Monday, March 2, 2020

More of the burdens of fame

My wife and I were mildly out and about on the town over the weekend. There were a couple of interruptions to our harmonious togetherness.

The first time we were at a cafe having beer and wine. Kind of a lot of it for us. It was fun. We had the good table. A lady walked by. She was very nice. She said "It's my favorite librarian!" She was talking to me. I function occasionally as a librarian though it's not technically true.

I said "That's very nice of you to say."

She said "You are such a cute couple."

I said "I'm glad you think so."

The next day we were at a bakery. A man came up to me and said "I recognize you from the library. I don't get over there very often lately. I'm reading a lot of e-books, project Gutenberg and all that."

I replied "I recognize you too." Which I did. "Have you checked out our library's e-book collection? It's pretty useful if you like them."

He said no, but that he should check it out.

There is a scene in a movie I have see 20 times called The Holiday. Jack Black is a composer who does movie soundtracks. He is with Kate Winslet who plays a obit writer on home exchange holiday in L.A. They are in a Blockbuster, which shows that the movie is far older than I think it would be. Jack Black is holding up DVD's with great soundtracks he admires, ostentatiously singing the scores to her. He holds up The Graduate and sings a bit of Mrs. Robinson and then informs her that it was written for the movie and so technically is a score. The camera cuts to Dustin Hoffman, who is only in the movie to make this one brief cameo. He mutters to himself "I can't go anywhere."



  1. Ha! Great post! I share the same longitudinal fame after teaching 20 years at the same community college. One of my favorites is being at one of my wife's friend's karaoke birthday party. I was having an okay time because I had never been to karaoke, so it was novel. Then all of a sudden I get a strong pat on the back, and there's a late 20's rather strong young man saying, "Mr. A! It's me!" I recognized him, but I couldn't remember his name. Then he said, "Zack! Remember?" And I said yes, and then very sweetly he called over to his girlfriend, insisting she meet me, then went on to say how much I helped with his writing, which has helped him land a great and lucrative job, and his girlfriend was super sweet about it. Then there was another one. I was at a Target (there's an MN connection!), and suddenly this Brazilian student says my name. She's a mom of three from a class years ago. Anyway, she took me by the arm and walked with me and told me her life had rather turned upside down and that our reading of A Wizard of Earthsea and all the shadow stuff helped her enormously. Another time I was offered free popcorn at a movie theater, but I refused!

    1. Thank you so much for saying so! I like your stories. It's funny that you getting thanked as a teacher seems so personal and like a reward or something to me, whereas for me it's like I'm strangely displaced into something more like a work mode, a kind of faultlessly "on" and graciously helpful personality. But perhaps there is more in common between the two than I think?

      Very ethical turning down the popcorn. Just tonight someone got a little change for their fine payment and said somewhat facetiously "What, no tip jar?"

      I said we are remunerated far too lavishly as it is.


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