Sunday, May 22, 2011

Meeting Herman Cain

Wife and I had the opportunity to travel to Atlanta for yesterday's Herman Cain announcement. We attended the private breakfast beforehand, and had the chance to get close to the candidate.

Well, sort of.

You see, the agenda called for breakfast at 9:15, with Mr. Cain arriving at 9:45.

Only, it didn't work out that way. He got there early.

I had just finished going through the buffet line and was back at the table when he entered the room. And that caused a sudden shift in everyone's activities. Including mine.

I glanced to my left, saw his path was going to take him right by me, and decided to place the plate on the table, and let the rush of folks take me over.

The rush of folks came first.

I was jarred, and my plate of food fell. $2,500 worth of sausage biscuit and fruit hit the floor. Okay, I'm exaggerating about the cost. But, this being a campaign event, some people may have paid that much just to attend. So it's possible, just not factual. Had it been one of them instead of me, then, yes, it would have been $2,500 worth of sausage biscuit and fruit.

But my food did fall. Or the plate did. And the food was on the place. And not all of it stayed on the plate. Some of it bounced off the plate and onto the floor.

So, I'm standing there in the aftermath of a crash of plate, table, chair, and floor, with the person I came to meet just a few feet away. He's ahead of time, and this is a chance to spend some unscheduled time meeting and chatting with him. And maybe ask some questions.

Only, I've got food at and on my feet.

So, I grab some napkins from the table and squat. Meanwhile, there's a crowd working there way past the table and me, trying to get close to Herman Cain. Legs, knees, hands all participating in the rush, and not in a helpful way, either.

I gather all the parts of biscuit and fruit -- the parts of the plate of food that actually left the plate and took up residence on the floor -- in napkins as best I could, then stood and placed the ex-breakfast on the table.

Here I am, standing with buttery, sausage-soaked biscuit and bits of melon on my hands. Wife hands me the hand sanitizer, and I start my Mr. Monk impersonation, rubbing the cleaner as fast and as thoroughly as I can.

I have missed my best opportunity to meet the man I came to see. But, not my last opportunity, as it turned out.

After I finally got all the food off the floor and my hands cleaned, I look for a place to dispose of the bits of the inedibles. I start scanning the room. First, straight ahead, to the podium, looking for Herman Cain, hoping to plan a chance to get up close.

The room was still abuzz, but I didn't see Herman Cain anywhere. Had he made a quick appearance and then departed for some other pre-announcement work before coming back for his scheduled talk?

No, as it turns out, he was at his family's table, talking with his children and grandchildren. I discovered that when I turned to my right and found myself eye to eye with Herman Cain.

He must have quickly glanced at my name tag -- either that or he's a huge fan of this blog; I'm thinking the former, but telling myself the latter -- called me by name, and told me he was glad to seem me as he shook my hand.

I responded in kind, and glanced to the lady on my left. The Wife extended her hand and she and Herman Cain exchanged pleasantries. He introduced Gloria, his wife, and the proper greetings occurred.

He turned his focus to the family at their table, and we turned our focus back to our table.

So, while I did get to meet him, my breakfast malfunction messed up my best chance to actually chat and ask questions.

The sausage biscuit was good, though. The parts that didn't fall on the floor.

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