Once I arrived at The Bookshop, however, a more positive mood was discovered. Inspired by the imminent appearance of their former stalwart Alan Smith, Arsenal had walloped in an unfeasibly large number of goals against the hapless Reading the previous evening; the books had arrived in timely fashion, (we believe in the old-fashioned virtue of having books at book signings) and the advance orders with special dedications were neatly arranged for the pre-signing signing session. Even the potential and dangerous distraction from our event which manifested itself in the form of a children's choir on the ground floor proved futile, especially when our science-fiction obsessed colleague walked past them several times in the highly realistic zombie costume he had acquired at his last convention.
Soon, a spirited crowd had formed itself into a more or less orderly queue outside the shop, (although things did get a little edgy when someone suggested that Arsenal should be playing with a roving midfield sweeper behind a sagging diamond formation) and I had to suppress the urge to walk past them chanting Tottenham Hotspur slogans, which, I can assure you, required considerable effort. Messrs Fynn and Smith were friendliness and charm themselves, as they signed for and were photographed with a steady stream of delighted pilgrims from The Emirates.
|Smith (left) and Fynn|
In the end, all went well, star guests and customers alike were satisfied, and it was with good cheer that my colleagues boarded the special yaks, thoughtfully chartered by the rail companies, to travel home.