:: Life on Planet Dan-E ::

Thoughts, observations, and introspections from an art student waiter/bartender in South Beach. Arcane humor ensues.
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:: Tuesday, April 17, 2007 ::

:: Server Stories: Celebrity Sighting ::
Working at a nice, fairly well known restaurant in South Beach, you'd think we'd get our share of celebrity sightings but not that much. The last two that I know about were Annie Lenox, who was apparently nice, and the singer Pink, who came in with her motorcross star boyfriend and was very sweet. There were a few other minor sightings but having grown up in L.A., star sightings just don't get me all excited as they would other people. So when a co-worker told me that she waited on Pink, I just said, "that's cool."

"Why aren't you more excited?" she asked.

"Let me know if you wait on one of the guys from the Florida Marlins."

In fact, I was more excited when the ex told me she waited on Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who was apparently very sweet, but soft-spoken and almost shy. He probably didn't like all the attention from locals who still recognized him from his days playing at the University of Miami.

So tonight, just before closing, most of us are doing our sidework, goofing around when I somehow got into a conversation with a friendly young couple that wasn't even in my section. She asks me where I'm from because I "don't look like [I'm] from around here." I tell her I'm from L.A. The guy tells me he's also from the West Coast but he's living in New York now. This is the first time I noticed him since his date is rather, um, hot. That's when I notice his massive biceps that are almost thicker than my legs (I have solid 18" calves). He tells me that he grew up in Seattle but now lives in New York, even though he splits time between cities (and being the genius that I am, I figure he's a consultant or something.)

Somehow the conversation turns to sports (probably because I brought it up) and we learn that we're both lifelong SanFran 49ers fans. Then he starts to talk about how he was almost drafted by my 49ers, that he was disappointed when they passed on him, but he'll always be a loyal fan.

"Drafted? You mean for the NFL? When was this?"


"And who do you play for?"

"The Jets."


"I'm sorry, what's your name?"

"Erik Coleman".

(I smile huge.) "Whoa, (I actually did say that, not unlike the way Keanu Reeves said it in 'The Matrix." I'm not proud of this.) I actually know who you are." (Which is true, because I remembered researching the Jets' defense during the last Fantasy Football season and ran across his name a few times. Of course it never occurred to me until just now that I'm probably acting like every other bumbling, asshole, Jets fan that's ever approached him. Or maybe not because he's not a huge defensive star like Ray Lewis of Champ Bailey, which might explain why he was friendly. Or maybe he is just a nice guy. Sorry, I'm rambling again.)

Fortunately he didn't seem at all uncomfortable and we talked more football, and his girlfriend kept saying that meeting me must be a sign because she had a dream about him being traded to my Niners, and now they just met some random waiter in South Beach who happened to be a Left-Coast native and lifelong 49ers fan.

Of course, the whole time we're chatting (the whole conversation didn't last more than five minutes) I'm smiling like a dork since I'm super-duper excited that I just shook hands with my first National Football League Player. And the whole time, he was gracious, convivial, and remarkably grounded considering he's a 24 year-old multi-millionaire playing football for a rabid fanbase.

Even if he never plays for my team, it was cool for me to meet an NFL guy who wasn't the gansta-thug-wannabe-type that media tried to portray, especially after the ridiculous amount of publicity generated by all the arrests this past season. Sure the bad apples get all the TV time, but most of the guys are good guys like Erik Coleman. (I realize I'm assuming a lot from a five-minute conversation but I don't think I am, but even if I was just let me have this.)

And to top it off, at least for my friend who waited on him, he's a very generous tipper (50%!).

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:: Miscellaneous Ramblings by Dan-E at 12:52 AM [+] :: | 0 comments

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