It was at the 2003 Consumer Electronics Show. There I was, minding my own business, wandering the show floor, looking around for the latest tech news, taking notes when out of the blue, wham!!, for no reason at all, Jeff Bezos came up to me and knocked me to the ground.
That's honestly, absolutely true. Though...well, okay, while true it was a wee bit more benign than that.
I must back up a moment. Only the month before that particular CES, the Segway personal transport scooter had been introduced to great fanfare and reached the market. They were being called The Next Big Thing and considered way cool -- albeit expensive for most consumers at that early-adopter point. And so, it's not surprising that one of the first buyers was Jeff Bezos who it seems Had to Have One. And as a mega-multi-billionaire could afford it.
Anyway, as I said, I was just wandering the very-crowded show floor when I suddenly felt an unexpected, light bump, but catching me off-guard it enough so that I lost my balance and stumbled to the ground. I looked up, bewildered, and there was Jeff Bezos on a Segway (see photo above for visual aid) with a sheepish expression on his face, clearly not having yet mastered the device. It was only three weeks old at that point after all. He gave me a look that said he was sorry and shrugged (not the most substantive apology, though there is an unspoken connection between us visionaries), and I smiled back and shrugged. And got up, and we both went our merry ways -- me on my feet, and Jeff Bezos riding off into the sunset...or into some other poor sap.
And yes, I know that I could have screamed out in traumatized agony, furiously began yelling at him, writhed on the ground, grabbing my leg and back, and threatened to sue, and I could have retired for the rest of my life very comfortably 15 years ago on the out-of-court settlement. But I shrugged, and getting a shrug back was enough for me.
That last trait of which is one of the things Trump and I do not have in common.
And I believe that after all these years, Jeff Bezos knows that last year I bought an Amazon Prime membership, as my way of saying, "I forgive you." That unspoken connection and all, remember.