If I happen to meet Faye Dunaway in the Express Line of Ralph’s, where I meekly point out the trail of dollar bills flowing from her back pocket like a trail of crumbs for the poor and obscure, that’s another matter entirely. While I may be the only person in the store star-obsessed enough to know this is Mommy Dearest we’re dealing with, not to mention Bonnie Parker and the Oscar-worthy crazy chicks from both Network and Chinatown, she can worry about her own stalkers.
My uncanny ability to pick a familiar face from among the crowd can be a burden. A couple of weeks ago, I was seated so close to Gretchen Mol in a restaurant I could actually hear the details of an intimate conversation with her agent. There may have been some tears, I don’t know, something about points on the back end. The attempted eavesdropping that continuously absented me from my own conversation annoyed my dining partner to no end, since my Type A Lawyer Sister had no familiarity whatsoever with this so-called “major movie star.” She became impressed by coincidence only after catching the actress wearing nothing but a smile and a horsewhip in The Notorious Bettie Page. My sister herself once saw Bruce Springsteen and Patty Scialfa sharing a sandwich at Canter’s—a score my mother, the retired Umatilla schoolteacher, had to point out. My sister's probable response was that their corned beef looked a little dry.
I know I’m supposed to become blasé now that I’ve made the big leap from abject failure to marginal and tentative success in just ten short years, but I just can’t see that happening. Whatever happens next en route to my treacherous, star-studded route to the top, it will be tough to beat my scariest Hollywood moment to date. I attended a birthday dinner on the back patio of Orzo on Robinson. It’s quite popular among famous smokers because it’s one of the few hotspots where they can light up like dirty little chimneys between overpriced teeth bleaching treatments. I didn’t know this at the time. All I knew was that a group of swarthy-looking foreigners, covertly chattering in what sounded like Arabic on a network of cellphones, had sequestered themselves within the leafy branches of some overgrown trees. This was shortly after 9/11, and I was convinced America was about to experience its first suicide bombing. But it was only the stalkerazzi in pursuit of Brad and Jen in their married, hairy and happy phase sharing a butt with Claudia Schiffer. I didn’t see that little magician guy the supermodel married at some point, but Timothy Dalton, the
All I ask is that anyone wagering a guess as to the identity of my recent lunch date makes a concerted effort to spell it wrong. As it is, I’m dealing with "Claudia Schiffer + hairy + butt + horsewhip” in terms of future Google searches. The last thing I need is somebody adding Shirley MacLaine to the mix. Good guess, kids, but drats, wrong again.