Last year, Monica Seles was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. She grunted in appreciation.
There are various levels of fame. Sometimes, a person may be famous within their field of work, but not a household name. I had a boss once, who was very well known in one segment of the business world. If you mentioned his name to someone in that field, most knew of him.
I gained some level of fame in showbiz in the nineties, although fame was never my goal. I really enjoy my privacy and with fame comes no privacy. I remember one time, in an El Pollo Loco restaurant in Southern California. I had ordered, found a table and sat down to read the newspaper, something that I really enjoyed. Suddenly, I could feel the presence of another person. I lowered my paper and there stood the manager of the restaurant, holding my food.
As she placed the plate down in front of me, she said, “You’re a comedian, aren’t you”? “Yes”, I replied. She went on to say that she had recognized me from television. I politely said “Really? What show”? She told me, and after reading her name from the badge on her shirt, I told her it was nice to meet her. She said, “That is very healthy”, referring to my lunch. I told her that I was aware of how healthy it was and that was the reason I ordered it.
The woman would not leave. She just stayed there. I finally had to ask her for some privacy. She got angry and walked away. I really was being nice, but she didn’t get the fact that I really didn’t want to eat lunch with a stranger staring at me the whole time.
Another time, I had to meet my agent in another restaurant. I was very sick that day, but she said it was the only time she had available that week. So, off I went, fever and all, to meet her. I arrived before she did, so I was sitting in the lobby, feeling horrible. A family walked in and one of the men recognized me, pointed at me and said, “Hey, there’s that comedian”! He came over to shake hands and talk, but I told him that I was really sick and probably contagious, so I didn’t shake his hand. He was furious. He cursed at me and rejoined his family.
The manager of the restaurant came over and said he was so sorry, and offered to let me sit in the back of a secluded part of the restaurant. I was more than grateful, so I thanked him and walked back and sat down. He sat down with me and did the same thing the other gentleman did. He wouldn’t leave me alone, so I talked to him. Sometimes, you just can’t win.
See you tomorrow.
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