LAS VEGAS-- If there was one thing I was committed to this morning, it was to seeing the saddest man at CES.
You might remember him from yesterday. He was the unfortunate stage presenter who, on behalf of Sharp's fine televisions, found himself talking only to himself.
No matter how hard he tried -- and he tried -- people kept walking on by toward Samsung, Toshiba or Starbucks.
He even turned his back on the main aisle and vainly talked at those behind him. They kept their backs turned to him.
So this morning I went in search to see if yesterday's lack of audience had driven him from his mind, or at least from Vegas. It had not.
He was on the very same stage, wearing -- it seemed to me -- the very same clothes. Perhaps the night had been late, the sorrow unbearable and the whiskey neat.
This time, he had an audience. There were several people. Not all of them were rapt. But at least they were there. Suddenly, he directed our attention to his right. Where stood Angela.
Yes, he had a friend.
He walked toward Angela, who had her own little stage. My heart lifted an octave. The saddest man at CES was about to partake in a double act. He and Angela would have worked out a routine that would involve singing, dancing, perhaps a kiss while tucking televisions under their armpits.
Angela said hello. And, in the blink of a shutter lens, the saddest man at CES bowed his head, stepped off the stage and hurried away. He was gone.
Had the sudden attention given him stage fright? Or had someone decided that Angela has more stagecraft?
As I pondered this, I looked up to see that Angela had friends -- ladies in short dresses and furry boots, each holding Sharp televisions. They showed just how easy it was to carry them around the house, if that's something that would take your fancy.
I watched for a moment, still lost in troubled thought. Suddenly, Angela and the girls finished their display. She turned to her right, where a gentleman was standing on another little stage.
This was Jay. She encouraged everyone to go and meet him. Some did. Some slunk away. I was one of them. I wanted to find the saddest man in the world to see how he was feeling.