THINGS I HATE… Being Starstruck


First off, let me just say I still “hate” my editor. He has locked me into this theme of supposedly hating everything, yet I am not a hateful person. I am, in fact a very positive person who finds joy in many things – for example, I love British humor.

Well, it just so happens that on a recent a beautiful Sunday morning at the Loews Hotel in Santa Monica, as I’m signing my bill at the front desk, I glance to my right and freeze; then look away. For a moment I stop breathing and look again at the very tall, lean, slightly balding man with a salt and pepper (mostly salt) mustache. This rather distinguished, handsome man is discussing something with another clerk. I hear bits of his English accent and steal another glimpse. It really is John Cleese.

I want to say something to him but I don’t want to be an obnoxious fan invading his privacy. This man is my hero of comedic actors. I don’t want his autograph or anything useless like that. I simply want to tell him how much I loved his work, including his Wine for the Confused DVD, which has helped inspire my Street Sommeliers project.

I turn toward him but remain dumbstruck, mouthing words that if audible, would still come out all wrong. He glances briefly in my direction twice, but never holds eye contact. I wonder if he thinks I’m crazy like all the other fans and is praying I don’t speak.

It’s not like me to be intimidated by a celebrity. Heck, when I was a trail guide in the Virgin Islands, I took Steven Seagal and Kelly LeBrock horseback riding without an inkling of concern.

This Cleese experience has left me angry and ashamed. Determined not to let this go completely without something to show for it, I discretely stole a snapshot with my blackberry without Mr. Cleese noticing a thing. I hate being star struck.