The Coolest Story Ever about Sherman Alexie. Okay, The Coolest story ever that invovles me. There are only two. Of the two, this one's the Coolest.

It's Free Book Friday! Answer the question at the bottom to enter this week.

For those of you who thought Smokey wasn't really my cat, and he was just some loser hairless cat I found on the internet, here's the proof.

Of course, I had to pluck out my right eyeball shortly after this pic was taken because Smokey tried to lick it.

Mr. Alexie
I saw Sherman Alexie speak at The King's English Wednesday night. You guys remember how much I gushed about him in L.A.? It is so big that he came to TKE to talk about his new book War Dances. It was easily the biggest crowd I've seen at their next door art gallery.
At times inappropriate (He told a joke about... um... nevermind) and at others raucous (especially when he smack-talked our own Ute Indians), his speech had people holding their bellies, laughing so hard. Like a stand up comedian. That funny.
Okay, I've been holding it in for way too long. I have to tell you the coolest part of the whole night.

So, I park about a block down from TKE, on the street, and as I get out of my car and onto the sidewalk, guess who's right there? Walking next to me? All by his lonesome? Sherman Alexie.

I don't know how y'all act around famous people, but believe it or not, I get very shy. So I smile at him, and sorta look at the ground. (Which is lame, because I'm walking toward TKE, books in hand. It's obvious I'm here to see him speak. I could at least say hi.)

Get this. He's a little ahead of me, and he immediately turns around and says, "I met you in L.A., didn't I?"

There were like 2,000 other people he met there too.

So I'm all, "Um, yes Mr. Alexie."

He points at me. "Now, don't tell me your name..."

Me (incredulous): "Oh gosh, there's no way you could remember my-"

Him: "Brodi. Right?"

Me (silent as I listen for a loud crack in the universe that I'm sure is coming): Mouth hangs open. Breathing gets rapid. Hyper-Brodi emerges from her cocoon inside my chest, where she's been buried since the sixth grade, when Matt Nance said her ears were so tiny and cute, and she got all twitterpated and couldn't stop panting.

Me: "Mr. Alexie. You. Just. Made. My. Life. I feel like a Beatle just remembered my name."

Him (laughing): "You and your friends were the ones in the t-shirts, right?"

I gasp as if he just handed me a billion dollar bill. I reach down to unbutton my sweater, and then flash him my red t-shirt. Okay, he may have backed up a step, because I sorta looked like a crazy trenchcoat flasher. He was noticeably relieved when I, indeed, had a shirt on under there, with the word "Violent" in bold black letters.

Him: "That's right. You're violent. And your friends were..."

Me: "Blasephemous and Inappropriate! Blasephemeous and Inappropriate!" Passers by were probably wondering why the blond chick had stopped Sherman Alexie on the sidewalk to shout "Blasephemous and Inappropriate!" at him.

Sherman Alexie Gems during his speech:

*He got in trouble at BEA for saying he wanted to beat up a woman because she had a Kindle. He says, "Apparently, Kindle readers don't understand metaphors."

*With a Kindle, there is no foreplay. (He proceeds to stroke the spine of his book).

*Talking about people who were bored by his speech and wanted to sneak out early, he says, "But you think to yourselves, 'If I leave everyone will think I'm a racist'."

*He wonders why every time he does an event, women feel compelled to wear turquoise jewelry.

*He says liberals in Utah have as much power as an amoeba on an amoeba on a tick clinging to a deer's ... um... bum. Then he quips, "But it's beautiful here."

*He jokes about living in Seattle. In his son's elementary school, there are "78 Lesbian couples who all adopted Asian girls, and all named them 'Grace'." So if you're sitting in class, chances are you're sitting by an Asian girl named "Grace Ming-Na Lowenstein."

*He called out Emily Wing Smith and led the entire audience in a chorus of Happy Birthday.

Later, I was in line behind Sara Zarr to get my book autographed. (Sara Z. and Sherman are peeps, you see, because that's how Sara Z kicks it. She told a story about how she heard Sherman speak maybe 6 years before her first book was published, and at the time she never, not in a googolian years, could've imagined the two of them would meet again as colleagues and nominees at the National Book Awards). I hope she blogs about that.

Anyway, so she's all huggy with Sherman, and then he gets to me and my book, remembers how to spell my name, and signs it like "To Brodi- Still the Coolest Name Ever, Sherman Alexie".

I stand there awkwardly for a moment.

Me: "I'm... I'm... speechless."

Sara Z (without missing a beat): "And that's saying something."
(Sherman Alexie, laughing at my joke. In fact, I said "This is Sherman Alexie, laughing at my joke" as I took the picture)

I learned something about Sara Zarr that night. She seems unflappable. Of course, she's real friends with Sherman Alexie (not dream friends, like me) but I really can't imagine Sara Z. ever flappable. We went to the Dodo afterward for Emily's birthday, and she didn't flap once.

After the Sherman "Name-Recall" incident, Hyper-Brodi talks to Unflappable Sara Zarr, and it can be summed up as follows:

Me: "Sara! Did I tell you about Sherman-""

Her: "Yes."

Me: "The one where he remembered my name?"

Her: "Yes."

Me: "Did I show you the street? Where he walked, and I walked, and we walked together, and I flashed him my chest?"

Her: "Yes."

Me: "Oh good. Wait a sec. We haven't left the building. How could I have shown you the street? Silly Sara. You want me to show you now?"

Her: "It's okay."

Me: "Hey Sara. Did I tell you Valynne got me Good 'n Plenty's for my b-day? I love them so much."

Her: "I hate black licorice."

Me: "Black licorice is supposed to be an upper."

Her: "Valynne got you an upper? Hmmm..."

Me: "Hey Sara. I bet if you eat a million Good 'n Plenty's for a million days in a row, you'll acquire the taste."

Her: "No."

Me: "Hey Sara. Did you see how Sherman Alexie signed my book? He laughed at my joke. He thinks I'm so funny. I would totally date him. Just kidding. He's married. He's married, right?"

So how do y'all handle brushes with your own idols? Are you unflappable like Sara Z.? Or do you shake it like a bowl full of jelly in the presence of greatness, as I do? Answer, and you'll be entered in the drawing for a free book from my autographed book shelf.