(This is from an article in the Orange County Register by Erik Pedersen)
On the pedestrian bridge outside San Diego Comic-Con International, Manuel Lemus holds a sign that says, Ask Me!!”
An employee of Seat Planners, Lemus is there to answer all kinds of con-goer questions: Where should I go? How do I get my badge? Which room has the panel I want to see? And so on.
“I’m supposed to guide people, to make sure they know where they’re going, and if there are any changes to what’s going on to the convention, like what line they’re supposed to go — maybe it changes,” the 24-year-old San Diego native, who has been at the job for several years, said. “We’re in communication making sure this all runs smoothly and there are no hiccups.”
But amid all those basic yet important questions, he often gets asked another more metaphysical one.
“The weirdest thing people have asked me, which is now to be expected, is, ‘What is the meaning of life?’ And I give them the appropriate answer,” said Lemus.
This seems the appropriate time to ask him what that answer is.
“It’s of course 42. Like, it can’t be denied.”
At this point, you either know what he’s talking about or you think this story is missing a very important paragraph, but he’s the Ask Me guy so we’ll let him explain.
“It’s from [Douglas Adams’] ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,’” said Lemus of the concise answer. “Believe it or not, it’s just because I was Googling and it happened to come up. And I was like, I should use that. I know what to answer now.”
He was seeking knowledge because as prepared as he was to answer pretty near any question about the convention, he couldn’t understand why he kept getting asked this one strange query.
“I was confused. Why were people asking me this?” he said laughing. “Now it totally makes sense.”
Lemus, ever gracious, also told us the origin of his distinctive — and necessary in the harsh sun — hat.
“So my hat is from this show, an anime called ‘One Piece,’” he said of his bright yellow straw hat, which he bought at the convention. “I think it’s been pretty nice. It’s a bit scratchy but overall it’s amazing and I like it.”
He said he didn’t mind answering questions about his hat, either.
“It’s always nice to have people to know what it is.”