Monday Knight is out of the hospital and back to her
knock-'em-dead gorgeous self. But even she didn't know what
was waiting for her just around the corner. And it all began
in--of all places--Grand Forks, ND.
You see, *NSYNC was scheduled to perform at the local Alerus
Center on March 29, 2002. Their opening act was Smash Mouth.
Well, Monday was in luck, because her creator, Janet Elaine
Smith, and her husband, Ivan went to one of their favorite
hangouts, Branigan's, for dinner. (Well, in ND we call it
supper, but you get the idea.) The hostess greeted them with
"I can seat you in the dining room tonight, if you'd
prefer. It's kind of smoky and loud in the lounge
tonight." We said it didn't really matter; the chairs in
the lounge are much more comfortable.
When our waitress, Tiphani, came over, she said in a
near-whisper, "The band that is opening for *NSYNC is
sitting over there." She nodded her head in the direction
of the tables on the other side of the fireplace. "Their
name is Smash Mouth."
It wasn't as loud as we had expected. In fact, they were quite
well-behaved, although they were obviously having a good time.
Before long, Lisa, a young girl who has sort of adopted us as
her second parents, came bouncing in. "I saw your car
parked out front, so I stopped." Ivan told her that the
opening act for *NSYNC was sitting over there, and Lisa's
mouth dropped open as she gasped then asked, "Oh, my God!
You mean Smash Mouth is HERE?" There was only a momentary
pause before she said, "Do you think I could go over and
talk to them?" Ivan said he didn't know why not, and we
asked Tiphani, and she said "Go ahead."
Well, Lisa was in a teenager's heaven as she talked to them,
then she hopped back over and asked if we had a pen so she
could get an autograph. "Oh, and some paper, too?"
In a flash she was gone. They not only signed two paper
autographs, which they gave to me for my daughter and her
roommate, but they signed a plate for Lisa. Lisa, who has
worked as a waitress, said when she saw the size of the tip
they had sitting on the table, she was sure they wouldn't
complain about one missing plate.
Well, by now intrigued myself, I went over to join them,
carrying a copy of Monday Knight with me. I said,
"Do you talk to old ma's who don't even know who you
are?" One of them grinned and said, "We all have old
ma's and most of them wish they didn't know us!" I showed
one of them my book and said, "I'm nowhere near as famous
as you guys are, but I am at least a little bit famous. This
is my latest book." One of them took it and began to read
the back cover. "This is so cool!" he said, while I
just stood there and grinned. "Would you like it?" I
asked. "Wow! Yeah! I can read it first, then we will pass
it around. We are touring with *NYSNC and now we can say in
our opening act that we met somebody famous in Grand Forks,
North Dakota!" Then THEY asked ME for MY autograph!