Friday, December 2, 2011
On Tuesday, November 29, Shaquille O'Neal, aka the Big Aristotle, aka Shaq Fu, aka Shaq Diezel, made an appearance at Barnes & Noble in Santa Monica. He was there to meet his fans and sign copies of his new book "Shaq Uncut: My Story".
Shaq was scheduled to appear at 7:00 pm. I arrived at B&N at 3:00, bought the book and they gave me a wristband. They were putting people in lettered groups of twenty, but wouldn't let anyone line up until 6:00pm. I was in Group F.
I had three hours to kill, so I hung out at 3rd Street Promenade. When 6 finally rolled around, I went and lined up at the book store. There were about 140 people there at 7:00, but none of them were Shaq. He was running late because he was talking to the media. They also told us he was scheduled to shoot Jimmy Kimmel that night, so they were going to move the line quickly.
He finally started signing at 7:30 and I got to the front of the line at 7:45. He was taking quick pictures with people, but about five people ahead of me, they stopped allowing those pictures. He signed my book, shook my hand, and the B&N staff rushed me out. The whole thing was a bit disappointing, especially after I saw the signature, a crappy crappy signature.
I was happy to finally meet one of my all-time favorite Lakers, but I wish it had been a better experience. When I left the bookstore, there were at least another 120 people still in line. I hope they all got autographs.
Shaq did make his appearance on Kimmel that night. Here's a funny clip of the 7'2, 350 lb Shaq being carried by his 5'2 girlfriend. :