A day after my blogger self was prominently displayed in the Salem newspaper, complete with not one but three photos of my blogging face, I’m finding it easy to handle my new fame.
I’m handling it in the same way I handle the leprechauns in our garden, since managing something non-existent doesn’t require a lot of work.
But before I realized that those who say “fame is fleeting” are vastly overstating the duration of my local blogging notoriety, I wasted quite a bit of time yesterday fretting about how to deal with the repercussions of the newspaper article.
I wanted to buy three more copies of the Friday paper. I planned out the best way to do this without looking like an egomaniac. If I went to a convenience store and plopped the papers down on the counter, a front page facing the clerk, he could glance at the photo in the upper left corner, match it up with the guy buying all the papers, and think to himself, “What an egotistical asshole.”
I thought of wearing a ski mask, but that didn’t seem like a good idea given that it’s August and I’d be walking up to a 7-Eleven cash register. So my preferred plan was to find six quarters and an isolated Statesman-Journal paper box.
However, when I went into town in the afternoon I needed to get gas and figured that I might as well venture into the station’s mini-mart and scope out the newspaper supply. “Praise Allah!” I said to myself, even though I’m not a Muslim, when I saw that (1) there were exactly three papers left in the display rack, and (2) there wasn’t a clerk visible anywhere in the store.
So I plunked $1.50 down on the counter, held the copies so my photo wasn’t showing, and walked back to my car with a “I left a buck fifty inside for the papers” to the attendants. Mission accomplished.
My next worry was how I was going to run a bunch of errands without getting engaged in lengthy conversations about the story with people who knew me. I rehearsed witty repartees to the expected “So, how are you dealing with your fifteen minutes of fame?” I practiced humble expressions in the rear-view mirror.
More wasted time. First, I had to drop off our neighborhood group’s checkbook at the treasurer’s house. He and his wife were pruning their extensive garden. I chit-chatted longer than the occasion demanded, waiting for them to bring up the subject of the blogging article, how I look younger in person than in the photo, and so on.
I waited. And waited. Either they hadn’t read the paper, or the blogging story didn’t catch their eye sufficiently to match up the featured blogger with the human presence standing right in front of them.
It turned out that this either-or hypothesis was going to be repeated in my mind quite a few times. Like, at the Animal Clinic; at Oak Tree Pharmacy; at Office Depot; and at the Courthouse Athletic Club.
Some of these were long shots for recognition, but I had high hopes for the athletic club where I’ve been a long time member, copies of the Statesman-Journal are scattered all over, and you spend quite a bit in a room with fellow exercisers, thereby allowing sufficient time for them to make a connection between the fascinating article that they had read only that morning and the graying man on the Stairmaster or Nautilus machine.
Realizing that many people are reluctant to intrude upon a celebrity’s privacy, in both of the exercise rooms I used at the athletic club I listened carefully for any hint of a whispered “Is that really him? The guy whose photo was on the front page of the paper today? I think it could be. He’s better looking in person, though.”
I listened. And listened. The either-or hypothesis made its appearance again. Sigh…
So far only my friends Patricia and Keith have commented on my blogging story glory. Patricia via a phone call, and Keith via his weblog, where he cries in his beer (or, rather, tofu) about not being featured in the story himself. Hey, like I said in my previous post, I tried to get the reporter to contact Salem bloggers Keith and Trey along with William (who did make it into the story).
Oh, yes, I should add my sister to the “Wow! That’s cool” feedback list. She just posted a comment saying, “I knew one of us would be famous! I'm glad it's you.”
Um, not quite.