Recognition

Her huge case came by first, and as she took it off the carousel, she swung right into my crotch.

I was one of the lucky ten who got the call. I had won first prize in a trading-card sweepstakes, and I had won an all-expenses-paid trip for two to L.A. for the FIFA World Cup final.

We boarded the plane in St. Louis for the first leg of an all-day trip, with a layover in Denver. Puttered around the airport, looking in the duty-free shops, not being able to buy anything that looked tantalizing, and finally just sat in the boarding lounge. They call it that for a reason.

That's when I spotted her: man's pin-striped suit, early Dr. Martens, oversize horn-rimmed glasses, and gawd-awful pageboy wig. If she was trying to travel incognito, it wasn't working. Tried not to stare, but that wasn't working, either--I knew that face.

"Check out that one," I said to my wife.

Vickie tried not to make it obvious as she glanced over a dozen times, but she has these eyes that make people notice she's watching you. Most folks say, "What?" when they see that look that came from the 15 years she had spent teaching. That _look!_ I don't know if she gave us away at that moment, but for sure we were detected later on the plane.

After taking off for California, a woman got sick, and the attendants had to move her. Everyone turned around to see what was happening, and I accidentally made eye contact. Then I followed that up with, "OK, now look...she's four rows in front of us and staring this way."

No question, we were had. _Fan stalkers!_ I'd never been to California, let alone seen very many famous people, but I knew they basically liked being left alone in public, to be able to live their lives like ordinary people. After the hubbub, we whispered to ourselves, trying to remember which actress she was. I kept coming back to Katharine Ross, but Vickie was sure it was someone else.

The plane landed and we disembarked, heading to the carousels for our luggage. Ms. X was right in front of us, about ten feet ahead, walking anonymously to the other end of the terminal, when it dawned on Vickie who we'd been trying to identify for over an hour. She leaned over and whispered in my ear, "Diane Keaton."

Waiting for your luggage to come around the ovals in LAX is both a guessing game and an exercise in wishful thinking. We finally saw our flight on the notice board, and soon our bags. Keaton was beside us, mute, and we were trying not to intrude in her space. Her huge case came by first, and as she took it off the carousel, she swung right into my crotch. Take _that,_ stalker fan!

"Oh, pardon me!" she said and walked away quickly. When I stood back up, she was gone. She had touched me!

I'd like to thank the Academy...

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