I was standing in Gatwick last Saturday, waiting for my sister’s plane from Vancouver to roll in, when I saw a dude holding a handmade “Alice Munro” sign with the same Vancouver flight number on it. In a heartbeat I abandoned my good waitin’ spot and hightailed it over to the Alice sign’s vicinity, where I prepared my best flustered but not too flustered “Oh hi there, I’m a big fan!” speech. I decided I would tell her that Lives of Girls and Women was one of my favourites. I cursed the fact that I’d chosen to read The Help this week instead of Too Much Happiness. I rummaged through my purse looking for something else autographable. Maybe my notebook. But not the pages where I’d written BUY MILK or THIS BOOK SUCKS.
In the end, my sister showed up and I couldn’t just wait around like a creep. I asked the guy if he was waiting for the “real” Alice Munro and he laughed and said that, no, it was just his cousin and I was the second person to ask that. I felt a bit bad that this lady would probably hear about how she was just a poor imitation of the real Alice Munro. Then later I thought it would be funnier if it turned out that she was the real A.M. but her Brit cousin just wasn’t aware of her literary celeb status.