Monday, August 15, 2016

Dining With Celebrities Was Never On My Bucket List

Good Day World!

I've seen many contests that reward winners with an evening out to dinner with a celebrity.

I never could understand that. What's the big deal about consuming food with celebrities?

Have you ever won a contest and an intimate meal with a celebrity? 

My two experiences noshing down with famous people (no, I didn't win a contest) were hardly the highlights of my life. It was part of my job.  

As a managing editor of a group of newspapers in the Palm Springs area back in the early 90s, I often attended local events on behalf of the Palm Desert Post and the Post Newspapers.

I only dined with celebrities twice. The first time was with President Ford, and actor Robert Stack.

The second time was with Sonny Bono who was the Mayor of Palm Springs at the time.

Neither meal was something to brag about. I never dreamed about eating with celebrities. It was never on my bucket list.

My first experience was being seated at a table next to President Ford and actor Robert Stack at a Bob Hope Celebrity Golf Tournament .

Ford wasn't much of a talker, and I couldn't really think of subjects to just casually chat about with an ex-president. 

He was very polite and smiled a lot. I tried to entertain him briefly by talking golf - which I knew he loved - and which I knew absolutely nothing about.

"Hey, how about that Arnold Palmer? Have you seen the latest golf course he designed?"

I think Robert Stack was suffering from a hangover and was drinking some "hair of the dog" while listlessly staring at his food.

He wasn't having a good day so I didn't bother questioning him about when he use to play Elliot Ness on The Untouchables; a popular TV series that ran from 1959 to 1963.

Looking back at that experience one overwhelming thing comes to was really boring! 

Back then...

Sonny Bono and I, were on the "outs' because I wrote a scathing editorial about his proposed ban on thong bikinis for Spring Break that year. 

As a red-blooded male I had to stand up and call bullshit on that proposal.

Shortly after that editorial, some wit/event organizer seated us next to each other in the one-and-only heavyweight fight to ever be fought in that city (Welterweight Champion Meldrick Taylor vs unbeaten Luis Garcia of Venezuela.)

The match was held in a specially built 6,300-seat arena at the Radisson Palm Springs Resort and was televised by HBO.

We were seated at some guest tables near the ring with a few rich local snobs from La Quinta. I drank beer and Bono had cocktails. We both made a huge effort to ignore one another while being pleasant in front of our company.

The match was over quickly, but not before we both got in a few verbal jabs.

Watching a famous person gulp down food while making small talk seems gross to me. What if you have gas? Or, worse yet, what if they have gas?

Laughing now.

So many bad things can happen however. That person could turn out to be a real jerk and you're stuck consuming food with him/her. Just saying.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

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