Nate Is A Weasel: Berry Rampage

Big City Author Goes Berserk, Overturns Kiosk

AUSTIN, TEXAS (from wire reports) –  An ugly scene erupted Monday at downtown Austin’s BookPeople when Matthew Berry, author of the New York Times best-seller Fantasy Life, had to be restrained during his own book signing.  No fatalities were reported.  The kerfuffle appeared to have broken out after the author’s Q&A session, a transcript of which follows:

Matthew Berry: Hello, Austin!  I just flew in from College Station, and boy are my arms tired! (dead silence) Okay, humorless crowd tonight.  Let’s get right to the questions.

Crazed Fan #1: Yes, Mr. TMR, I’m in a long-term, 20-team, Point-Per-Punt, NFC-only dynasty league.  My question is, what are Tress Way’s chances of taking over the punting job for the Bears this year, and if so, do you feel his placeholding duties will affect his punting?

MB: Wow, I think you need to get a life. (general laughter)

Crazed Fan #1: Well, I understand punting isn’t everyone’s favorite cup of tea, but I have an enormous amount of money on the line this year –

MB: It’s no one’s cup of tea, sir, it’s a giant steaming mug of vomit.  Next question.

Sensible Fan #1: Yes, I have a question about your “bold predictions” column.

MB: Thank God.

Sensible Fan #1: In it, you predict top 10 running back finishes for Steven Jackson, Matt Forte, Chris Johnson, Reggie Bush, Eddie Lacy, MJD, Lamar Miller, and David Wilson.

MB: Pretty much, yeah.

Sensible Fan #1: Yet your preseason rankings have 10 completely different running backs in the top 10. How many top 10 running backs do you think there will be?

MB: Look, these are bold predictions, they’re not all gonna happen.

Sensible Fan #1: Yes, but wouldn’t it be just as bold to predict which current favorites will fall out of the top 10 to make room for the bold predictions?

MB: Uh, you make a good point, and I’d just like to say, um – WHITE LIGHTNING! WHITE LIGHTNING! (At this point a dart flies into the neck of Sensible Fan #1, who slumps immediately to the ground.)  Oh look, he appears to have fainted.  Can we get him some help, please? (Four security men quickly cart the body away.)

Sensible Little Boy #1:  Daddy, no!

MB: Um, can I get a mini-lightning here? (Boy mysteriously slumps over, security men make another trip.) Good. Next question.

Sensible Fan #2: Um, am I going to get shot?

MB: Of course not. Don’t be silly.

Sensible Fan #2: Okay. I play in an IDP league, and I was wondering can JJ Watt live up to the hype?

MB: Thank you, that’s a good question.  It’s good because it’s not about punting! (glares at Crazed Fan #1).  Yes, I was high on Watt last year and predict double-digit sacks again.

Sensible Fan #2: Great, and I have a follow-up.  Will Chris Jones have a breakout year?

MB: You mean Chris Jones the new Houston defensive tackle?

Sensible Fan #2: No, I mean the other Chris Jones, the Cowboys punter.

MB: Are you messing with me right now?

Formerly Sensible But Now Crazed Fan #2: Look, it’s not like I’m asking about some backup punter.  Jones has the job and can really kick.

MB: Maybe you should leave.

Crazed Fan #2: It’s a legitimate question, Mr. TMR –

MB: Yeah, I don’t think so. Security!

Crazed Fan #2: No!  I will not be silenced by your squad of hired goons!  Let me go! (Crazed Fan #2 is roughly escorted out.  In the distance, a Taser can be heard.)

MB: I sincerely hope we won’t have a repeat of that unpleasantness (meaningful look at audience). Now, who’s next?  Yes, the little old lady in the front here.

Little Old Lady #1: Could you please come up with a 90210-themed team name for me?

MB: How about “Spelling Disaster”?

Little Old Lady #1: That’s putrid.  I’m sticking with “Miles Austin Dream”.

MB: Ugh.  You deserve what you get, lady.  Who else?

Fan We’re Not Sure About Yet #3: I have a question.

MB: First of all — and I want you to listen to me very carefully — does this question have anything to do with punters?

Fan We’re Not Sure About Yet #3: It’s about Peyton Manning.

MB: Great.  Sure, go ahead.

Definitely Insane Fan #3: What kind of leg do you think he has?


Transcript ends here.  Damage was estimated in the dozens of dollars.  The NCAA found no wrongdoing in the matter, and ruled Berry would just have to skip the first half of his next autograph.  Not autograph signing, next autograph.

Matthew Berry and man known only as "Crazed Pflugerville Eric #4" moments before Berry's epic meltdown.

Matthew Berry and man known only as “Crazed Pflugerville Eric #4” moments before Berry’s epic meltdown.