Sunday, March 15, 2009

O Fleeting Fame

It would seem that I am the unwilling recipient of rather a strange gift -- for durations of time easily as long as a nanosecond, I am mistaken for Someone Important/Famous. The first incident was May, 2006. Richie and I were in a bar in Ireland, waiting for the rest of the tour to come down for dinner. An older couple approached us (we were the only people in the bar except for the bartender) and pleasantries were exchanged. Suddenly the old man threw a glance at his wife, leaned forward and said, "May I kiss you?" and before I could respond gave me a chaste little peck on the lips. Leaning back, he said with some satisfaction, "I've never kissed a filum (film) star before!"

The reverse? Last Sunday not one of the four friends we were meeting at the jazz concert recognized that it was me underneath That Hat.

Yesterday, we and "D" hooked up for the St. Patrick's Day parade. We followed it down to the Pier, had a hearty lunch at Scotty's and then waddled along the Strand ("I'm as full as an egg," Richie said) to the Poopdeck. By great good luck, we got three stools at a window and settled in with a pitcher of beer. Time passed and I wanted a cigarette so I went out to the patio, which was doing a very brisk business. Six or eight guys wee massed around a table, pouring beer into plastic cups, downing the beer, slamming the cup back on the table and then flipping it so it stood properly upright once again.

Avoiding them by sidling along the wall behind them, I bent to set my beer down and suddenly a young man had his arm around my shoulders and was urging me to smile into his buddy's cell phone for a photograph. I go along with it and afterwards, I ask, bemusedly, "So -- what did I win? Oldest woman in the bar?"

"No!" "No!" several shout - "Sexiest woman in the bar!" Another one leaps to my side, throws an arm around my shoulders ... and then spots my pack of cigarettes. Quick as a magpie, he takes one -- the guys begin yelling, "Make him give you a dollar!" - I obligingly stick my hand out, palm up. He grabs his wallet(I can see green in it) and says, "I don't have a dollar bill!" and in despair looks around for something else valuable to give me. Spotting the pitcher of green beer on their table, he grabs my glass and gives me a refill.

"Green" beer is a rather dubious color. I looked at it, looked at the group of guys and said, "Okay -- who peed in it?" Great whoops of laughter. I go back into the bar where I tell Richie and "D," "You know? You really should get out more!"

To the guys who were so gracious to an old woman -- Thank you! May you all spring from your beds this morning, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and not with the mother of all hangovers. Well done, lads!

P.S. - Rafa? I looked hot!

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