Befriending "Jessie Spano"

"You must be some kind of pharmacy connoisseur!"

I first caught a glimpse of Elizabeth Berkley while waiting in line at a CVS on Beverly Boulevard in Beverly Hills, California. I was near the front of the line waiting to speak with one of the pharmacists, while Elizabeth was standing in one of two longer lines to converse with other available pharmacists in the drop-off section.

I had been waiting only five minutes before I swiftly made my way to the pharmacist's desk to handle my prescriptions. Elizabeth entered the vicinity and my consciousness as I was approaching the desk. After speaking to a jolly employee with an efficient work ethic, I left the line in search of a nice $20 fan to rescue me from the swelter of my air-conditioning-deficient apartment.

Moments later, I returned to the pharmacy area of the store to find poor Elizabeth Berkley still standing at the back of the line. She happened to sigh listlessly as I was passing by her en route to the pickup line. We locked eyes and shared an eye-rolling glance of vexation at the painful wait we were both reluctantly enduring in the name of receiving our prescription drugs. Gregarious as always, I spoke first.

"Don't waste another breath in that line," I said. "Move there--he's the best! You'll be out of here inside of ten minutes. Trust me, I've been observing all of the attendants. I speak from experience."

Berkley looked at me. Surprise, relief, and gratitude were written all over her face. She smiled, nodded, and briskly followed orders. Once maneuvering her way into the line I suggested, she spoke. She mouthed, "Thank you soooooo much!"

Then, just before I turned to make a final decision on which unit to buy in the fan/air-conditioning aisle, America's beloved "Jessie Spano": said, "You're a lifesaver!" She was nearly at the front of the line, even though she'd gotten there just one moment earlier. I was beaming from her compliment. _Saved by the Bell_ is classic, as was Jessie Spano in real life.

As I exited the pharmacy, we both caught sight of each other heading to our respective vehicles. Elizabeth Berkley shot me a smile and shouted, "You must be some kind of pharmacy connoisseur! You saved me in there."

The smile on my face was enormous as I casually replied, "Anytime. It was a nightmare in there. I'm just thrilled we both made it out alive with our scripts before dusk!"

It was noon as we exchanged polite goodbyes in the CVS parking lot. It was a lovely celebrity encounter. Who would have thought being particularly observant while in line at the pharmacy would have brought me to quasi-acquaintance status with _Saved by the Bell_ star Elizabeth Berkley?


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