Friday, July 06, 2007
Saved From the Hell
Today's "Perfect Stranger Post" comes to you via the childrens play area at my local mall. I saw a silver haired guy that looked super familiar coming out of Chick's Sporting goods. He didn't look like he ever kicked a soccer ball or a football in his life. Perhaps he wielded a mean squash racket or was known as the Evil Emperor of Wiffle Ball. Hard to tell. But his shoes were clean, his Dockers were spotless and he was calling out for his son - one of those "only in L.A." names that would easily double for a vineyard or a small dog.
Who could it be? Lucky for me, I have such tact when I'm in such quandaries.
Me: (Gesticulating wildly toward him) "You.... you....I know you!!!!"
Him: (No smile. He solved the mystery): "Hi, Mama P. It's Betterthanyou."
Me: "WOW! I HAVEN'T SEEN YOU IN 10 YEARS AT LEAST!" (I am having a capital letter big mouth 'WOW' fest. If I were a rollercoaster, I'd be called "The Exclamation." He is too cool for a rollercoaster. He is too cool for the amusement park even. He is at home, watching the Mama P carnival ride from his leather sectional and flat screen tv. "Flat" like his voice. "Screen" like his calls. As in, if I phoned him tomorrow, he wouldn't take it.
Him: "Last time I saw you was on production for Saved by the Bell."
Him: "Are you working these days?"
This is our opportunity to crow about how far we've come from the days of bagel runs and fielding lunch orders from fat writers.
Me: "Yes. I'm a writer." (I'm not sure he believed me with my Emmy award winning dialouge of 'WOW'. So I attempted to play it extra cool. "I wrote for a few big shows, like, a looooooooooong time ago. And now I'm writing for magazines. Sometimes. When I'm not running around after toddlers. I love being a mom. And being married. Well, most of the time. Sometimes it sucks more than a day on a teenage sitcom set. Remember when the extra from the basketball scene did a very dirty manuever with the potato from craft service?" (There, that showed him.) "What about you?"
Him: "Fifteen years in the biz." (Of course. It might help if he told me what exactly he did, but since he remained silent, I took it as Hollywood talk for "I'm much more advanced than you, so don't call me, I'll call you.... in about ten million years."
Lucky for him he was indeed saved by the bell when his wife ambled to his side. We made awkward introductions as they stammered about the movie they were en route to see.
Me: "Wait!" I fumbled in my purse for my photo of my little productions. "Four years in the biz." I offered up a lovely scratched up wallet from last year's Picture Place fiasco. A sippy cup had spilled on an insurance check, which then bled onto my photo, so lucky me had outdated kid shots with smeared blue ink around the edge.
Him: "Ah, cute. Well, good seeing you."
I was glad he was gone. We didn't get along ten years ago and there was no love fest today. I would never think of him again.
Which is precisely why, when I got home, I Googled him immediately. He's a visual effects producer now. I considered emailing him to see if he could graphically enhance my ripped up wallet photo, but of course I am too busy writing blog entries for free to waste my time on being catty.
Moral of this Stranger Story: Sometimes it's best to let strangers stay strangers.
PS: I won the award above from Gretchen (http://gretchen-quantumleap.blogspot.com/) I am honored and thank you! Rock on!