Well hello darlings! IDK how much time I've got before I ditch work for the afternoon, so I'm not even going to waste your (my) time explaining what I've been filling my days with since we last spoke. This is probably more likely due to the fact that I've been unimpressed with goings-on lately and haven't felt like anything has deserved my time, comment or most importantly, wit. I don't mean the previous statement negatively. Life is amazing, I'm amazing, and odds are, you're pretty spectacular yourself. Unfortunately, as we all know (Nancy Grace), you can only talk about Michael Jackson or the 'tot mom' so many times before you're played the hell out.
Anyway, as I was cruising into work this morning, only mildly late I might add, one of my favorite radio morning newz programs began to discuss celebrity. Everyone should know by now that fame is a fickle thing (Potter reference! -Don't judge me . . .) and unless you're a celebrity & your lawyer/husband happens to be (or should I say, "happened to be" . . . ?) Howard K. Stern, you've got it pretty good. Of course, "having it pretty good" equates to being a decent person - or at least acting like it. Sign a couple body parts, kiss a few drunk co-eds at bars, fuck, even utter a couple anti-Semitic remarks, but, above all, don't be a jackass.
The deejay was asking his listeners to call and put jackass celebrities "on blast." Amazing. Talking shit about people that can't hear you above all the money they're making? Don't mind if you do! Since the validity of morning radio as an effective medium is not up for debate this afternoon, I have something to add to the melee, if you will.
Needless to say, I've met . . . yeah, probs a million people fortunate enough to have been smiled upon by the good graces of fame; and have had pleasurable experiences with each. We aren't here for that today, though. I don't want to tell you about Tom Green and how I drunk stumbled into him, thanked him profusely for his TV special on testicular cancer, and how it resulted in me finally getting tested (I was negative, FYI). I would never bore you with a quip about the time I had my shoes shined with Steadman Graham, or drone on about the concert I bit some girl at just so I could meet Nick Lachey (it was 2000, shut your trap . . . and also, it was worth it.) No, no, those all ended far better than I ever expected. I'm here to talk about the one instance I was snubbed in life, and by a celebrity at that! Come in closer, little ones, and let me take you back.
I'm going to withhold the exact year, as I don't want anyone all up in my shit, but this story is set on a hot August afternoon, in a year that pre-dates Y2K. I had just been in a terrible accident that had nearly killed me - so when you picture me with a boy hair cut, jean shorts and a matching button up shirt (left open, obvi, with a tank underneath), add a right leg cast, a right arm cast, sling for the left arm and a motherfucking wheelchair. Yeah, you heard me, w-h-e-e-l-c-h-a-i-r (feeling bad? don't worry! in lieu of charitable donations, please send gifts to my roommate/mother). I was wheeling myself (okay, I'll stop with the pity, I milked it enough to get into college) around a local country club for an incredibly prestigious charity/celebrity golf tournament. My dad and I followed stars around to various greens and after they'd swing, they'd take a moment and sign a few autographs, have a laugh, and ask for the bottle of water you just paid $7 (to charity) for.
After we were done talking pierogies with Coach K (my grandmother had quickly singled his Polish ass out in church the first Sunday after we had moved here and he (grudgingly?) has been a friend since), we moved to the next hole - I'll never forget it, Number 12, where Charles Barkley was scheduled to be. We rushed over - and keep in mind, I didn't have a fucking golf cart, I was being pushed, which is not as easy as you're imagining, to get in line for an autograph. I was so excited! He was a childhood hero of mine. Looking back, I think it was more because he was black and that made my parents mad, and less because of his basketball skills, but, whatev. I was a little ways back but the line wasn't that long. I could hardly contain my excitement . . . although, given the fact that half of my body was strapped down, the containment was more natural than anything. Before he started signing people's random shit, he announced that he would only give 15 autographs, total. Done.
Um, excuse me. What did you just say? No, go ahead, repeat that last statement. And he did, each time he would sign something. Typical.
I was 11th in line, so I really didn't give it a second thought. What the fuck did I care if some actual fans who loved the Suns and those deodorant commercials got their ridiculously overpriced jerseys/posters/basketballs signed? I didn't! I wanted that man to sign my cast! Yes, it would get thrown away, but I had at least 2 weeks left with those motherfuckers all up on me - I might as well have Sir Charles adorn one (both) with his "John Hancock."
I should have known he meant 15 actual signatures, not people. Soooo very jackass. The woman before me, in her Sunday best no doubt, had three items - some 8-track looking bullshit and 2 basketballs for her sonz who OF COURSE "wasn't there." Chuck signs them and then . . . leaves. I was right there. A young lad/girl eagerly awaiting his signature. Are you fucking kidding me? Am I being (whatever came before) Punk'd? Ashton? Johnny Carson? Show the candid cameras right this instant.
Oh no, he had said 15, and he is a man of his word. Plus, he didn't have a pen to sign on a cast, and from 19 feet in the air, it was probs really hard to see the one I was obnoxiously waiving as my poor Dad tried to rebuild my youthful dream (for that afternoon, at least). But no, Sir Charles couldn't be bothered.
But, right, I was in a damn wheelchair. Not even the single tear running down my face swayed him, nor did it thaw his heart of stone. Even worse, it was 3:00 and approximately 145 degrees, so I'm sure we can all imagine what a hot mess I was.
As I wheeled onto the next celebrity (the ever-talented Sharon Lawrence), I felt a little bit of me and a lot bit of my innocence die forever. Of course, the loss of innocence was probs the result of the expletive-filled rant - compliments of my pops, but, either way.
I'm going to have to leave you all with here. Its not easy talking about being a "poor, crippled boy" at age 12 when you really are a girl; but its even more painstaking being ignored by the Round Mound of Rebound. I still don't get it! We were both round, I've "mistakenly" spit on a young girl before and been arrested unfairly, too! Damnit, Charles!
P.S. Call me! (?)