Regular YASTM readers may recall my eldest daughters foray into the limelight of my small town's Centennial production of "Oklahoma," last year, and how I spent my time at her rehearsals finishing up the final Harry Potter tome.
Tonight, while dining on some chopped brisket and cole slaw at the one and only barbeque joint in my small town, who should walk in but the fella who played Jud "Poor Jud is daid, poor Jud Fry is daid..." Fry in the very same production.
Unlike Jud-the character, Jud-the person (not his real name, but for simplicity sake, we'll keep it that way) was very much alive and was celebrating his Mom's birthday by taking his entire brood and parents out for some plate likin' 'q.
At one point before his table received their food and after we had mopped up every last drop of sauce from our platters using grilled triangles of Texas toast, Jud came over to say "hey." After an exchange of pleasantries, grins and greetings, I opened the can of worms by asking him if he had ever finished the last Harry Potter book.
You see, Jud was just one of the many folk who were closely following my progress on the book at the play rehearsals. While they all sang, and danced, and recited classic lines of Rodgers and Hammerstein's first musical play up on stage, out in the din of the dimly lit auditorium seating, there sat I, Deathly Hallows in hand, excitedly turning page after page in my quest to reach the end as soon as bloody possible.
At the time Jud and I had much to discuss, as I slowly crept up to the point where he had reached in his book 7 reading efforts. At some point during the final days of dress rehearsal, I overtook his own bookmarks position in the hard bound edition resting on his nightstand and it was at that point that Jud Fry became distant and aloof...at least to me.
So concerned was he that even being in my presence would prove a spoiler to his mental submergence into the world of Harry Potter, that he went out of his way to avoid even making eye contact with me -- this lasted for the rest of the time I spent around the auditorium up until play had it's final curtain call.
Yet here we were, several months later and well past the final word on the final page of the final chapter of the final novel featuring the bespectacled wizard in training, smelling of barbeque sauce and discussing with all the vim and vigor of a couple of D&D playing 19-year olds, our likes and dislikes about the last ever, Harry Potter novel.
Seems appropriate to close this entry with a report from last month that hit the MTV Newswires about Harry Potter fans suffering from acute withdrawal symptoms and showing signs of addiction.