By Tony Hicks
Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 at 7:42 am in Uncategorized.
It’s 7:14 A.M. at the Cow Palace parking lot, and I’ve been put on a timeout.
I’m typing on an unfamiliar computer, which has already eaten my blog post once. At this point, I’m afraid to even worry about spelling correctly.
I arrived about a half-hour ago at what I thought was the invitation of Fox to “cover” people registering to compete in the next round of “American Idol.” I parked in a lot holding approximately seven cars and made my way over to the gate, where a man with a hat was overseeing potential Idols coming in to register. I asked a couple questions and introduced myself. His demeanor changed upon discovering I was media.
I asked what time people started showing up. He looked around, and said tersely “You’ll have to talk to someone inside about that. I don’t have that kind of information.”
Suddenly I felt like I was trying to wrest classified data from the NSA.
So I went back to my car, stopping for small talk with a lady I heard say something about needing to find a hotel. Turns out, she, her 18-year-old daughter and her 16-year-old friend drove all night from Alta Loma to register. Now they were going to sack out for the day and wait for Thursday’s big audition.
A man in a golf cart suddenly appears. Curses! He sneaks up on me and interrupts my classified small talk. I quickly look for weapons, but he apparently has none. He asks if I’d called the right person to be here. Well, no, I say. I thought we were invited and all that. No no no, he shakes his head. I say I’ll be right with him and ask one more question of the nice ladies from Alta Loma. I turn back to him and face more grilling about my affiliation and how I’d come to be here. If he asks to check my shoes for bombs, I’m out of here. He says a Fox press person will soon arrive to tell me where I can talk to people and inquire as to what kind of questions I’m planning to ask. Planning? It’s 7-something in the morning. My only plan is to try keeping from falling into a coma.
Then I’m sent to the far corner of the parking lot – next to two police cars – to await further instructions, where my cameraman Dan Honda already waits. They’ve already got him … no, not Dan! Dammit. For a few minutes, the man in the golf cart – joined by another security person – sits between us and the building. Which makes perfect sense; they wouldn’t want us storming the door shrieking out inappropriate Mariah Carey lyrics.
So they say the proper authority will be here by 8 to deal with us. You know, our kind. Meanwhile, I’m missing out on interviewing the three people who are actually trying to register. I’ll get back to you soon, hopefully, if I haven’t been thrown into an dark interrogation room smelling of cow hair. Please come for us if you don’t hear back …
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