The setting: Rhode Island Comic Con, November 1, 2013. STACEY LONGO and author ROB WATTS are walking up and down the aisles as the vendors begin to unpack. The show hasn't opened yet, but because JASON HARRIS made them arrive three hours early to set up a table display that takes 25 minutes to prepare, they have some time to kill.
As they round the corner past the Batmobile display, STACEY spots a veeeery familiar face.
STACEY: Oh my God. That's Richard Hatch. I'm going to go talk to him.
ROB: Don't you want to wait until he takes off his coat, at least? It looks like he just arriv--
STACEY: (approaching Richard Hatch) Hi! Ohmahgerd, I love you! Last year they said Richard Hatch was going to be here but it turned out to be some old guy from Battlestar Galactica. I was so mad that it wasn't you, I pouted all weekend! ROB, remember how upset I was?
ROB: Um, sure.
RICHARD HATCH: Er, hi. You don't seem weird or stalkerish at all. Sometimes I get the other Richard Hatch's mail.
STACEY: Honestly, and don't tell Tommy Howell this, but you were, like, the only person I wanted to meet here this weekend. I just love you!
RICHARD HATCH: You know I'm gay, right?
STACEY: Oh, I'm not hitting on you. I'm married. (RICHARD HATCH looks at ROB WATTS apologetically.) Not to him, either (motions towards ROB). My husband is at our vendor table, lint rolling our tablecloth. He's going to be sooo mad that I met you already! We own the first season of Survivor on DVD and I've made him watch it, like, seventeen times. Have you seen it, ROB? Do you want to borrow it? (ROB WATTS shakes head, smiles apologetically at RICHARD HATCH.)
RICHARD HATCH: Oh, you have a table here? What are you selling?
STACEY: Books. We're horror writers (points to herself and ROB WATTS, then shoves ROB aside). Here's a copy of my short story collection. It would be my honor to give you a copy. Also, I mention you in every single story.
RICHARD HATCH: Surprisingly, that is still not creepy or stalkerish at all. I'd be honored! (Takes book.)
STACEY: Wow, you don't seem like an obnoxious jerk at all. I guess you really can't believe everything you see on television. I've been bamboozled! (Laughs nervously.) Get it? Like you said on Survivor: Borneo? Bamboozled? Er . . .
RICHARD HATCH: Yes, I remember. Very clever. And it's always nice to hear that I'm not really an a**hole.
STACEY: Listen, I have to go gush to my husband that I met you. I'll probably get all weepy and breathless, and I don't want you to see that. Would it be okay if I stopped by your table 46 more times over the weekend and pick your brain about who's going to win this season of Survivor, and about how jail was, and what Jeff Probst's dimples really look like up close?
RICHARD HATCH: Why, that sounds delightful. I look forward to it!
Yes, gentle reader, I did in fact spend 80% of my time that weekend at Mr. Hatch's table. He was kind enough to tolerate me, and I learned that jail was awful (though he got a lot of reading done), Richard won't speculate on who will win any given season of Survivor (though we agreed that Vytas was pretty clever on the season that was airing at the time), and that Jeff Probst's dimples are even deeper than they appear on television. Overall, it was one of the most pleasant experiences of my life, which is why, as you'll now understand, I try to mention it as much as possible. Over dinner, during job interviews, while waiting in line at the grocery store . . . incidentally, none of my friends have wanted to hang out with me since November. Including my sister.
They're all just jealous.