That Time George A. Romero Bought a Birthday Present For My Mom

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I grew up on a steady stream of horror movies.

When my sister and I wanted to rent Grease…

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My mother protested until we rented The Exorcist again.

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Ever heard of The Mist?

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My mom told us that story on a foggy day on our way into the super market.

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I wanted to be Lydia as a little girl…

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And I knew exactly what to do in case of a zombie attack…

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Although fast Zombies threw me for kind of a curve ball.

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But this was all thanks to my mother.

She is going to kill me for putting this up here.

She is going to kill me for putting this up here.

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This was our 2010 Christmas tree. I was 23. My sister was 20. My mother was… 29…

So when I was 19 and heard George A. Romero….

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Father of the Zombie genre…

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Would be at the Huntington Cinema Arts Center (I’m From Long Island) To show The Crazies…

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No, the original version.

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And talk to the audience afterwards, I just about

Lost.

My.

Shit.

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I went with childhood best friend and fellow movie buff/maker, Ally, and some other people who I just do not remember. My guess would be our friend Alex (who was a good 8 years older than us) and his friend Mad Max (not sure if this is what we referred to him as to his face or behind his back) who was in love with/stalked Ally.

But that’s another story.

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We went. We watched The Crazies. George and the old lady that had played the little girl answered questions from the audience.

Then we got to meet him.

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We stood on line (yes – ON line – Something I didn’t know was an odd thing to say until I started dating an animator from Maryland) –

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We stood ON LINE for what seemed like hours (it wasn’t). I was planning on getting George to sign my hip and I was going to get it tattooed on to me (probably the next day)…

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Until someone that worked there said it was $15 per signature.

We thought surely he was kidding. We’d been standing ON this line for hours (probably a half hour at this point) and figured someone would have mentioned it earlier.

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They weren’t kidding.

That’s when I realized I had exactly $15 left.

This was about the same time I realized my mom’s birthday was the next day and I’d yet to get her a good present.

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I wanted to get my mom a good birthday present….

But I also wanted George Romero’s signature forever on my body.

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I went with the present for my mom (which was obvious by the title of this post).

All I had on me was a flyer from the Huntington Cinema Arts Center, but that would have to do. We get up to George (who was a giant and had been drinking all night — You would too if you were surrounded by nerds asking you ridiculous questions).

Ally and I took pictures with him.

Then I handed him the flyer.

“I was going to get you to sign me, but I only have $15 left and tomorrow is my mom’s birthday. She’s the reason I ever got to see any of your movies. So if you could just sign this for her – That would be amazing.”

My hero looked up at me.

“What’s her name?”

“Geri.”

“How do you spell that?”

“G-E-R-I.”

He paused momentarily. I thought it had been from the booze, but instead it was a thought.

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“Don’t we have anything nicer to write this on?” he mumbled to himself(?).

He then turned and said it louder to the girl selling the pictures.

“I don’t know, George. You make the rules, George.”

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He pulled out a wod of cash and tossed some at the girl.

He turned to me and said –

“Go ahead, kid. Pick out a picture.”

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And that’s how we got to here.

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She framed it.

And also probably here.

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Little DEAD Riding Hood. Halloween 2009.

George A. Romero was in Land of the Dead with Simon Pegg…

Who was in…

Eh, who cares about Kevin Bacon right now? GEORGE A. ROMERO bought a birthday present for my mom!

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