The Shoat Statements

Random musings by the multiple voices inside my head.

This is the story of how I got Michael Bublé's autograph.

For the last week, I have been seeing the poster, saying that Michael Bublé will be signing autographs on Saturday, October 10th at 1.00 p.m. at the Trinity Square, Toronto Eaton Centre. But like all smart alec's, I missed the fine print...the bit that said:

Wristband policy in effect on a first come, first served basis and will be handed out at 10.00 am on Saturday, October 10, 2009. Autographs are not guaranteed due to time restrictions.

Anyways, after a morning of fighting off the remnants of a stiff neck, I turned up at Trinity Square at exactly 12.55 p.m., nowhere near the 10 o'clock demanded by those giving away the wristbands. And the crowd...oh my goodness!!! The queue for autographs started at Trinity Square, near Sears, went all the way to the other end of Eaton Centre, then curved back towards Sears (but I didn't know it at this point). I was suprised by the crowd mix - there were the usual young girls, but a lot of older men and women as well.

I walked up to a security guard, and asked him where the queue for the autographs was. He told me that the queue was closed and they weren't taking anymore people in. This is when I noticed the queue. Rather disappointed, I asked a girl standing by clutching a Michael Bublé CD the same question. She told me pretty much what was on the fine print: that only the first 500 people were given wristbands, and thus, none of the rest of us were getting any autographs.

Before I could think of anything further, a chorus of girls started screaming, and I knew that Michael Bublé had arrived. He smiled, they screamed, he waved, they screamed some more, and flashes popped all round. It didn't take me too long to readjust my gameplan and camera in hand, I crawled my way as far up to the autograph stage as I could. It isn't easy to take pictures of a celebrity flanked by security, with waves of crazed fans piled up in front of me, but I think I did ok for a novice.

After a while, Michael Bublé took the mike, thanked all of us for coming, and said that he was going to sign as many autographs as he possibly could. That, along with the realization that the autograph queue seemed to have changed it's length, got the wheels in my head turning.

I left the sea of flashing bulbs and followed the queue, starting from the begining. Ok, so it still went all the way to the other end, but the curve back didn't seem as long as it was before. I made my way to the end, and asked the security guy there if this was the queue for autographs. Two girls had also joined me at this point. The security guy said yes, and when we asked him if wristbands were not required, he told us no, and we can stand in line and hope that our turn comes up before they close the session for the day.

And thus began the wait: the two girls ahead of me, the older guy behind me, the even older Filipino couple behind him (they were easily over 40). And there was an even bigger line up after them, but I didn't bother talking to them. The wait didn't seem so long though, while we talked about which album was released first, whether there would be a bigger queue if Josh Groban was here, and whether Michael Bublé should not have sung 'Spiderman'.

After a while, it struck me that I didn't have anything to get autographed! (only a dog-eared notebook in my bag constituted any type of writing material). Asking the girls and the guy to hold my place, I ran into a nearby bookstore (conveniently located on the same floor as us), bought 'Crazy Love', and resumed my place in the queue.

After a wait of 1 1/2 hours, we finally made it to the autograph stage. There were at least five security guys there, telling us to keep our cameras ready if we wanted to take pictures, because we weren't allowed too much time there, and 'no posing with Mr. Bublé' due to time restraints. Oh yeah, and only one item to be autographed per person.

So I finally made it in front of Michael Bublé, shook his hand, got my CD cover autographed, and told him that I loved his songs and he should visit Sri Lanka. The last bit I think got drowned out to some girls behind me screaming 'I love you Michael' but he did say thanks! Then I got shooed off stage by security.

I took a few more pictures afterwards, and the autograph queue was closed soon after, so I think I got mighty lucky.

Did I mention that throughout all this, Michael Bublé was always smiling?
That 1 1/2 hours was so totally worth it!

Thus ends the tale of the autograph hunter.

Below is a hilarious clip by some Aussie dude (I think) asking the average American some basic questions. Watch the clip - it is totally worth your time!

Some of my favourites are given below, just as a sampler:


Interviewer : What's the religion of Israel?

American 1 : Israeli?

American 2 : Muslim?


Interviewer : What religion are Buddhist monks?

American : Islamic? I don't know.


Interviewer : Who is Fidel Castro?

American : A singer.


Interviewer : How many sides does a triangle have?

American : Four.


Interviewer : What is the currency of the United Kingdom?

American : What is the United Kingdom?


Interviewer : In terms of the war on terror, who should we invade next?

American 1 : Italy

American 2 : India and Pakistan


Interviewer : Kofi Anan is a drink, true or false?

American 1 : Coffee is a drink, true.

American 2 : It sounds like a law firm.


Interviewer : Who is Tony Blair?

American : Tony Blair is an actor.


Interviewer : Who was the first man on the moon?

American : John Glen


Interviewer : What is a mosque?

American : Don't have any idea.

Interviewer : Wanna guess?

American : An animal.


Interviewer : How many world wars have there been?

American : Three.


Interviewer : How many Eiffel towers are there in Paris?

American : I say about ten.


Interviewer : What is al-Qaeda?

American : A suicide group in Israel, in the Middle East. They do suicide bombs and stuff. And the president of it is Yasser Arafat...everyone knows that.


The clip, with much much more ridiculous answers:

This article by one Gazala Ayana prompted me to write this post. In case you don't want to peep into the weekend version of the Daily Noise, here's some of what this 'lady' has to say, inspired by those topless pictures which she still believes to have been taken at the Hikka fest.

"Although roses, hearts, cupids are used as symbols of love, a lady is the spirit of love. It is through a lady that a man feels the love and comfort of his mother"

"A woman can be compared to a flower that expresses her beauty, tenderness and love that makes her a “lady”. It’s pathetic that some or rather most women at present don’t realize this."

And the most stupefying sentence to have ever been published in the Sunday Observer:

"Our ancestors were wise, in saying; a woman belongs in the kitchen. It could be the excess freedom given in the “modern” era that gives her the audacity to go over the boundaries."

All together now - OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She rambles on further about how men date many women to find the 'correct' wife for himself, and how this has become the accepted norm in society for a man, though it is unthinkable that a woman should do the same.

She finishes off her Taliban-inspired article with another gem:

"It’s only if a woman tempts a man, that he’ll be tempted. Being a woman, does not necessarily make her a “Lady”. "

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I read this (I still don't). A woman belongs in the kitchen? Do we still have people who actually believe that (let alone publish it)? The whole article is just too bizarre for my comprehension. Did I miss a gazette notification somewhere? Is Sri Lanka supposed to be going back in time?

And I'm itching to ask this Gazala Ayana woman - what is she doing writing for a paper, without being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen? Isn't that where her rightful place is (though she seems better suited for the barn). Sri Lanka produced the world's first female Prime Minister, and she thinks women should stay in the kitchen? (that noise you are hearing right now is probably Sirimavo spinning in her grave).

I pity Ms. Ayana's parents - imagine how many people must be cursing them right now. Were I to advertise my stupidity on a national newspaper in such a manner, I would at least have used a pen name.

And er....'love and comfort of his mother'? Ms. Ayana clearly has found her way into a time machine - she has also found time to drop by Freud's offices before she made her landing at the Middle Ages.

On another note, since when did Sri Lanka become a 'conservative country', as she puts it? A conservative country is Pakistan, or Malaysia or Saudi Arabia.

I cannot emphasize enough on how backward and sexist this article is, and I'm ashamed to see that a woman actually wrote it. I'm still more shocked that the Sunday Observer thought fit to publish such tripe. Are they out of writers or articles? On second thoughts, perhaps they want to be out of readers.

But if anyone else out there is as offended as I am in seeing such backward, sexist baloney being published, please follow the link and write to the Sunday Observer about what you think.

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