He has lived for decades in USA, but he is originally from the Czech Republic. He left his homeland when he was still a child and he doesn't really like it. He is a brilliant scientist and years ago he created his baby. Yes created. His baby is a series of conferences which started nearly twenty years ago. In the last decade, they have been held every year, always in different countries around the world. I have been to a few of them. I met him for the first time when I attended a conference in this series, but I had heard of him long before that. I had heard of his outgoing personality and a couple of his funny stories.
He is a story teller. He loves both to tell and to hear a good story. I confirmed it the last time I attended one of his conferences, about three years ago. Me and Johan were heading to the conference dinner when he approached us and talked to us. After a few minutes he asked us to tell him a good story. Knowing how much he loves his conference series, we told him that the conference was not always about work. Sometimes it was also about love. We told him how me and Johan had met at that same conference, quite exactly five years before. He became very happy and said that we were actually not the first ones, because some other couple had met at one of his conferences as well. Later on, they got married and even invited him over to their wedding. He asked us if we were getting married. We both laughed and replied "sure, someday". Then, he thanked us for sharing our story and left in search for another good story.
I could stop here now but we are talking about HIM, so of course there was more.
Later that evening, during the conference dinner, just before dessert, he stood up to make his speech. After he talked about the conference itself he went on to a different topic: the social side of it. In a blink of an eye, he was telling our story at the microphone. Including that we were getting married soon! We looked at each other and whispered "Is he talking about us? If he is he got that part wrong", but we couldn't really say anything. Since he had not yet mentioned our names we thought we were in the clear. But again, we are talking about HIM, the story teller, so of course there was more.
After he told the full story he proposed a toast to us and asked us to stand up. We stared in panic at each other wondering what we should do. Tell him that he got some details wrong while he was on the microphone? In front of 500 people? But going along with it and pretend that it is true? In front of 500 people? While we quickly tried to think he kept calling for us on the microphone "where are you? Please stand up!". So we decided to play along. For the surprise of all our friends and colleagues who shared our table we stood up, raised our glasses and charmed everybody with our smiles. There were photographs, there was applause, and there were cheers. A lot of people we knew came and said congratulations. We began telling the truth and how HE had got the wedding part wrong. We became tired of explaining the exact same thing all the time, including for people we knew but had only a formal relationship with. After retelling the story about five times in a row, around the time some Japanese professors came to us to congratulate us, we gave up and simply started saying "thank you, we are very happy". Which was (and still is) true! And most importantly, it was faster.
As I wrote above, he is a story teller. He loves a good story. Maybe not all his stories are fully true. But all his stories are fully amusing. He is David.
Us soon after our fake engagement announcement.