"Of Course, That's Just My Opinion—I Could Be Wrong"

Oh, yeah, I think I remember that gig."

I must be clear: I'm a Dennis fan—saw him do stand-up in college, bought a few of his shows on CD, and have even tried to quote him when his intellectual sarcasm seemed to fit. I'm one of the scant few who liked his tenure on _Monday Night Football._

I have not one but two Dennis Miller encounters, both in Santa Barbara, California, where I think he still lives with his family.

Dennis and his young son are in line a few people ahead of me at the local Blockbuster. He's got a pile of movies, and at the checkout something comes up. There's an argument. Apparently Dennis was short a dollar or two, and either the Block didn't take credit cards at the time or Dennis didn't have his with him. All I heard was, "Why are you busting my chops for a dollar?" Dennis grabbed his pile of movies and his son and left. As he's leaving in his Porsche, the red-haired, pimply teen behind the counter is digging in his own pocket to make up the difference.

A year later, I was doing a truly awful local production of Shakespeare's _Much Ado about Nothing._ The only thing we had going for us is that Kenneth Branagh's adaptation came out the same summer, giving us unwarranted but welcome attention.

We're about to open the show, and I'm sporting a thick beard as Don Pedro (Denzel Washington in the film). On my way to rehearsal, I decide to stop and grab food. I'm standing in line at the local McDonald's (one of the few left without a drive-thru). I recognize Dennis Miller in the line next to me. I leave my coveted spot and approach him.

"Hey, Dennis, I really like your stuff."

"Hey, thanks, man. Thanks a lot."

"I saw you two years ago at my college in St. Louis."

"Oh, yeah, I think I remember that gig."

"So I'm in a local Shakespeare production of _Much Ado,_ you want to check it out?"

"No, not really. But thanks. And hey, you look Shakespearean."

Fast-forward to current day. I'm now a parent, and I'm hesitant to judge that Blockbuster situation. I'm sure I've done worse in public with my kids—and wouldn't want a random event like that examined for posterity.


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