I had a very short day today, and was wrapped just after lunch, so I had the afternoon to myself to take care of some very important business.
Before I get to that, though, a little bit about working on Eureka…
The good news is that I was given permission to twitter and photograph from the set of Eureka. The bad news is that this episode is so awesome, everything I'm shooting or watching is a special delivery from Spoilertown … so I end up taking boring pictures of the outside of the old Battlestar Galactica stage. This may seem silly, but knowing that I'm >this< close to where that show was made gives me a little bit of the nerdsquee every morning. I mean, it happened right there!
I thought some of you would like to know that Neil Grayston is awesome. I've worked with him in all of my scenes, and I really like him. It turns out that we have a lot in common: we both played D&D when we were kids (I started with Basic, he started with 2nd edition AD&D), we both love acting, we both like science fiction, and we both love being on the show.
Okay, now back to (my) business. When I came up here last week, I felt like my suitcase was lighter than it should have been. I decided that it felt that way because I didn't bring a heavy coat, and I was used to carrying suitcases to cons, which are usually pushing the weight limit with books and pictures inside.
Well, when I got here and unpacked, I discovered that my suitcase was light because I'd left a load of laundry in the dryer and hadn't packed it. Oops. Luckily for me, I had enough of everything I needed except jeans and socks, so on Saturday, I ran over to a nearby department store and bought 4 pair of socks plus two pair of jeans.
This morning, when I was getting ready to get dressed for work, I saw that the cashier dude hadn't taken that giant plastic alarm-ringer-thingy off one pair of the jeans I'd bought. Luckily, I saved my receipt so I could get my GST back when I go home, so I knew I could just go there today after work and get it taken care of.
I felt very self-conscious walking around with a pair of jeans folded up underneath one arm for reasons I can't explain, and I guess I had good cause to feel weird about it because I was really aware of people looking at me when I walked past them. On my way to the store, it started to rain, so I decided to walk through a different department store that was a block closer than my destination. Of course, the alarm went off on the way into the store, drawing even more unwanted attention my way. I waited to see if someone in the store would come over and see what was going on, but nobody did, so I walked through the store and out the other side.
The alarm went off when I went out. I thought, "Seriously? This couldn't have happened once on Saturday, and it's happened twice today?"
An older man in a long coat and a jacket – looking very much like one of the bankers the headcrusher guy from Kids in the Hall hates so much – gave me a withering look, like he was convinced I'd stolen the jeans that were rolled up underneath my left arm. I can see why it would have appeared suspicious to, well, anyone. Again, I waited for someone to come over, and again nobody did. "Maybe Canadians are just more trusting than Americans," I thought, as I walked across the street and into my destination.
As I stood at the light and waited to cross, I noticed that a pair of girls were looking at me and whispering to each other. "Okay, Wil, you're totally being paranoid now. Maybe it's time to go back to the hotel and lie down for a little bit. Also, the light just changed so get a move on."
I walked into the store, and the alarm went off. "Of course," I thought.
I headed to the first cash register I could find, and waited. When an employee arrived, I blurted out, "I'm not a criminal!" She looked at me like that's exactly what I was, so I continued in what I hoped was a calmer voice, "I bought these on Saturday, and the guy forgot to take the tag off." She looked at me warily. "I have the receipt," I said. I pulled it out of my pocket and set it on the counter.
I remembered a day, about a year ago, when I was at a Staples near my house buying printer paper (yeah, they've got that) and a couple of full-on tweakers came in, trying to "return" a handful of pens and stuff they carried in a well-worn plastic bag. The manager made them immediately, and while the female half of the couple tried to convince him that they'd bought them the day before and just didn't need them, a car alarm went off in the parking lot. The guy half of the couple was seriously high – picking at his neck, tapping his foot, the whole thing – and he started looking around furiously while he said with increasing volume, "Alarm! Alarm! Alarm! Alarm! ALARMALARMALARMALARM!"
I got out of there before things got ugly. Well, uglier, anyway.
The cashier looked at me again while she picked up the receipt, and I was convinced she was seeing that tweaker couple in my face. "I have the card I paid with if you want to verify that I'm telling you the truth," I said. I don't know why I felt so guilty, but I wouldn't have been surprised at all if I got the tap on the shoulder and the "Sir, will you come with me, please?"
After what seemed like a very long time, she apparently decided that I wasn't making up a story, took the plastic alarm thingy off, and gave me back my jeans.
"Do you think I could have a small bag, please?"
She just looked at me with a mixture of incredulity, confusion, annoyance, and other.
"I feel a little weird carrying a pair of jeans around town," I explained. With obvious reluctance, she gave me the bag. Needless to say, I got out of the store pretty quickly.
Once I was out of the store and on a fairly busy shopping street, I relaxed … for about a block, when I noticed that people were still looking at me. I remembered feeling like a circus freak when I was a teenager, because people stared at me all the time after seeing me on their TVs…
…and that's when it hit me. "Oh. People are looking at me because I was on TV last night and they're trying to figure out where they've seen me before."
Mostly out of relief, I laughed out loud and relaxed for real this time. I walked back to my hotel feeling fitter, happier, more productive.