Hey Guys! Cathy and I are going to a wedding this weekend, so we’ve spent most of the week being anxious about that and anticipating being embarrassed there. As a result, we haven’t had time to write any blog posts… but luckily, WE KNOW JASON! So, on this Friday in June, we present him again, here, for you. Enjoy!
Jason: When I was in the second grade there was a pretty girl that I liked, so I poked her with a pencil because I was too scared to talk to her. Well, eventually I learned how to talk to girls, but what I still haven’t learned how to do is talk to celebrities.
“Why can’t you talk to celebrities?” you’re probably saying to yourself, “they’re just like us! I read US Weekly, they take to the beach in unflattering bathing suits, they shop for groceries, they pump their own gas, they chew food.” These are the things we like to tell ourselves about celebrities, and my question to you is this: do you actually believe that stuff? I mean, when you’re being honest with yourself do you REALLY think that Brad Pitt is “just like you” because he (allegedly) chews his food? Maybe you do, and if so then good for you, because I sure don’t. Celebrities are better than us, dammit. They eat for free at restaurants that they don’t have to wait in line at, they fly to the shopping center in their private jets and they’re paid exuberant amounts of money to prance around for our amusement. Maybe they’re not better than you, I didn’t mean to insult your fragile pride, but they’re damn sure better than me.
Upon spotting a celebrity my blood pressure rises. My mouth goes dry, I can hear the violent thumping of my heart, I feel like a lion staring at a particularly haughty zebra or a young lover about to touch his first supple breast. Usually my juvenile reaction to seeing a celebrity is pretty benign. There was the time that I saw Kevin from the office in line at a Los Angeles deli: I stood six inches away from him staring awkwardly as he bought his sandwiches until, putting his arms protectively around his children, he gave me a dirty look and headed for the door. Sometimes though, my internal second grader takes over and I just can’t control myself, like the time I pulled over and double-parked in Boston traffic in front of the old House of Blues to scream “Sipowicz! Hey! Sipowicz!” at Dennis Franz until he eventually flipped me off and, giggling, I jumped back in my car and drove away.
These stories are all innocent enough when compared to my greatest showdown. You may not know this about me, but I used to enjoy frequenting strip clubs. A lot. There are probably another ten or so entries that I can devote solely to this aspect of my life, but it’s not really relevant here. What IS relevant is that there was one club in particular that I would frequent regularly, where all the bouncers and bartenders knew me pretty well (because I was so awesome…) and I would spend the majority of my time and paycheck there.
Here it is: The Cabaret Lounge (maybe. I don’t know if this is the same place. Here is a picture of a place called the Cabaret Lounge that may or may not be relevant).
Well, I walked in one night and took my usual seat at the stage (I know, I know…) and across from me I happened to see Nick Carter. No, not the Backstreet Boy Nick Carter – I’m referring to the popular Boston disc jockey from the late 90’s early 2000’s Nick Carter. Here’s the thing, you can debate the “celebrity” of a local DJ all you want, but the guy had millions of listeners, and the most important thing to keep in mind is that I was one of them. I would listen to his station, WBCN, every time I was in the car and I genuinely enjoyed listening to him. Now, I’m sitting there, in my seat at my favorite place ever and I’m staring directly at a man who has entertained me for hours upon countless hours as I sat in traffic. How did I handle this situation? Well, I waited until he made eye contact with me and then at the top of my lungs I began to shout, across the stage, “Rocco rules! Rocco! Rocco! Rocco!” Rocco being Nick Carter’s rival drive-time disc jockey on a radio station that I had literally never tuned into. The only reason I knew Rocco’s name is because Nick used to make fun of him on the air. So I continue doing this for probably about five minutes, chanting his rival’s name and screaming out the call letters to a rival station that I had never even listened to, until I see Nick get up from his seat to go, presumably, to the bathroom. About one minute later every bouncer in the club surrounded my seat.
“Was that you that was screaming ‘Rocco’ over and over again?” asked Kenny, a mammoth of a man I happened to know fairly well due to all the quality time we spent together looking at boobies.
“Probably,” I sheepishly replied, ready to be beaten to death.
“Come with me.” He said and led me, escorted by an entourage of terrifying Sons of Anarchy extra types, to the club’s back room.
“Do you know why Nick Carter is here?” Kenny asked me.
“Tits?” I said, still trying to be charming.
“He’s here because Joey here is trying to get his demo tape on the air. How would you feel, Joey, if Nick didn’t want to do that for you now?”
“Bad.” Said Joey, who was approximately 5 feet tall, 200 pounds, and had a face that looked like it had been beaten with an iron in the delivery room.
“I’d feel bad too.” I said.
Joey said nothing, he just stood there being ugly and scary. This was followed by probably 30 seconds of silence in which I was pretty sure were going to be followed by horrible pain, followed by death.
“You spend a lot of money here.” Said Kenny, finally. “And I like talking to you too. Man, if you were someone we didn’t know you’d already be gone. Fuck. Joey, if he apologizes to Nick do you think he can stay?”
“I guess so.” Said Joey, who I was starting to realize maybe wasn’t so ugly after all.
So we all headed back out to the main floor of the club. I walked around to the side of the stage that Nick Carter and his friends were sitting at and I saw Nick look from me to Kenny, who nodded at him.
“Hey, man.” I said.
“What’s up?” said Nick.
“I just wanted to tell you that I’m a really big fan and I listen to you every day.”
Then we kind of just stared at each other for awhile before he asked me, “If you’re a fan of MINE then why the fuck were you screaming ‘Rocco’ over and over again?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t know what else to do, I thought it would be funny, right?”
“Okay, well I’m really sorry. Rocco sucks. Next time I see you I’ll just come say ‘hi’.”
“Enjoy your night.”
“You too,” he said, “thanks for coming over.”
I then went back to my seat and drank a lot of beer and saw a lot of boobs. The next day on the air Nick Carter recanted this story and referred to me as a jackass.
This has been my story about how I can’t talk to celebrities and how one time being a regular at a strip club probably saved my face from being beaten in. Dreams can come true. Thanks for reading.
Jana: I think my favorite character in this story is Joey, who would I would like to write a movie about. Like, what kind of music did Joey play? Why was he playing at a strip club? Do strip clubs also sometimes double as concert venues? The fact that he is 5 feet tall is also, of course, excellent. JOEY. WHERE ARE YOU NOW?
Catherine: I too share an affinity for Joey, who was not unlike Nick Carter (the real one, from Backstreet Boys.) Nobody really cared about him. It was a sad thing. All those poor guys didn’t grow up to be Justin Timberlake, and I think that’s something for everyone to feel bad about.