lead, please join me for a little trip down memory lane, in a segment called "The Celebrities I Have Known." I'll do my best to stay in chronological order.
The Incredible Hulk
: My Grandma tried to interest me with dolls, and I would later develop a taste for My Little Pony and Care Bears, but in 1986, I was all about
The Incredible Hulk. I had a little green figurine that went everywhere with me, and when his show came on TV, I'd sit with my nose inches from the screen while my big brother hid behind the couch. One day, a local movie theater hosted a promotional event where The Incredible Hulk was appearing to hand out raffle prizes with his mighty fist. (It was hard times for the Hulkster.) I was there, dancing around from foot-to-foot, sooooooo sure that my hero would call my name. And he did! I won a free root beer float! I went running, I mean really careening full-tilt, down the theater aisle and wrapped my little arms around the Hulk as far as they could and just hugged and hugged and squeezed my little face off. It wasn't until a little later, back at my seat, that I discovered green paint all over
my arms and shirt and face. I started bawling. Not because a childhood illusion had been smashed, but because I thought the Hulk was melting.
So it went like this. His hair was in a bright orange mood, and two flunkies were heeling on either side of him. I saw him from about 25 feet away, and he looked at me, and came straight for me. There was no mistaking it, he was definitely walking towards me. I couldn't make out his eyes through the shades, but he seemed to be looking straight into my soul. He sidled up right in front of me, looked squarely into my eyes, and said, "I'll take a grande latte. And whatever my boys want." Moments later, fellow barista Dan scraped himself off of the floor and breathlessly sputtered, "Holy shit
! Dennis Rodman!" To which I replied, "Who?" Lesson: it's easier to be calm around celebrities if you have no idea who they are.
Katarina Witt and Kristi Yamaguchi:
Also coffee drinkers. Also very tiny and cute, just like you imagine.
In which Clarissa and I are shameless sluts. The band saw us in the front row of a show and took a shine to Clarissa's curvy underage physique. (Side note: you men are all terrible dogs. When I think of the disproportionate amount of male attention I received as an underage pup... Now it's all Humbert Humbert and I'm too baggy and overripe.) Anyway, we got invites to backstage and followed Carlos and the boys back to the hotel. I don't really know why; this was the stage in our lives when we just did stuff because why not? Like jump off a Chicago pier into some strange men's boat, just because they offered to take us for a ride. I would shoot any girl in the head for pulling some of the dangerous stunts we pulled. Anyway, aging rock stars aren't so much for the rocking after party. Carlos burned some hippy incense and went to bed. We just sat and talked to the drummer, Rodney, about traveling for a few hours and went home. BOORING.
Shutup, no. It was my very second NYC celebrity sighting, chronicled here.
My very first NYC celebrity sighting was Samuel Jackson.
He was very obligingly posing for tourists in mid-town, and I screamed "Samuel Jackson!" and pulled out my camera. And I noticed that he was a very good poser, really able to keep still for pictures. And then, the camera lens of my eyes panned wide and I noticed that he was standing in front of Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum
. And then I panned left and noticed Kriston doubled over in cruel laughter. Oh, he really really loves this story. NYC can really make you feel like a yokel. Camera still in hand, jaw stupidly slack, surrounded by cackling companions, I had gone from zero to Des Moines in like .5 seconds.