Saturday, March 11, 2006

March 11, 2006 - USCAF - Aspen

The Worst Day In The History Of Portroids!

If I could come up with a name for Day 4 of the Aspen comedy festival, a name that reflected what I felt and experienced as a portroid artist, it would be "Gordon". I don't know why. It just sounds like that name fits. If I had to choose something other than "Gordon" (you know, like, because "Gordon" doesn't make any sense), it would be "The Worst Day In The History Of Portroids".

The weird thing is that this day was actually a pretty great day for personal unportroided experiences. Funny how that happens, eh?

I'm going to kind of just start where I want to start. You OK with that? You don't get a vote.

"Why didn't you take his portroid?" Erica asked as we started walking down the stairs into the St. Regis basement.

"What are you talking about?"

"Are you kidding?"

"No. I didn't see anyone. Who was it?"

"You're kidding, right?"


"As we walked by the gift shop, Garry Shandling came out and almost bumped into you. He was literally shoulder to shoulder with you, so close he was practically touching you from there to the stairwell."

"You're kidding!"


Well, crap. That was my first missed portroid of the day. The conversation, while similar to that, was not exactly that, as I didn't have a court reporter with me taking down shorthand our every conversation. Maybe someday I can afford such extravagance.

I rushed back upstairs and he was gone. Garry Shandling was gone.

Next story:

I'd like to state right here that I am taking credit for another successful Year 3 Portroid Goal with this next story. Just wanted to state that. Right here.

Russell Simmons. This man is a legend in his field, and his field is producing hip hop music. From the age of 13 until about 22, I primarily listened to rap music. That's it. That's all I'd do. I'd walk around with some rap artist rhyming into my eardrums via my yellow Sony Walkman. And my favorites, the ones I returned to time and again, were those that Russell Simmons in one way or another was responsible for bringing to success. Run-DMC, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, EPMD, Slick Rick, etc. These were my teenage heroes. Thanks to Russell Simmons (in one way or another).

So, as you can guess, when I saw him in the St. Regis lobby, I wasn't going to be shy about talking to him and taking his portroid. And thus I did.

Although it was slightly awkward, with his hands full and my fumbling about and him confusedly saying, "But that's a Polaroid", we managed to pull off a great shot. He signed it. I thanked him. We each went off about our business. Awesome, right? Right.

All day, I noticed the portroid in my inner coat pocket, crammed in with my festival program, two spare film cartridges, and two Sharpie Grip pens. I made special care to shove it back down if ever I pulled the program to see what was next, noting that it had a tendency to climb upward. Throughout the day, I felt for it, reassured each time at it's slick texture. Until ...

I am a fastidious person.

In my life (unless I have lost a memory somewhere (which I doubt, as I have an impeccable memory (and an impeccable conceitedness about said memory, evidently)), I know of only two things I have ever lost. One was at the age of 11, in Westbrook, Maine, walking on Main Street. I lost the brown wooden plastic Ewok Spear which accompanied my Wicket W. Warrick action figure. I looked everywhere, but it was not to be found. I tried to substitute it with a small twig, but nature compares not to man-made molded plastic. Does it? No, it doesn't!

I vowed that day to never lose anything again ... but I did. One other time.

At the age of 12 (what an idiot kid I was), I lost my LJN Hillbilly Jim wrestling action figure's brown rubbery hillbilly hat. I lost it in my living room, which is the ultimate in baffling. I tore that mother apart looking for the hat, but it was never found. I assume it entered another dimension through some space-time portal. That's the only feasible explanation.

OK, so for the past 20 years, I have not lost anything. That was the point of the previous few paragraphs.

Do you see where this is going? Down a dark path.

Sometime, at around 8:54 PM on Saturday, March 11, 2006, I dug into my inner coat pocket to take another look at my prized Russell Simmons autographed Polaroid (a portroid, mind you), and it ... was ... GONE!!! Somehow, during this day, I let down my 20 year obsessive-compulsive vigil over all things mine and let slip from my possession my possession. I was stunned! Stupified!! And ultimately disappointed in myself!!!

I tried to retrace in my mind where it could be ... the St. Regis lobby? Maybe. The Isis Theater 1, where I took off my coat twice earlier? Perhaps. The Wheeler Opera House? Possibly. It could be anywhere, anywhere except in my pocket. DAMN!!!

I'll save you the expected suspense and tell you that I never found it. Someone likely picked it up and put it in their pocket (or more likely just stepped on it and maybe threw it away). It was forever to be deposited in the Lost and Found basket of my life (along with Hillbilly Jim's hat and Wicket the Ewok's spear).

Not to be completely confounded, I have taken it from memory and replicated the missing portroid for all of you, my portroid fans. See it here.

I'll write later about all the other portroids I missed on this and the following day. You'll see. The day of missed opportunity continues ...

Love (platonically),


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