ANYWAY, Nabbalicious has a story for you, and I am all about any way to bring Nabbalicious back to the Internets (not to mention all about free posts arriving magically and unexpectedly right in my Inbox). Take it away, Heather...
It seems like everyone in LA has a celebrity story, and I just think that's really unfair, because I work very hard for my celebrity sightings. Whenever I happen to be on Robinson (where the Ivy and other celeb-approved restaurants are), I keep my eyes out for them in their natural habitat. When we drive by any of the Coffee Beans in Hollywood, I silently chant, "Celebrities... celebrities... where are you..."
Darren often sighs and says, "I'm telling you. The minute you stop looking, you will see one."
"Yeah, yeah… where's Jennifer Aniston?"
In the hunt for my own celebrity encounter, I'm not sure what I'm looking for, exactly, because it's not like I haven't seen them. I saw Hank Azaria jogging in Central Park (he's not as lanky as you'd think), Judy Blume passed me on the street in New York. I saw the back of James Spader's head at an Andrew Bird show, and Sandra Oh walked by me at a Wilco show. I was nearly trampled by the paparazzi in their attempts to get a shot of Holly, one of Hugh Hefner's Bunnies.
But I never really felt like any of those encounters counted. The first four had to be pointed out to me, and the last one I just didn't give two shits about. I wanted my very own encounter. I wanted to be the one to recognize the celebrity, and I wanted to maybe even care a little bit who they were.
I'm also not sure why I care about spotting a celebrity to begin with. I guess I'm like my dog Nabby when she chases squirrels – what would I do if I actually got one? I'm not interested in talking to them. I certainly don't want an autograph. I guess it's like when you want to see a band live after you've heard their music – you want the whole experience. What are they like in person? Well, Us says they're Just Like Us™, but I'd rather find out for myself.
This weekend, it finally happened. Right next to Dominique Dunne's grave.
Me, Darren and my friend Melissa went to Westwood Village Cemetery this past Sunday afternoon to check out the graves of the famous people who are buried there. Westwood Village is easily my favorite cemetery of all the ones I've visited out here because what it lacks in easy-to-findness, it more than makes up for in the bonanza of dead celebrities it houses, including Bettie Page, Roy Orbison (although it's unmarked), Dean Martin, Brian Keith and, most famously, Marilyn Monroe. Westwood is also so tiny that in 90 minutes, you can see every grave in the place and a good third of them belong to industry people. And of those, another third have hilarious headstones.
Jack Lemmon's marker says simply:
Merv Griffin's says "I will not be right back after this message."
Billy Wilder's says, "I'm a writer, but then, nobody's perfect."
So, Melissa and I were standing by Dunne's grave when a charcoal-colored Range Rover pulled up.
The man inside wearing shades asked us, "Excuse me. Do you know where Marilyn Monroe's grave is?"
Holy shit, I thought. That's Pauly Shore. That low, Jeff Spiccoli-like drawl is unmistakable.
"It's over that way," I gestured back and to my left.
And even though on the inside I was remembering how much I enjoyed "Son-In-Law" and "Encino Man" when I was in college (don't judge) (I also smoked a lot of pot then) (are the two related? Probably.), I didn't let on that I knew it was him or even cared. But that didn't stop him from pulling up part of his black jacket to conceal half of his face.
"Uhhh, who else is buried here?"
Melissa and I rattled off some names. "Jack Lemmon… Walter Mattheau… Merv Griffin… Rodney Dangerfield…"
"Rodney Dangerfield is here?!"
"Yep, right over there."
"Okay, great. Thanks."
Melissa looked at me after he pulled away and said, "That sounded a lot like Pauly Shore."
"It was Pauly Shore!"
Darren, who had been hanging back about 10 feet, started making his way toward us to tell us who we were talking to. "I know," I said before he could say anything. "That was Pauly Shore!" Because that's the other thing. When I do see a celebrity, I never, ever know it. I've probably seen dozens and dozens without ever having realized it. Los Angeles is tricky, too, because so many people act important and smug. How can I separate the someones from the no ones if they're all acting entitled?
And that was it. My very own celebrity encounter. I know it's not A-list, but I think the air of total absurdity about the whole thing more than makes up for it.
And now, if you're anything like me, when someone tells you that they met or saw or in any way interacted with a celebrity, you pepper them with questions. In anticipation of such questions, I'll ask and answer them for you.
Did he seem nice?
Eh. He seemed absolutely, perfectly neutral. I suppose "reserved" is the word I would use. Or stoned, if he still is into that sort of thing.
So, he didn't say "Thanks, Buuuuuddy!"
In a cemetery? That is so inappropriate.
Did he apologize for "Biodome"?
He did not.
Was he tall?
He was sitting in a car, so I have no idea. He did get out near the area where Jack/Walter/Rodney are buried, and although he was far-ish away, he didn't look particularly short or tall. He also didn't look fat or thin. Just fit.
How was he dressed?
Not like Pauly Shore, that's for sure. Dark pants, black top, black shades, short curly hair.
Was anyone with him?
See, I thought it was a small woman with black hair and shades. But Melissa thinks it might have been a kid, and Darren seems to be leaning toward this one, too. This person never got out of the car, so this question belongs to the ages.
He must be doing well if he's driving a Range Rover!
I know! That's totally what I said, too!
Come on, he's from LA, he's never been to Westwood Village before?Hey, it seemed a little off to me, too, but you know how locals never take advantage of their area attractions. Ah those celebrities... they really are just like us.
(Note: Photographic evidence of Heather's Pauly Shore encounter is here. Click on through, please, as I am far too lazy to save and repost to embed the photo on this page. This is a free post for me, after all, and free posts should involve as little work as possible, don't you agree?)
Thanks, Heather! Remember, you can borrow my blog any time. Though I still think you should just re-start your own instead. (No? Well, I tried.)