The volunteers at the Book Fair have a rough job herding the audience into their seats before each event. As I entered Chapman Auditorium for the Evening with Drs. Brian and Amy Weiss, I asked one of the volunteers where I should sit. He answered, "I don't care where you sit, as long as you don't run nobody over." Looking around, I could see this might be a bit of a concern. The room was packed and the volunteers were very busy, trying to make sure all of the seats filled in an orderly fashion.
Things are a little different when Tom Wolfe comes to the Book Fair. For example, the stand-by line in the back alley, where they take the people who think they can just walk in without securing a ticket first, fills up. I know, because I ducked down that alley to have a private moment with my press pass. As soon as the Book Fair employees walked away, a shadowy man appeared and began to scalp tickets to the event. Think about that for a second--scalpers at a book fair. Who could have imagined?