An Autograph from Bruce Campbell – By Nichele Johnston

Bruce Campbell, living legend. King of the B-Movies. What girl could resist getting an autograph from the man himself? Not me.

I was lucky enough to meet the man in November 2001 when he came to
Knoxville, TN (where I was living at the time) on the If Chins Could
Kill book tour. However, my website and Rogue Cinema did not yet exist.
But I did get an autograph and a handshake from Bruce "Don’t Call Me
Ash" Campbell. Yeehaw!! But wait, now he’s on another booktour! Now is
the chance for another autograph and an article!!!

Date: June 22, 2005
Place: E Street Theater, Washington DC
Event: Bruce Campbell-In Person! One night only! Here for a book
signing of his latest literary masterpiece Make Love the Bruce Campbell
Way! and screenings of The Man with the Screaming Brain.

5:30pm – I’m still at work, but everything is going well. All the
articles I’m supposed to upload before I leave have been given to me on
time. Now all I have to do is wait for them load and check to see that
all the pics show up and links work. They do! I can leave! The planets
must be aligned in my favor. Woo-Hoo!

5:45pm – I’m standing outside the E Street Theater. A line has formed,
but that’s to be expected. The only problem is it’s a typical muggy
summer afternoon and the line is blocking the entrance of the cell
phone store next door.

6:00pm – I buy a nice shiny copy of Make Love The Bruce Campbell Way!,
get a ticket with the number 139 on it, and go to the downstairs lobby
to wait my turn. The line snakes to a musty corner next to the elevator.

6:20pm – The line hasn’t moved. My legs are starting to cramp. I took a
look at the people in line with me. Most are around my age or older,
chatting with each other or leafing through Campbell’s book. One guy
behind me is wearing a Bubba Ho-Tep tee-shirt. One gal in front of me
is busily reading a gargantuan hardback of one of Stephen King’s Dark
Tower books.

6:40pm – The line actually moves a little. At least now there is a bench that I can sit on.

7:00pm – I move out into a more open area of the lobby. I can breathe
again! The line snakes up the stairs and into the upstairs lobby.

7:10pm – The line is moving again. Now I’m blocking the restrooms.

7:15pm – I can see the man himself, Bruce Campbell, sitting at a table
at the other end of the lobby. He’s wearing a charcoal button down
shirt over a white tee-shirt and cream colored slacks. He also needs a
haircut. This booktour is going to 40 cities. The man must have the
patience of a saint.

7:20pm – Slowly but surely I’m getting closer. But now there are two
lines. Why two lines? It seems that a lot of people in line to get an
autograph are also there to see the 8:00pm screening of The Man with
the Screaming Brain. So now they are alternating movie ticket holders
with just regular autograph seekers. At least there is a bench here to
sit on.

7:30pm – Uh-oh. Something is wrong. Bruce appears agitated about
something and calls the theater workers who are helping corral the
crowd over to the table. It seems that line of movie ticket holders
seeking an autograph is really really long, and Bruce knows that he
will never get them to the theater in time with the current alternating
schedule. So he makes a request–let him get the autographs for the
movie ticket holders out of the way first and then he’ll resume the
autographs for the rest of us. “It’s just like waiting in line at the
airport,” Bruce tells us. I settle in to wait.

7:40pm – The bench I’m sitting affords a nice view of the autograph
table. I watch Bruce sign autographs and pose for pictures. I leaf
through the book. I pick up snippets of Bruce’s small talk with
everyone–“That’s a given…” “It’s overrated.” “Old nicknames die hard,
huh?”

7:45pm – A theater worker goes down the line and re-numbers everyone’s
ticket. My number 139 magically turns into number 6. We are assured
that Bruce will sign an autograph for everyone here. I look back at the
line. Everyone is sitting on the floor and chatting amiably. It could
be worse, I suppose.

8:00pm – Bruce has finished autographs with the movie tickets holders
and disappears into the theater to introduce the movie. In the
meantime, a cake is brought out. Why a cake? It was Bruce Campbell’s
47th birthday.

8:15pm – The cake is being cut. Bruce comes back out and resumes his place at the table.
The autographs continue.

8:20pm – It’s my turn! I walk up to the table, put my book down and
wish him a Happy Birthday. He says thank you and offers me the first
piece of cake. “We’re giving them away free, “ he says. Who am I to
turn down cake? Besides, I haven’t eaten since lunch.

The piece of cake was only the size of a deck of cards but it’s the
thought that counts. I tell Bruce that I have a website where I review
bad movies and that he has ended up on it. He smiles knowingly. “I’ll
bet I have”, he says. “How many times– five, six?” “Twice”, I tell
him. He hands me my book. I say thank you and walk off with my little
treasure.

Today-My autographed copy of Make Love The Bruce Campbell Way! now sits
next to my autographed copy of If Chins Could Kill. They make a nice
pair.