Like the narrator of the Bruce Springsteen classic “I’m Goin’ Down,” Chris Christie just can’t stop lovin’ somebody who doesn’t seem to love him back. Except in Christie’s case, it’s not the dying flame of an old relationship he wants, but the love of Bruce Springsteen himself. Recently unearthed emails show that the New Jersey governor’s adoration has gone unrequited since long before Bruce Springsteen or anyone else even knew who Chris Christie was.
Capital New York points to a cache of messages that Christie sent to a Springsteen-centric email listserv back in 1999 and 2000, when the New Jersey governor and presidential candidate was just a humble lobbyist. The longest of these, written in January 2000 and signed “Chris from Mendham, NJ,” details Christie’s unforgettable first face-to-face meeting with his hero, on a flight from Minnesota to Jersey.
“I am mostly a lurker, but now that the holiday craze is over, I have time to sit down and impart my great experience from the last show in Minnesota,” Chris from Mendham wrote. He continued:
We board the 11 am Northwest flight back to NJ the day after the show. My wife and I are sitting in 1st row of 1st class and getting out our books out of our bags and putting the luggage away in the overheads.
Books, luggage, overhead compartments—an ordinary flight so far. But then, a voice.
From behind me I hear a voice say,”I think I’m sitting right back here.”
Whose voice? No. Could it be? Really? Were Chris from Mendham’s wildest dreams coming true? He knew immediately—it was Bruce.
I knew immediately—it was Bruce!
Bruce was all by himself—“no Patty, no bodyguards—just Bruce, a baseball cap, jeans jacket, NY Times and Minneapolis Star-Tribune,” Chris from Mendham noted. And in a moment of the divine providence that characterizes all such fateful meetings, the plane was delayed on the runway for 30 minutes before takeoff. Chris from Mendham knew it was the perfect time to strike.
He approached the boss with a swelling of the heart and maybe also a sweating of the palms. It was now or never. He walked down the aisle, effusive, and introduced himself. He thanked Springsteen “for the great performance the night before (and for all the great nights).” He told Bruce that he and his wife had flown halfway across the country to see him and were heading back home to Jersey. And what did his hero say in return for all that devotion?
He said, “Me, too.”
He said, “Me, too.”
At the end of the flight, after Chris from Mendham regaled Springsteen with a story about his son’s experience at an earlier concert, Springsteen agreed to sign some autographs for the kids. But still: “Me, too.” Two words. It must have stung a little.
“I love you, Bruce Springsteen.”
“Thanks, Chris from Mendham.”
I’m sick and tired of you settin’ me up/Settin’ me up just to knock-a knock-a knock-a me down!