We Almost Met Terry Pratchett

posted September 30, 2003 by Jer


Stay tuned, I am about to give Jenn a hard time. First let me talk about Terry Pratchett.

Terry Pratchett is my hero. He is the reason I ever started reading books that weren't in fact comics. The way he explains the universe in his Discworld books is both enlightening and hilarious. He is on my short list of human beings I truly respect, right next to my Capoeira Mestre and my dad. The first five splurds (up, down, sideways, sex appeal and peppermint) are named after a concept from one of his books. The man himself was in Washington DC today, Tuesday, November 30th at 6:30 to talk to an audience and sign books. I had a hardcover copy of "Thief of Time" that I wanted him to sign, saying "Always remember rule one!" I was excited.

Now, let me tell you about Jenn's Luck.

Last year, Jenn's friend Woobie had a party in Richmond. He gave Jenn directions. Jenn wrote them down carefully. As we were leaving for the party, I watched Jenn put the directions securely in her pocket. Then we left. We got all the way to Richmond to discover the directions were nowhere to be found. We turned Jenn's car inside out and wandered Richmond for an hour and a half before we finally headed back home to discover the directions had made a MIRACLE LEAP from Jenn's pocket to a puddle just outside where Jenn had parked before departure.

Now let me tell you about tonight.

This Terry Pratchett event was announced a month and a half ago. Jenn took extensive precautions to make sure nothing prevented us from attending. She researched. She did recon. She called the hotel hosting the event to gather information, then visited the hotel and even scouted out the very conference room where it was to take place. She timed everything so that we arrived comfortably early. She asked several people about potential ticket needs and costs, and verified from at least two sources that it was simply a show-up event.

It wasn't.

Every aspect of the plan went perfectly except the fact that, despite not being mentioned anywhere or explained to the hotel staff, the event required tickets to be purchased in advance - tickets that were of course sold out. It was the one metal spring in a clock made of glass. Thus, I did not get to meet my hero tonight. I did not get to tell him that before I read his books, I simply did not read for fun. I did not get to tell him that he inspired me to actually write the rough draft of The Elves of Iax. I did not get to listen to the funniest writer I have ever read talk about his new book on one of his very rare public trips to the United States. I missed everything.

Oh yeah, and Jenn didn't get to do all that, too. Oh well, poor her.