I met Chelsea Handler yesterday. I think. Chelsea Handler is an L.A. comedienne with a celebrity skewer chat show in E! and two best sellers on the New York Times list. She’s raunchy and smarmy - my kind of woman - and her book of humorous essays “Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea” has earned mostly positive reviews.
She’s no Amy Sedaris.
It was a 5:00 p.m. book signing at the Tattered Cover downtown. The e-mail I’d received Friday afternoon from fellow marketing whores at a Denver magazine suggested getting there at 4:00. I could easily wait out an hour or so, browsing the shelves and the men. Nope. This was no mere signing, it was an ink and run. There was product to move.
Buy the book!Get a ticket!Here's your number in line! Post-it bearing my name stuck to the inside cover to speed the process, I braved a wobbly walkway to a private room and waited. Gushing fans were excited to meet her. I anticipated writing inspiration in the pages of the fresh hardcover. I got four, nearly five chapters in. The personal tales are funny, quick quipped and clever, some seemingly fanciful (like her cavalier approach to a night spent locked up in Sybil Brand – where the Manson girls had long slumber parties - after a DUI stop in her 20’s). Her telling of stories from childhood read like Judy Blume through a modern, twisted kids lens; picking a wedgie out of winter pants while wearing oversized mittens reads like poetry.
She flew in (literally), a teenytiny ball of energy in black leggings and either barefoot or wearing flesh colored flip flops, minimal to no makeup, hair and blouse askew as if she’d been napping on the drive over. She exclaimed how tired she was, how she’d just downed a Red Bull. We’d been warned by staff prior to her arrival that she had a stand up gig at 8:00. It was just after 5 p.m. and there were nearly 200 people in the room. I bet she was signed, sealed and out of there in an hour. I was number 64 and as I watched the feverish pace, herded like cattle on speed, I felt silly, a bit used and dirty and not in a good way. I was through the line in mere seconds; she wouldn’t have recognized me if her car ran me down twice on the way out, keeping head down, quickly scribbling while I said hello and attempted to introduce myself.
I checked the inscription after:
Chelsea (or something that may read “army ant” or “Adnan”)
When I’m published, I will be impeccable at signings (appearance and manner), and insist upon coffee and baked goods for everyone. Scones perhaps. I'd at least bother with some blush and a smear of gloss.