It's a strange to think that sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury, the sweetest guy in the worl, a guy who likes just about everybody, can't stand me. I still don't understand exactly what I did. I'll tell you what I know and maybe you can figure it out.
A few years ago I went to hear him speak at a church auditorium near UCLA. It was a few days before Christmas and there were actually snowflakes in the air, a rarity in LA. I was feeling great, not only because of the holiday but because that very day I'd figured out what I thought was the true meaning of Clement Moore's "Night Before Christmas." I told my friends about it but they didn't seem very impressed. It occurred to me that maybe Ray Bradbury would be a more receptive audience. Ray's speech was wonderful and afterward he offered to sign books, including books of his that people brought from home. I didn't have a book but I got in line and patiently waited my turn. When I finally got up to him I was almost bursting at the seams. "Ray" I said. "I figured out why "The Night Before Christmas" is the most famous Christmas poem! I can tell it to you in less than a minute!!!"
To my surprise a suddenly grimacing Ray leaned into my face and said something like: "Oh, you're a big man aren't you!? You know more than the rest of us don't you!? You're Mr. Bigshot aren't you!!!??" I was shocked. I could think of nothing else to do but a Ralph Cramden lip quiver: "Humna-humna-humna-humna!" I left the line and felt his stare on my back all the way out the door into the snowflakes.
Did I get him on a bad day? Maybe, but a few weeks ago I went to hear him speak again and he refused to look at me even though I was seated in the front row, right infront of him. There was a long awkward silence when no one could think of a question to ask and even then he wouldn't acknowledge me. He just looked around either side of my (tastefully) waving hand. You'll have to take my word for it that I didn't act in a way that any one else would find off-putting. Maybe I have the wrong pheronomes. Anybody have a thought about this?