Shopping for Fuzzy Bear Hats with My New Friend Bill Murraycomments (21) October 21st, 2008
It all started with a bear hat. This past weekend I attended Maker Faire, Austin with Michaela and our coworker Nikki. I was able to meet a lot of great people, some of whom are probably reading this. "Hi!" We ate a lot of fries, listened to Rick Astley A LOT, and then...we found the fuzzy bear hats from Foxy Monster.
There were many cool exhibits and booths at the fair, one of which was the Foxy Monster table. Nikki decided to get a green fuzzy bear hat to keep her warm on those frosty winter days in Brooklyn. After hearing the first three lines of "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley coming from the loudspeakers for the fiftieth time that day, I think I finally snapped and claimed Nikki's hat as my own.
I think this is what first caused Bill Murray to stop and say hello. Just a few minutes earlier we heard the rumored sightings that were spreading quickly, "Bill Murray is at the fair." When I looked up from restocking the free magazines on our giveaway table, I found him looking at me curiously. He inquired as to why I might be wearing a fuzzy bear hat on a beautiful sunny day in Austin. I really had no response to such a logical question except that the hat was awesome, and so my afternoon with Bill Murray began.
Moments later he was stealing my French fries, and I thought it was only fair to ask for a photo. He suggested we take a walk as to avoid a stampede, and so Michaela and I took a stroll through the Bazaar Bizarre with our new friend. We spoke about his reason for visiting Austin (Maker Faire, actually), CraftStylish (he requested more Macho Crafts), life in Connecticut, knit ski masks, and of course, the bear hat. We took a couple of photos and we both moved on with our lives, or so I thought.
Throughout the afternoon, Bill kept coming back to our booth and chatting with us, culminating with our trip to the Foxy Monster table to purchase our very own fuzzy bear hats. This of course required us to try on every hat on the table, discussing the pros and cons of each. In the photo above you can see our final choices. They are also reversible in case you were curious.
The strangest part about the whole experience was that it didn't feel strange at all. I met a lot of great people at the fair and my experience with Bill was just an extension of that. It was great to chat with him and I had a lot of fun picking out my hat (which I am wearing as I write this at my desk in Connecticut). Later that afternoon, Bill gave me a call to mention an interesting place he might be heading for dinner. Unfortunately, the dive bar closed early on Sunday and so my story does not end with us having dinner with Bill, but instead with a voicemail explanation of how bingo can be played with a chicken.
To an outside observer, this might seem like a brush with celebrity in the strangest of places, but for me it feels more like a chance meeting that led to a very fun afternoon buying bear hats.