I’m pretty sure I saw the dad from A&E’s Gold Rush TV series at the grocery store today. I was so sure it was him that I almost said, “Hey, is it you, Jack?” But I didn’t…I just smiled at him and he smiled back. Now, normally if I see someone even a little bit famous, I get all skittery and loud and over-zealously friendly, but seeing Jack wasn’t exactly like running into George Clooney or Beyonce at the Starbucks. This man is from Sandy, Oregon and has dentures that he made himself…he just happens to be famous because his family is in the gold mining business. Reality TV has certainly turned some pretty interesting characters into ‘stars’…heck, I was in the gold mining business for a minute or two, but no one wanted to make me famous!
My truly embarrassing celebrity story is from a few years ago. I was in the Space Room (my favorite watering hole, at the time) when someone told me that Tim Meadows (of Saturday Night Live fame) was at a table not 10 feet from me. I got excited, but I’d had a few vodka sodas by that time and, while the name sounded familiar, I actually had no idea who Tim Meadows was. That didn’t stop me though…I sashayed (aka staggered) right up to that table and announced that I knew that there was someone famous there, and that they needed to point themselves out! My friend Liz was waiting tables, and I could see her out of the corner of my eye, her arms flailing and her mouth silently shouting, “NO TAMMY….NOOOO!” I wasn’t phased by her attempts to save me from myself though, and I kept on pushing forward in my search for the famous person who was apparently right in front of me.
A man sitting at the table spoke up, claiming that he was Tim Meadows, but I wasn’t fooled. He didn’t look or act famous to ME, and he was (obviously) white. I’m pretty sure I told him as much, but I don’t remember the details, so we’ll pretend that I was polite.
“Well, I’m looking for the black Tim Meadows,” I retorted, a bit put out that these people weren’t taking me seriously. It was then that I looked across the table and actually recognized my prey, um…Mr. Meadows. I circled to get closer to his side of the round table, squeezing past other bar patrons to get close enough for a real conversation. I could feel Liz behind me, trying desperately to get my attention and to possibly even lure me away from the impending doom I was most certainly trying to create, but I had eyes only for the Ladies Man.
I kneeled next to the celeb’s chair, but he just kept talking to the people at the table…people that he actually knew. He finally nodded my way, which was all I needed to start stumbling through my high praise of his career. “I like your work,” I threw out.
“Thank you,” he said, as he turned away from me. Unwilling to give up my moment, I stammered and managed to finally come up with, “You’re really funny!”
Seriously? All of that build up to peter out with ‘you’re so funny‘? It was at that point that I gave up and returned, dejected, to my seat at the bar. Liz told me later that she was just happy that I hadn’t knocked the table over or spilled a drink on anyone’s head.
If I were a celebrity, I don’t think I’d mind it if people said hi to me in the Fred Meyer, but maybe I’d need some space if vodka was involved (I guess that means I have to let Tim off the hook). I realize that it’s pretty easy for me to say that now, since there’s no chance of it happening, but I think I’d be okay with it. Unless I’m having a bad hair day, or if I forgot to put my homemade teeth in…in that case just keep walking, ok?