My Lost Moment of Fame

Very few people are actually famous, and–in spite of the number of my books sold–I’m not famous. Or even vaguely well known. And generally that’s probably a good thing. I couldn’t see myself in the position of autographing dirty paper napkins or crashing into a telephone pole while trying to escape the paparazzi.

Nope. I’m far too quiet a person for that. And I have enough self-confidence that I don’t need fame to feel fulfilled.

Nonetheless, there was one time, just one when…

I’d flown to Melbourne, Australia, to teach a computer programming seminar. All expenses paid, not counting probably a hundred hours or more of preparation. While there I met Jyl, the friend I’d been corresponding with, the one who talked me into applying to teach the seminar–and I’m sure she put in a good word for me. In addition to treating me to a performance of Phantom of the Opera, Jyl had invited me to fly to Sydney after the symposium to meet her family. That was a wonderful experience.

(I’m not sure whether the rest of this story took place during that visit or one of my subsequent ones. But it’s true and accurate to the best of my memory otherwise.)

Jyl took a sick day to show me around Sydney. Since she and her husband live in the Bondi Beach area, that was first on the list to see. But soon thereafter we headed to the Circular Quay there at the harbor. And of course that meant visiting the Opera House. Although that wasn’t my first visit to Sydney, I never tired of seeing the Sydney Opera House.

It was mid-morning by then, and Jyl suggested a snack at an outdoor cafe. Sounded fine to me.

The server led us first to one table–practically all of them were empty–but, just as we started pulling out chairs to sit down, he said, “Oh, I’m sorry. I can’t let you sit there.” No explanation. A little strange, but no biggie.

He led us to another table, where the same thing happened. At the third table we managed to sit down.

He started to hand us the menu, but then said, “Oh, this is the wrong one.”

By then I was super curious, but Jyl was boiling. In no uncertain terms, she insisted on having that menu.

A moment or two later, someone came up to us and said, “You’re on YOU’RE KIDDING.” I may have that name wrong, but it was a very popular show on Australian TV at the time. Comparable to America’s CANDID CAMERA.

We signed release forms for them to use the video they took of us. I thought the whole thing was pretty cool, although I wondered how Jyl felt about the possibility of her employer discovering she hadn’t really been sick that day.

It probably didn’t matter, though. From the feedback I’ve gotten from several of my Aussie friends, they must have decided Jyl and I hadn’t been funny enough and didn’t use our video.

Okay, so YOU’RE KIDDING wouldn’t have made me famous. But considering how I feel about fame, maybe broadcasting our video would’ve given me just the right amount of notoriety. Enough for my Aussie friends to be able to say, “I know him.”

Are you well known for anything? How about leaving a comment? This is an invitation to brag.


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Best regards,

6 thoughts on “My Lost Moment of Fame

  1. I once had a role in a famous Colombian t.v. drama for the simple fact that I was a gringo. They needed someone to pose as a US consulate oficer who would revoke and deny the US visa of a narco-trafficer’s wife. The name of the series was called ”CARTEL DE LOS SAPOS” or something like that. I spoke in two different episodes, near the end, and my counterpart was this beautiful Colombian model/actress. It paid pretty good for Colombia. They asked later if I could do other things but I lived too far to make it worth my time and I am not an actor. It was interesting to say the least and I have a few anecdotes to share. Later. Tired.


  2. Wow! Looking forward to a few of those anecdotes when you’re not too tired to share them.

    BTW, I’ve become Twitter friends with a Christian actress who’s agreed to read Pastor Gus and pass it along to someone who might be interested if she thinks it would make a good movie. While I’m not counting on anything resulting from that, her enthusiasm after reading a brief synopsis is encouraging.

    I don’t know whether you’re aware of this “down there,” but because a number of conservative people have grown sick of the trash coming out of Hollywood, Christian films are coming out in increasing numbers, and the quality is getting increasingly better as well.

    The current one is “Risen,” which we really want to see but haven’t been able to work into our schedules. Maybe my new hearing aids will come first. I have troubl3e understanding movie dialog with my current (eleven-year-old) hearing aids.


  3. I have heard snatches and blurbs from people talking about that movie (Risen). I am not sure what to think because I’ve not seen it. It may be good. The folks who chattered about it were not paragons of culture – but who knows. I rarely go to movies because of the monotone content (usually killings, drugs, self-absorbed dummies). It’s an exception when I go that I see something that sparkles. I’m into older flicks, especially being a big John Wayne fan. At one time I owned almost all of his movies (nearly 200) but that was back in the day of VHS. Nowadays I’d die for at least 15 flicks of his in Blue Ray but impossible from down here.

    As for the Pastor Gus becoming a flick: why not. It has a nice story line. Good dialog. The devil is painted in an interesting and amusing way. And it has a message. Don’t count yourself out yet. As the majority of people do not read this would be the best medium to get the message out. Not a bad idea.


  4. I really appreciate your encouragement about the idea of Pastor Gus as a movie, Tom. I’m by no means counting myself out. Just not allowing myself to get excited prematurely.

    Oh, wow. I don’t know why, but I never would’ve thought of you as such a big John Wayne fan. I dare say I would probably enjoy many of his movies, but–honestly–there are just too many movies floating around out there to watch everything. Even though we have numerous DVDs (and still have quite a few VHS movies as well), we rarely watch any of them.

    We rarely go to the movies, either, and we’re very careful about which ones we see. We are big fans of reviews, which give very specific details about the kinds of things we would be inclined to object to–as well as the good points, of course.

    I”m currently waiting for new hearing aids to come. My ability to understand dialog in a theater setting had become a real problem.


  5. Well, if you’re interested, here’s a short list of his greatest films. You can bank on the fact that there is no nudity, cursing, blood splattering violence or any other kind of negative message so prevalent in todays movies:

    Big Jake
    The Cowboys
    The Searchers
    The Shootist
    True Grit
    Red River
    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
    The Alamo

    All westerns, all fun movies – my favorites for sure. John Wayne only dies in 4 of the more than 200 films he made. Three of them are on this list. Enjoy.


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