I IMed cukebrian to see if he wanted to go Zanadu, our friendly neighborhood comic shop. It was Wednesday, new comic day, and I like to go down and pick up a few comics and people watch. Brian likes to go and people watch... And stare at the lightsaber replica in the window. He had been going to visit it for months, but the passion intensified after he got to play with one at the big Star Wars Christmas Party. He messaged back, “I think today is saber day.”
We set a time and I drove down. I was a couple minutes early, but Brian was already there. He had brought Yosh, the Japanese intern at our theater. Yosh was going through the Manga stuff, pointing out what he had owned as a kid. Brian was waiting for one of the salespeople to get the saber from the window for him.
I asked if he was really going to buy it. “Well,” he said, “I brought batteries to test it.” He pulled his hand out of his pocket full of batteries. “It takes six.”
It took a while to get someone to get it, but eventually they manager took it down. The store staff was laughing at how excited we were. As Brian opened the box, I snapped a picture. (Which I won’t post, because it features staff from the store.) The lady working the cash register said, “What the hell was that?”
I explained that I had to take a picture. This was a big moment with three months of buildup. She rolled her eyes, but then he put the batteries in and turned it on. As soon as he did that, the whole store changed. Every nerd in the whole place froze as the sound a of lightsaber powering up bounced around the room when Brian flicked the switch. I snapped another picture.
One of their staff said, “I bet that’s cool with the lights out.”
I said, “You could turn them out, as long as you made an announcement. ‘Attention, the lights will be turned off for 45 seconds for a light saber demonstration at the front counter.’”
Everyone laughed, but the staff begged the manager and he finally agreed. They made an announcement, exactly like mine, and then everyone came to watch the saber. There were about ten people in the store and the lights went down and Brian turned on the sword. The light of the sword is made so that it grows from the handle rather than just turning on all at once. There was general agreement that this was a very cool thing.
Brian said that he would buy it and let Yosh hold it for a second. As he paid, Yoshi swung it around and listened to the noise it made. He couldn’t stop playing with it. He said, “Brian, when you first told me about this, I thought you were stupid, but now that I have held it, I think you are awesome!”
Out in the street, Yosh grabbed the saber and started running down the street with it, back and forth in front of the tanning salon next door. Brian and I wanted to try a nearby falafel place so we made our way there. Yoshi let Brian have the sword back, but as soon as Brian set it down in the restaurant, he couldn’t keep his hands of off it. He ran back with it over his head and swung it towards people in the darkened bar.
At one point during dinner he grabbed it up and ran as quick as he could to the door. There were two pretty girls walking down the street and he turned the sword on and screamed.
He came back in laughing hard and said, in his thick accent, “She was very surprised.”
Then Brian taught us the right way to pose with a lightsaber.
EDIT (PER BRIAN REQUEST) TO INCLUDE THE UNPHOTOSHOPPED VERSION)