For an explanation of the 30 Stories in 30 Days, start at Day 1.
It’s the tenth day. I’m on my 10th story. WE’RE A THIRD OF THE WAY THERE, PEOPLE!
Or should I say, “person?” I’m not sure how many people are even reading these. If you tell 30 stories in a forest and no one reads them does it make a sound?
“Helloooooo… ellooooo… loooo..”
I’m going to find out tomorrow by asking you to participate. Once I finish tomorrow’s story, I’ll omit some words, Mad-Libs style. I’ll leave comments (on THIS POST), asking you guys to give me some new words. You reply with your suggestion(s) and I’ll pick my favorites and post it as tomorrow’s story. So look in the comments section below (or come back to this post later if they’re not there yet).
But for now, let’s get on with story number 10.
You Dropped Something
On occasion I am guilty of namedropping–mostly by accident. Generally, I am too blatantly thrilled to have bumped elbows with a celeb to try to sound cool and casual about it. (Once I wanted to speak to Frank Black at a very crowded after-party, but he was busy hitting on a girl, and even I know that cockblocking is no way to meet a hero, so I literally bumped elbows with him at the bar until he turned around. I said, “Oh, I’m so sorry!” and gestured to the people behind me, indicating that I had been pushed into him by the crowd. He turned back around and resumed picking up that girl. And now I can tell all my friends about the time “I talked to Frank Black!!!”)
When someone’s really obnoxious about namedropping, though, I’ve found ignorance to be the best/most fun cure. I discovered this when I was 23. I met this kid online who shared my interest in film making and we decided to meet for lunch. He was only 19 or so, but in his mind he was already running Hollywood. (I forget his name–should find out if it was Bret Ratner.)
I was polite at first, but I found his constant namedropping unbearable. And considering his ego, I knew calling him out for it wouldn’t help much. So I started playing dumb.
“Blondes play more dumb” is the expression, right? It works well because some of you guys are so ready to believe it. I once got out of several traffic tickets by pretending I didn’t know that drivers licenses expire. I really dumbed it up and walked away scot-free.
Anyway, I started playing this game where any time he would drop a name (and then look to me for recognition) I would pretend to be really impressed and then completely misidentify the person he had mentioned. For example, when he said, “I’ve got a meeting in Los Angeles with David Schwimmer’s agent,” I replied, “Oooh–the guy who played Squiggy on Laverne and Shirley?! That’s so cool!”
It really frustrated him that I didn’t understand how impressive he was.
Guy: “You haven’t heard of Friends?”
Me: “You’re friends with Squiggy’s agent?”
Guy: “No! The show FRIENDS. David Schwimmer is on Friends.”
Me: “No. I watch that show. I would have remembered if Squiggy was on it.”
You see how it works? Later, he told me he had directed some music videos and he was being considered to direct a Montell Jordan video.
Me: “Oooh, maybe you’ll get to do one of those ‘Who is the baby-daddy’ episodes!”
Guy: “That’s not Montell Jordan–”
Me: “Oh, you’re right, that’s Maury Povich. Montel is the one with the psychic lady.”
Guy: “No, the musician.”
Me: “Alan Thicke?”
And so on.
He quickly stopped trying to impress me with all of his celebrity connections. I’m mean, with David Schhwimmer’s agent on the line and a Montell Jordan video in his sights, that kid was on his way to the top and he didn’t need some dummy like me slowing him down.