Normally, the sighting of a celebrity is a non-event for me. They are just people, after all, so what do I care, really? And besides, I’ve never met anyone truly impressive. Though getting to shake Gene Hackman’s hand and tell him I loved him in Get Shorty (it was big at the time, along with his fantastic dry turn in The Birdcage) was pretty high up on my list of cool introductions.
Which brings me to inform you that yesterday held two celebrity spottings for me. First, I got to make lunch for Harry Connick Jr. while discussing films with him. It seems his kids were getting into sea disaster films, quite topical in this region of mine, and were discussing how they liked Poseidon better than The Perfect Storm.
While I refrained from informing them that I’d rather get a handjob from Edward Scissorhands than watch either of those again, but I did suggest they take in a viewing of the original The Poseidon Adventure, starring that early seventies hunky iteration of the Hack-man. I’d much rather watch Shelley Winters’ former swimming champion eat it than Richard Dreyfuss’ intolerable whiny cunt go down with the ship (did he even die? I can’t even remember at this point, define forgettable).
Aside from attempting to impart my taste in quality sea disaster films, I had little else to say. And what would I say anyway? I liked you in Copycat? Or Will & Grace? I almost asked him what it was like to work with Forest Whittaker in Hope Floats, but I declined. Instead I just made his sandwich.
And then we get to the evening, where after a quiet dinner with my girlfriend, we ventured to the late showing of The Dark Knight (everyone has already talked about the film enough, but I will say that the hype around Heath payed off and then some), which was packed to the gills with local teens (I could only tell they were local because they weren’t wearing pink collar-popped polos). We get in and I go for the snack run to find none other than Anthony Michael Hall standing in the lobby. And no one else noticed! The Geek in person! Shit, man!
I contemplated talking to the former teen brain-throb, but couldn’t think of what to say. I didn’t want to be that asshole that only talks about the guy’s former hits, further reminding him that his career has faced a landslide worse than any that’s hit California in a year. Rebecca suggested, “At least you’re not on that shitty Dead Zone show anymore.” I told her that I thought he might still be, so I guess we wouldn’t be going that route. I texted my closest friends to fill them in on my sighting, searching for inspiration. My brother Matt, after letting me know that The Geek is in the film, suggested that I shout, “Rusty Griswold! Good talk, son!” This made my evening.
Even though I never did shout at the man, I did get to sit in the theater with him while he watched what had to be a disappointing film for him, as his role was nominal at best and cut to shreds at worst. And as we made our way from the theater after the show, The Geek stood in the lobby, lingering about with some family members, seemingly waiting for someone to recognize him.
No one did.
So I, being the intolerable nerd that I am, gave him a nod, uttered “good work,” and escaped into the night, feeling as though I’d accomplished some charitable task. At least I like to think I did.