nice and even commented that he had not seen a copy of that book in a long time. To say the least I was totally buzzed meeting Derek Dingle and really pleased with my signed first edition. I even had a friend take pictures of the two of us while Mr. Dingle was signing the book (OK, I am a geek).
Another lecture was coming up, so I ran to the bathroom to relieve myself (i.e. take a whizz or in the street vernacular, a piss). I walked in to the stall and there was no place or shelf to put my new prized possession, while I did my business. So I did the next best thing and tucked the book under my chin and held it fast by pressing my chin down on to my chestlike the way you would hold a telephone between your ear and your shoulder (Logical right? No?).
Well, I finished my business and went to flush the toilet and the book fell from my chin right in to the toilet bowl. Whizz, water and all. F**K was my exact comment at the time.
I then daintily and disgustedly picked out the ruined monograph from the bowl and deposited same in to the trash can. S**T was my next comment.
I went out in to the lobby and told my tale of woe to my dear friend Tommy Cutts with whom I was sharing a hotel room. There were other friends and attendees in ear shot and they all had a good laugh at my expense, especially dear Tommy who then took pains to tell my story to anyone who would listen for the rest of the convention.
I must say I laughed pretty hard too, but was really disappointed with my loss. Not to worry Richard, as it worked out well for Kaufman & Co. in the long run, since I promptly plonked down 40 bucks for a new copy of The Complete Works of Derek Dingle. Mr. Dingle dutifully signed this copy too and with a smile on his face he could not help comment about what a stupid thing I had done in the bathroom with the first book he signed. We both had a laugh. As I turned to walk away, in the distance I could see Tommy Cutts animatedly telling my story to other convention attendees. I knew he was doing this by the way he was positioning his hands and body. Suffice to say, each time he told this story at the convention a group of people would break down in laughter and Tommy would usually then point back at me. I would smile and wave back as I plotted Tommys doom. Well, at least, I have my autographed first edition of the Complete Works of Derek Dingle now safe at home.
Well, there you have it. Now my story of pure stupidity is chronicled on the Super Information Highway. I couldnt be prouder. Thanks Tommy and expect it when you least expect it.
[ August 21, 2001: Message edited by: Robert Kane ]