Thursday, November 1, 2012

Meeting Margaret


Did I happen to mention the time I met former Prime Minister of England Margaret Thatcher? No?

I am remiss.

So here’s how it went down. And, yes, this is a completely true story that really happened.

One day I was driving a delivery truck and had a little time to kill while waiting to be called back. With this particular job, I would deliver a package and, if it was fairly far away, they would have me wait to see if a pickup came in before heading back. It saved a lot of time and money, except when no pick up came in.

But I digress...

One day I had a little time to kill, so I stopped at a Border’s Bookstore. I liked this store. It was one of the early ones. It had the aroma of coffee and new books about it. One of the finer scents the human race has managed to manufacture over the centuries. And, as I was browsing around, I became aware of some Men in Black.


First I saw one, and then I saw another and another. Men in black suits, sun glasses and ties and white shirts with shiny black shoes. Just like Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. But before that movie came out. My curiosity was immediately piqued, of course, so I looked around and noticed a line of people. I made the natural assumption that the Men in Black had something to do with it, so I joined the cue.

Just call me “Mr. Adventurous.”

Everyone was being really quiet. The place was in a real hush. It was a little odd, but I went with the flow and waiting silently with no idea of what we were waiting for. I figured I’d just get out of line if it turned out to be something stupid.

The line was long, winding around book shelves, so you couldn’t see where it ended. But then I could tell I was getting close because there were large stacks of books on the floor, hundreds of the same book. And just on the other side of the stacks, where you couldn’t quite see, was an author of some kind, signing books. I could see the signing table. I could see people at the table, but not the person signing. So I picked up one of the books on the big stack. It was Margaret Thatcher’s autobiography, the second part. Apparently the first part was a huge success, and now she was touring the States, signing copies of the second part. Here I was, about to meet Margaret Thatcher.

Why not...

Now, what brings this to mind is that I watched the movie called, “Iron Lady,” a few days ago, about Margaret Thatcher. Which is very good in it’s way, though it presents her in extremes in the sense that she is either old and suffering from dementia/Alzheimer's, or young and over zealous/naive, or middle aged and working too hard to be too tough for too much of the time. You would get the impression from the film that her entire 11 year stint in office was spent huddling away from either screaming, angry mobs trying to kill her, or screaming ecstatic mobs who were getting rich during the eighties, all of whom had nothing better to do but to bang on her car windows and scream every time she left the house.

Aside from these overdone tones, the exceedingly liberal Meryl Streep, of all people, does a superb job of playing the very conservative Margaret Thatcher. Meryl is a marvel to watch, let me tell you. That woman can act. She absolutely becomes Margaret Thatcher.

How do I know? Because I met Margaret Thatcher. Yes I did.

I walked up to the signing desk with my book in hand. I had nothing much to say because I knew very little about her at the time. But she was very quiet and nice and asked me how I was doing today. I said very well, thanks. And she signed the book and handed it back to me. I said, "thank you," and she said, very distinctively:

“Thenk Yewww.”

That was one seriously British woman, let me tell you. And Meryl Streep was the mirror image of her. It was uncanny.

I would be willing to show you the book to prove my story, but I gave it away, a long time ago, to a good friend who I thought would appreciate it.

So you’ll just have to trust me.

Peace to you.

© LW Publishing 2012


  1. That is so cool!! She's a living icon.

    I once delivered an umbrella to the receptionist of the UK Kennel Club that was used to cover Princess Anne's head while she walked from her car into the Kennel Club building.

    Not so cool a story, but it's the only one I have that comes close. ;p

  2. Our little brushes with someone else's fifteen minutes of fame. I actually have more of these odd encounters, and a friend asked me to post some of them. I have been way to busy to do this for a while, but I'm trying to post when I can.


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