Sunday, July 24, 2011

Christmas in July: 2011 Carnival Novel

Editor's Note: This post is EXTREMELY overdue. Like, six months overdue. If I'd checked the forthcoming novel out of the library, I'd have racked up quite a fine by now. Soph and I tag-teamed this post while she was still in PA, and yet it's been sitting in the drafts folder ever since. Sadly, a lot of these guys aren't on the team anymore, so this is quite a walk down memory lane.

Yes, even though I've gone into hiding over the past month, I did in fact go to last week's Flyers' Wives Carnival, and even had a very special accomplice... SOPH!!! We planned terribly and therefore missed our chance to meet Giroux and Carter (who were totally sold out), but we still had a fabulous time!

Kimmo Timonen Photo Booth

Oh Timonen, he's like everyone's adorably accented, doting dad. Also, he is one half of our favorite Flyers couple! (You might recall that we totes bonded with Mrs. Timonen when she sold Soph the greatest mystery bag ever at the '08 Carnival.) ANYWAY, we knew making Timonen our first stop was a good choice. He shook our hands and asked us if we were enjoying the day. Well, OF COURSE! So what if we'd only been there five minutes, minor detail...

Braydon Coburn Dunk Tank

So we didn't actually dunk Braydon Coburn, we just swooned over him from the sidelines. Watching this man at the dunk tank would have melted even Lou Lamoriello's heart. If I were a famous hockey player making millions of dollars, the last place I would want to be on my birthday (yes, it was Brayds' b-day!) would be in the dunk tank amid screaming children. But there Coburn was, sassing kids and totally playing along like he was having the time of his life. Not to mention, showing off his gams and "awesome arms" (thank you Kristin!) for passer-by. Hockey players, truly the most down-to-earth athletes around.

Mystery Bags

So Soph and I each bought mystery bags, and we both got two cups with the Flyers logo. A complete set! No need to put that on the ol' wedding registry one day. Considering that other people got things like jerseys and autographed pictures, a pretty big FAIL. Unless you enjoy this video. (Which did provide the only silver lining: "Drinkin' outta cups...")

Braydon Coburn Photo Booth

I had taken a pic with Brayds last year and didn't even frighten him with my ice hands, so I knew he would be enjoyable to meet. After swooning over him at the dunk tank, Soph was quite on board. Even though his line wasn't terribly long, it seemed to be taking forever to meet this man. And then we figured out why: Brayds is Chatty McBox and had a legit conversation with EVERY SINGLE PERSON who came up to meet him. Be still my heart. He even lifted up a smallish child so he could stand on a chair and be in the same zip code, height-wise. ANYWAY, Soph kept teasing me that she was going to make me go alone, so once it was our turn, I shoved Soph into the little booth and followed nervously behind. As we threw off our bags, Brayds was like, "Hey, no purses allowed!" and then proceeded to shake our hands and ask for our names. And then the photo session commenced...

BC (to Soph): "Hey, who's that on your jersey? Ah, Giroux. He's a nice guy." (we gather together for the picture) "Well, I'm tall. So we're gonna have to get close, or I can put you on the chair..."
(We opt to snuggle up to Brayds, as much as we could considering we're nervous spazzes, and the picture is taken.)
BC: "So what else are you guys going to do today?"
Soph: "We're going to your autograph booth!"
BC: "Oh, nice! I'll see you there!"
Me (in what I hope was a charmingly shy fashion): "You're my favorite player so..."
BC: "Oh, wow! Thank you!"
Me: "And I think today's your birthday...?" (Sidenote: I totes knew it was his b-day, but I felt like a creeper. Brayds' b-day is the day before my half b-day, so it's easy to remember. If you're a summer baby and had to bring in munchkins for the class on a random winter day, you surely understand the half birthday's importance!)
Soph: "Yeah! Happy birthday!"
BC: "Thanks! Twenty-six today. I'm on the wrong side of twenty!"
Me: "And they stuck you in the dunk tank! On your birthday! That's not very nice!"
BC: "Yeah, I'm still trying to get the water out of my ears! All right guys, have a nice day!"

And therin lies the longest conversation we've ever had in the history of the Carnival! What a wonderful man. If we were cartoon characters, little hearts would have been revolving around our heads after every encounter with him!

Jeff Carter Autograph Booth (say what now?!?!)

Ladies is pimps too, go on, brush yo shoulders off

After swooning over Coburn, we needed sustenance, so we fled to the significantly less crowded mezzanine... where we overheard a worker telling people that they could get get two Carter autographs for $15. Quoi?!?! Considering that Jeff isn't exactly Chatty McBox, he must have whipped through the line of advanced ticket buyers, which left time for other people to buy last minute tickets and meet him at the end of his session. Soph, a Carter Grl, jumped at this chance. And so we found ourselves unexpectedly thrown into the Carter line!

... I don't know what else to say about this encounter. I creeperishly took pictures while Soph actually met vanilla bean himself. Apparently, he said nothing and made eyes at the gaggle of girls standing next to me. Who's surprised? NO ONE.

Jody Shelley Autograph Booth

So after wandering around and watching various players make fools of themselves at the Kinect/Wii booths, we wound up in Shelley's line. Since he's a former Shark, we go way back with Percy Bysshe. (Ha! A little English major humor for you there.) Shelley seemed very nice, but he wasn't particularly chatty. I don't know, perhaps the two jagged lines of stitches in his face had something to do with it. Eeek! In the immortal words of Pops, "That's a rough way to make a buck."

Braydon Coburn Autograph Booth

True to our (creeperish?) word, we met Brayds yet again before the day was through. Now, even though I'm quite shy and skittish (basically Bulls-eye from Toy Story personified), I have met quite a few hockey players in my day. And usually, even if you ask a player to sign something "to" you, the standard message is "All the best!" "Best wishes!" etc. But Brayds is a 110% kind of guy. So Soph got, "You're the best!" and I got, "It was so nice meeting you!" We nearly peed our pants. And! He remembered us, as he asked how our picture turned out! Brayds is certainly like the nicest guy ever, but I'm willing to bet that being a bespectacled redhead with a sparkly headband made me stand out just a little. Whatevs! The 2011 Carnival will forever be known as the day we fell in love (or in my case, more in love, since I do love me a gangly, unsung d-man) with Braydon Coburn.

Darroll Powe Photograph Booth

After our final run-in with Brayds, we actually attempted to get a picture with "Billy Leino." (Thank you, Joff Lupul and your hilarious twitter account!) Solely because we thought it'd be hilarious. But we were shocked to hear that he had to leave early due to some sort of emergency! Eeep! As his [fantasy league] GM shouldn't I know about this?! All kidding aside, we hoped he was okay! Then we decided to meet Powe-wow instead. He was nice but not too chatty, likely because he had heat exhaustion from the lamps in his photo-booth! Soph was only there for a minute and nearly suffered a third degree ass burn! And considering all these lamps, our picture with Powe turned out the darkest. Weird.

JVR Photograph Booth

Well, we still had a bit of time to kill, so we opted to meet the boy who I was supposed to love this year. Yeahh, that hasn't exactly happened. JVR, I'll love you next year... for reals! In any case, he looks ridiculously young in person. (Sidenote: He was born in '89?! Oh dear god!) And he seemed rather sheepishly uncomfortable even with having two nerds like Soph and me pose with him. He said hi and giggled a bit. The REAL conversation happened afterward when an older man working the Carnival gave us our picture:

"Did he talk to you? He's kind of shy. Did he put his arm around you?" (examines our picture upon pulling it out of the printer) "OH HE DID! HE DID!"

Ohhh man. Poor JVR. Just wait 'til I like him!... next year. We'll be drinking Yoo-Hoo with twirly straws together in 2012, woot woot.

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