Olympic-sized Celebrity Embarrassment

In addition to the obvious excitement of being part of the Olympic experience, I am over the moon at the prospect of meeting the greatest athletes in the world, many of whom will become household names in just a few weeks.

I have been having a few brushes with celebrity lately. I was recently invited to walk the red carpet at a special advanced screening of the movie Extraordinary Measures at the Denver Pavilions. Not only would the real-life inspiration behind the film be in attendance but also Canadian cutie pie, Brendan Fraser ofThe Mummy acclaim.

I turned it down because I already had another commitment at church.

And yes, I am expecting extra blessings for choosing Jesus over Hollywood.

Unless I happen to get struck by lightening for even writing that.

It’s not that I didn’t want to catch a glimpse of Brendan Fraser but I’ve just never been one who was wowed by celebrity. Sure, I was like the other giggling teen-age girls who lusted over ’80s heartthrobs Ralph Macchio and Thomas Howell but I never poured over the pages of Tiger Beat magazine.

At least not in public.

Over the years, I’ve had a few celebrity encounters but my most memorable was at the New York City airport. I was in a long line waiting to board when I overheard the two men behind me, “Yeah, I think that’s him…I really think that’s him!”

I turned to see who they were ogling at. Lo-and-behold, Mr. Star Wars a.k.a. James Earl Jones was waiting to board a neighboring flight to Toronto.

The men were as star-struck as a couple of giddy school girls. Not wanting to humiliate themselves, they attempted to embarrass their posterity: two unsuspecting 11-year-old boys. After much prodding, pleading, and bribery the boys finally agreed. The deal was they had to go over to James Earl Jones and in their most Darth Vader-esque voice, tell him to “Come over to the Dark Side.”

By now, we were all watching as the boys brazenly made their way over to James Earl Jones. The only problem was they kept walking right past him to a nearby Hasidic Jew who was garbed in a conspicuous black fedora. As soon as these fathers saw they had the wrong guy, they bolted over there but not in time to stop them from delivering their line to the wrong man.

Fingers are crossed I can tell Bode Miller and Lindsey Von apart at the Olympics.

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