Christopher Walkenâ€™s Crisp Twenty
He didnâ€™t say a word. Not a "Thanks," nothing. Neither of us spoke. He pocketed his change and took the bag.
Five years ago, I had a job working the night shift at a convenience store in a northern suburb of Chicago. I was reading a novel when the door opened, and in walked Christopher Walken.
You donâ€™t spot too many celebrities in the northern suburbs of Chicago, or even in Chicago proper. Walken was my first. How was I sure it was Walken? No easy answer, but he is an extremely distinctive person; thereâ€™s no one else he could have been, given his appearance and the way he glumly entered the store and, without looking at me, turned down an aisle. He shopped for about a minute before he reached the counter.
This is what he bought:
1 24-oz. bottle of Lemon-Lime Gatorade
1 small can of Vienna sausages
1 can of Carnation baby formula
Too starstruck to speak, I fumbled while putting the items in a bag, took his twentyâ€”which I remember as the crispest twenty Iâ€™d ever come acrossâ€”rang him up, and gave him his change. He didnâ€™t say a word. Not a "Thanks," nothing. Neither of us spoke. He pocketed his change and took the bag.
Finally, when his back was turned, I had the courage to call out: â€œHeyâ€”youâ€™re Christopher Walken.â€
He opened the door, paused, and turned.
â€œSo?â€ he said, almost indignantly. Then he left; the door closed. I watched as he drove away, then went back to my book.