Wednesday, May 9, 2012

People Watching


 As I was leaving, a short, skinny guy with a camera passed me on his way into a small cafe on a well-traveled Beverly Hills street.  My nearby doctor's appointment wasn't for another 20 minutes so I got an iced tea and killed some time on the cafe's sidewalk patio.

Out of the blue, there was a moment's notice that something BIG was about to "go down" because two, tinted-windowed mini vans pulled up, tires screeching, and doors sliding open before the vehicles had stopped.  Out jumped a group of highly unattractive sweaty looking guys with gigantic cameras all pushing and shoving each other for position-- cameras pointed directly across the street at a building that's the home of a swank eyebrow waxing shop.

Just as the commotion was noticeable to everyone within ear shot, one of the sweaty guys yelled "There.  There!  THERE!", and the short, skinny guy inside the cafe ran out with camera in hand, faster than a speeding bullet, directly into three lanes of traffic, darting between 35 MPH cars to get to the opposite side of the street.

A hiccup later, Oprah was three steps onto the sidewalk and into her waiting SUV, gone in less than 5 seconds.  Yes, that Oprah.

Before I could exhale and process what I'd just seen, the sweaty guys were high fiveing each other as if they'd just seen the seventh wonder of the world.  The short, skinny guy was back too, proudly describing his near death experience and the perfect picture of Oprah he repeatedly referred to as his "money shot".

After a few minutes of back slapping and ego boosting, the sweaty guys got back into their minivans, I assume to swoop in on some other unsuspecting celebrity, while the skinny guy strutted around in front of the cafe talking to himself about his "money shot" and how he "nearly got killed" getting it.

Oh yes, he was very proud of himself.

Once skinny guy realized no one was left that saw his incredibly stupid escapades except me, and/or that no one cared, he walked over, his chest pulled out like Superman, and asked if I wanted to see the photo he swore would make him famous and land him a cushy retirement. 

*Blank stare.*

No thank you. 

*Stare some more.*

And he finally walked away, still talking to himself and counting the bundles of money he was sure he'd just captured on a camera that looked as though it weighed more than he did.

All I could do was wonder if the skinny guy was dropped on his head one too many times as a baby, and how it came to be that I had two Oprah sightings in just a four months.

Welcome to www.TheFiftyFactor.com  -  Joanna Jenkins
Photo Credit © mikelaptev - Fotolia.com




44 comments:

JillsyGirl Studio said...

I would imagine you'd see a lot of that going on around town! Too bad you didn't have your own camera to make your own money shots. You seem to have a knack for being at the right place at the right time! :-)

Alison said...

Oh Lord, that place you live is so separated from realîty!

Mari said...

It's cool that you got to see her again, but what craziness! I can't imagine what it's like to live like that. It would be awful having people chasing after you to take your picture all the time.

oceangirl said...

I want to live in the valley!

Jeanie said...

What a way to live.....both Oprah and the people who chase her, or some other celebrity, around with a camera. I have seen that kind of activity in Malibu, but never knew who they were trying to get a picture of.

Red said...

This must have seemed surreal as you didn't know what was going on. The sad part is many people are like the "Little Skinny Guy " and are totally obsessed with star status.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

I can't imagine how exasperating that kind of activity must be to celebrities, especially when they're with their children. It's amazing how people spend their lives staking out celebs and can actually make a decent living at it. If only there weren't such a market for celebrity pictures. I think it would be especially horrible for people whose weight fluctuates like Oprah, Kirstie Alley and the like when publications look for pictures of them eating or looking fat and plaster it on the cover with all manner of rude comments.

Brian Miller said...

i just dont know why he did not take a pic of you, you know...smiles...oy...i like watching people...not stalking them...smiles.

DJan said...

To think what it would be like to be captive every day, all day long, to hordes like that. Just sickening, actually, that people make money by stalking.

diane said...

These poor "reporters" don't yet realize that they are already dinosaurs of the news world. Pity them.
How was your iced tea?

Simone said...

I agree with Brian. Oprah is just a typical person when the day is done. She poops and pees just like the rest of us. :) How are you? I have missed hearing how things are going in your life.

Mike Smith said...

A sad reflection on today's society. Hope you are well, JJ.

SueAnn Lommler said...

Oh dear! What a waste of someone's time and life???!!! All to take a pic of someone "famous". I wouldn't waste my time for sure.
Sheesh!!
Fun that you saw all of this though from the safety your table. Out of the fray!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Betty WSch. said...

How sad. Is all I could think. Their lives must be so empty.
Hope you are well JJ!

Davine said...

What an adventurous and exciting day you had. I just love how you just said no to the skinny guy when asked if you wanted to see his money shot.

CiCi said...

If the camera looked like it weighed more than the skinny guy, someone needs to tell him to find a more lucrative job so he can eat better. I too did a lot of blank staring when I lived out there, not impressed with the people being stalked or the crazies running around with the cameras. My own life has always been so interesting I don't live vicariously through a celebrity or politician. How did the doctor visit go? Did you have to pay fifty bucks to park your car?

Ina in Alaska said...

What a bunch of jerks. Who cares! In Beverly Hills a celebrity sighting is probably as common as our moose wandering around here and believe me EVERYONE runs for their cameras too!!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

This world needs more blank stares, that's all I'm thinking right now.

Ms Sparrow said...

I'm with Green Girl, the Blank Stare is the perfect response to such idiocy! It's much preferable to the other obvious response, "Get a life!"

LadyFi said...

Oh dear - some people just don't have brains.

Taradharma said...

do you suppose Oprah is stalking you?

Cathy Clementz said...

I'm so glad I'm not famous...but I wouldn't mind the "being rich" part! I couldn't live a life like those people do with everyone clammoring for a piece of ya or a photo.

Nezzy said...

What a way to live! I can't even imagine tryin' to be halfway ordinary and run to a store just to get mobbed with the crowds.

Branson is filled with celebrities but it's a totally different atmosphere. Heck, ya might find Andy Willams in line at Wally World discussin' how big his tomatoes are to the person next in line.

It's cool that you've spotted Oprah twice now. At least ya didn't MOB her! Heeehehee!

Great read sweetie.

God bless and have a terrific day.

Good Dr. appointment, I pray.

otin said...

I can't imagine having to sneak up on people and snap their pictures for a living!

Joyce said...

Ok I might be off my rocker, but I would rather have seen the look on the gents face when you replied back than to see Oprah. xo

Tammy said...

Oh lord is a picture worth risking your life for. Some people really need to get their priorites in order. Of course I've no idea what it would be like to be in a place where celebrity sightings are common. I actually love watching people, but I'm not sure, unless there was a crowd, if I'd really notice the people I'm watching are famous or not,nor do I think I'd get to excited about it either way. Sad, isn't it. Hugs.

Tammy said...

Oh lord is a picture worth risking your life for. Some people really need to get their priorites in order. Of course I've no idea what it would be like to be in a place where celebrity sightings are common. I actually love watching people, but I'm not sure, unless there was a crowd, if I'd really notice the people I'm watching are famous or not,nor do I think I'd get to excited about it either way. Sad, isn't it. Hugs.

Shrinky said...

I think she's stalking you!

I truly don't get why there is such a plethora of Celeb mags on the market, but there is - seems that's all my hairdressing salon stocks - which is probably why I always come with a book..

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

Oh how I love that you didn't feed his silly ego about the money shot!

Unknown Mami said...

Maybe he can use the money to get some therapy.

Zuzana said...

I guess to some a sighting like that feels like his 3 minutes of fame, or at least an encounter with it.;)
I do not care much for celebrities, they are people just like us, in fact I feel I rather meet a scientist that have changed the world, than any actor.;)
I am back from my break, looking forward to catch up with you and everyone else and to start blogging on regular bases again.;)
xoxo

Holly said...

Because I finally had enough of him stalking me and taking my picture when I was taking out my trash, I suggested he look you up on the Left Coast and act all important and such. The fact that Oprah was also there at the same time, is simply a coincidence. You should have let him show you the picture, it was of me in my Scottie pajamas, with a large black trash bag in my left hand, while I flipped him off with my right! And to think, you missed it!

CC said...

Kinda wish I could run around getting sweaty from siting celebrities instead of chasing other people's kids around all day... ;)

Chris H said...

That is just plain crazy!

Lilly said...

What a life it must be for both the paparazzi and the celebrities. No thanks. Yes you should have snapped Oprah yourself.

Christine said...

oh yes, paparazzi! sounds like an interesting day!

Cindy L said...

Damn, now that our film incentives have gone down the tubes, I want to live in California! You see the coolest things ... and I love how you write about them! Thanks for the smiles, JJ!

Hilary said...

Imagine making a living stalking people like that. So Oprah, quit stalking Joanna! ;)

Chrisy said...

oh baby you're hangin with the in crowd now....you should have told the skinny guy you were Oprah's step sister and would be happy to answer a few questions for a bit of moula!

Suldog said...

Oh, my goodness, yes, a thousand times yes. I'm amazed by the flashbulbs and obeisance. These are people, not gods. Sure, I have some heroes of various stripes, and I like running into them in public, and if the opportunity to chat with one of them presents itself, I'll probably do it. If I can have a photo taken with one of them, sure, why not? But just blind hero worship snapping of a photo just because someone came into your range of vision for five seconds? I'll never understand it.

Michelle said...

Yeah... I never have understood the fascination with celebrities. Yeah, they're talented but so are lots of other people. And I'm happy with my life, so why do I have to ape someone else's or follow it so closely. But I know I'm very much in the minority!

Sweet Tea said...

WOW! What a great story. I live for things/times like that. Such fun in the unexpected.

Connie said...

I always wonder how I would react if I saw a celebrity...they are just people and would probably prefer their privacy! I imagine I would go about my business and let them go about theirs :) Two Oprah sightings...pretty cool.

Relyn said...

INSANE!! That guy was insane!