The Night I Almost Ran Over Ralph Macchio With My Scooter


Let’s face it – I’m a geek and I wear the badge proudly. From my work (web developer) to my hobbies (gaming) I revel in my geekdom. Last summer my husband and I went to DragonCon after a several year long hiatus and we took our oldest son and his best friend with us as his graduation gift. For those of you who aren’t in the know, DragonCon is a yearly sci-fi / gaming convention that takes place in the heart of downtown Atlanta over Labor Day weekend.

One of the celebrity guests at the last Con was Ralph Macchio. Now I don’t know about you, but I have always been a huge Ralph Macchio fan. I cried when Johnny died in The Outsiders and I cheered Daniel-san’s victories in The Karate Kid movies. I was beside myself when I saw his name on the list of celebrities who would be hosting panels and signing autographs. Nevermind that he has exactly zero to do with sci-fi OR gaming – this was Ralph effing Macchio and I was going to get his autograph come hell or high water.

If you’ve ever been to DragonCon, or any convention for that matter, you know how much walking around there is. For the first time since we started going, I just couldn’t do it. My knees and hips just couldn’t take it so I ended up renting one of those mobility scooters. It took a little bit of getting used to, but pretty soon I was tooling my fat, happy self along the streets of downtown Atlanta without a care in the world.

On the third evening of the convention, I met up with my husband and we decided to make the rounds at the Walk of Fame which is where the celebrities hold court and sign autographs and such. So we’re making our way around the room and OHMIGOD there’s Ralph Macchio signing autographs and talking with a couple of fans. The line wasn’t very long so we took our places and before you know it, we were next.

What happened next was cringeworthy and is forever etched in my brain. I remember thinking “Hi my name is Cyndi and I’m a huge fan” but what actually came out of my mouth was closer to a Beavis & Butthead monologue. “Heh heh Ralph Macchio…mumble mumble” What can I say…I totally blame it on my fangirl-y-ness. He must be used it though because he was really nice. He smiled, shook my hand, signed my autograph and off I went.

Well, not quite. 

I started to maneuver my scooter forward to drive away from the booth, only to realize that I had it in reverse. Oops! After bumping into the gentleman behind me, who was very gracious about it by the way, I started to go forward again but I accidentally gave the scooter too much juice and it jumped forward, clipping the side of Ralph Macchio’s booth and sending the PVC uprights swaying precariously. He jumps back with an “Oh shit!” and I’m sitting there, red-faced and trying to apologize but still unable to make actual words come out of my mouth.

Once assured that everyone and everything was alright, I very carefully steered my scooter out of the fray and rode away, still hearing him talking to his press agent about the fan who “almost took the whole damn thing out”.

Sigh…so yeah, that’s the night I almost ran over Ralph Macchio at DragonCon with a rented mobility scooter. My mother would be so proud.

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