Bloody Wednesday and My Brush With Destiny('s Child)
For the past three days the New York Blood Center has been giving away free Mets tickets to anyone who donates blood at Brooklyn College. Since I didn't find out about the offer until last night, I made the trip all the way out to Flatbush to give blood today. Not the most altuistic behavior I've ever exhibited, I know, but I like the Mets (it's a Norfolk thing) and I don't mind giving blood. Get off my back. Besides, I donated blood in high school as soon I was old enough. And I didn't get anything out of that except for Hepatitis C. Just kidding. It was B. So now I have two tickets to see the Mets play the Washington Nationals on opening weekend at Shea.
On my way home from giving blood I saw two famous women. First, I saw the Statue of Liberty out of my window on the subway. Then, as I was walking through Times Square I saw a bunch of kids waiting outside of TRL with Red Jumpsuit Apparatus posters. I figured they were the guests for the day, so I didn't make much of it. But when I turned the corner at 45th St. I saw a small crowd of teens and a smaller crowd of paparazzi gathered outside of the MTV doors. There were six or so police officers and a couple of firefighters waiting as well. After finding out that they were waiting for a one Ms. Beyonce Knowles, I decided to stick around for a few minutes to see if she would come out. I knew I didn't want to wait anymore than 5 or 10 minutes. After all, I'd already seen Beyonce up close in person when the original Destiny's Child opened for Boyz II Men at the Virginia Beach Pavillion back in 1998. Just to give you a sense of how unfamous they were, the lineup was Uncle Sam ("I Don't Ever Wanna See You Again"), Destiny's Child ("No, No, No" was their only big single at the time), THEN Next ("Too Close"), then Boyz II Men. Destiny's Child and Next had booths set up where you could take a picture with them for $20. The Next booth was a lot busier than DC's. But I digress. So I waited for a few minutes with a crowd of about 10 people. We couldn't stand right outside of the door, so we had to stand across the street, which was only about an extra 20 feet away since everyone was standing in the middle of the street. Beyonce came out after a few minutes and posed for a few pictures for the paparazzi. Then she posed for pictures with the firefighters (they are heroes after all). As she started to get closer, a huge tour bus approached, in one of those classic scenarios you only see on tightly scripted situational comedies. But instead of letting the bus block their view, the crowd rushed forward and stood right in front of it, forcing it to stop, which in turn stopped the long line of cars behind it. Beyonce literally stopped traffic. But the best part came after Beyonce was safely in her black SUV. As the car pulled out and raced down 45th St., a boy who was probably 12 or 13 years old raced down the street next to her window. He kept up with the car for a little while, then fell behind as it neared 9th Avenue. Fortunately for him, the car got a red light and he ran up to the window, along with 5 or 6 other people who must have had quite an inventive strategy, and bugged Beyonce for autographs. From where I was standing I couldn't tell if Beyonce actually rolled down her window, but as I walked down 45th St. I passed the kid, who was now grinning from ear to ear and holding this year's Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, with "Beyonce" scrolled across the cover in black Sharpie. Now that's a well-earned autograph.