“Yeah, I just got back from a year working as a bartender in Malawi,” said the windswept blonde to the doe-eyed brunette seated beside him, and behind me, as we awaited the delayed arrival of Aziz Ansari. The banner at the entrance to the Union Square Barnes & Noble read “Aziz Ansari: Modern Romance – Book Signing, 12pm.” My watch showed 12:34, as I continued to unwittingly learn more about the “dark continent,” courtesy of this rather endless, self-involved pick-up attempt. “Mr Ansari is currently stuck in traffic and sends his apologies,” explained a store clerk. Apology not accepted, Aziz.
“Oh, Madrid is my favorite city, but I’m biased because I studied there for four years,” interjected windswept, interrupting doe-eyes, who’d finally begun to talk a bit about herself. Given that we were all gathered for a book of advice on dating in the 21st century, the sting of irony burned my eardrums as this conceited courtship continued. At least well-traveled windswept might learn a thing or two, I figured, until he explained, “Oh, I’m not really here for myself. I’m getting copies signed for some friends.”
Mercifully, Ansari arrived shortly thereafter, mid-lecture on the geo-politics of Southern Africa (a topic of conversation I was increasingly finding hard not to interject). Taking the stage, the comedian thanked the audience, apologizing for the delay. “You can all come up now to get your books signed. Please don’t murder me,” he jokingly-not-jokingly jibed, grinning in his cheesy characteristic way. Aw, who am I kidding Aziz, I can’t stay mad at you.
Although today’s appearance by Ansari was limited to a book signing, he spoke at length about his new book last week at the Strand. If you’re reading this Windswept Blonde, I know you’re not going to read the book but at least (perhaps, while you await your next flight to take ayahuasca in the Andes), watch the below clip.