Being a bellman means you constantly encounter the proverbial double-edged sword.
On one hand, I’m a raging fanboy. On the other, in my role as a hospitality wage slave I encounter celebrities on a regular basis. Professional ethics prohibit me from going “full geek” on celebrities. (Though, to be clear, the hotel’s pretty understanding, as long as the celebrities feel the same.)
How do I handle situations like this, you ask? Well, sometimes I’m suave and sophisticated. And then there are times… I’m not.
Yes, I met one of my childhood heroes, who was in town for Niagara Falls Comic Con – and I froze up.
THE FIFTH DOCTOR: Yes, I’m looking for a package of photographs that should have been delivered by 5pm?
Now, instead of thanking Mr. Davison for a lifetime of inspiration and geeky giddiness, I resorted to the aforementioned lame joke.
ME: I’ll check the back, sir, but it’s too bad they didn’t use a TARDIS… they could have delivered it yesterday.
To my credit, he chuckled heartily. I then checked the back – and came up empty. I felt horrible disappointing a Time Lord, but it was UPS’ screw-up so I got over it quickly. However, when I returned to my desk, all I could do was leave him longing for his pics.
He walked away and I felt devastated. As a lonely kid who felt like an outcast in his own family, never mind the rest of the world, watching Doctor Who on PBS and its Canadian equivalent, TVOntario, gave me hope and let my mind wander beyond the limits of my bleak 1970s reality.
In short, Peter Davison, Tom Baker and their fellow Doctors saved my life.
So when Mr. Davison returned an hour later, professional ethics be damned, I knew what I had to do.
ME: I don’t mean to bother you, Mr. Davison… but I’m going to. (Thankfully, he chuckled.) You see, you were always my Doctor… and if I let the opportunity to tell you that pass by I’d never forgive myself.
He chuckled again.
We shook hands. He even thanked me.
He walked away, again, but this time I had set things right. A short while later, I introduced “my Doctor” to my unique, non-Time lord sense of humor in response to one of his tweets.
Yes, I’m a middle-aged rascal. I’ll be seeing The Fifth Doctor again tomorrow at Niagara Falls Comic Con. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have con preparations to… prepare. Thank you for reading.
See you in the lobby, kids…