Unless you sat through the People’s Choice award-winning Lifetime movie chronicling my personal saga (starring Meridith Baxter-Berney in her most challenging role yet, ‘natch), many of you may not be aware that I spent my formidable (read: sober) years growing up on the redneck streets of West Virginia. And by redneck, I don’t mean that time you bought that gold by the inch necklace at the Glendale Galleria. I mean country. Like gun rack chic. Cracker Barrel couture. During my tenure in John Denver’s (R.I.P.) home turf, I took it upon myself to bring pop culture to the Blue Ridge Mountains, often challenging the hillbilly status quo in the name of fashion or consumables. For example, I was the first to wear my overalls with one strap untethered– an incredibly bold choice for the time, later found on many a Karl Lagerfeld runway and Color Me Badd band mate. But, perhaps my most daring statement was my flowing, shoulder length blond hair. If Dorothy Hamill was bouncing and behavin’, I was bouncing and befuddlin’, confounding onlookers with my perfect androgynous symmetry.
The only issue with my groundbreaking tresses was they were exceptionally comparable to another child star of the time, who was just making a mark in Hollywood. You see, the Freaky Friday had recently premiered on the big screen, proving to be a star turn for one Jodie Foster. In the film, Jodie donned a perfect blond shoulder-length haircut, identical to my own. It wasn’t long before locals (those with teeth and without) were remarking I bared a striking resemblance to the young thespian (she wasn’t a lesbian yet). This went on for some time until my family moved to Arizona; there the dry air and my sister’s Conair Diffuser allowed me to sculpt the perfect parted-down-the-middle-feathered-back – again drawing comparisons to another celebrity of the day – Farrah Fawcett (R.I.P.).
So you can imagine my surprise, recently, when I found myself at the airport in Los Angeles strolling in front of whom I could have sworn was my fifth grade doppelganger. Frankly, it was hard to tell if it truly was Jodie Foster behind me, stomping the ground in very sensible shoes as she marched towards the exit, or perhaps it was Tammy from the Brookstone store, weary after a day of peddling massage chairs and noise canceling headphones. That is when I heard the confirmation I needed, as she spoke gruffly into her phone: “George, it’s Jodie. I am coming outside.” Bingo!
Now the challenge: how could I execute a Celebrity Touch™ with her behind me? I was certain at this point she also knew I was on to her, given the Linda Blair impersonation I kept doing to try to figure out if it was her or not. Given this, she would surely be on guard for any rookie touching maneuver.
The escalator presented the perfect opportunity. We were now both on it now, slowly descending. As I reached the bottom, I feigned that my on-trend Filson backpack had slipped from my broad shoulder, tumbling to the ground. With me having to lean over to pick it up, Jodie’s exit off the escalator was effectively blocked.
As she inched closer and closer I could see the trepidation in her eyes as she realized she was going to indeed cascade into me. She was without hope at that point. There was no escape. At the last moment, she made a less-than-graceful attempt to sidestep my imposing form, brushing against my left side, and coming in direct contact with my Rag and Bone pencil thin trousers. Celebrity Touch secured!
As she headed towards the door, she turned back, looked at me and seemed to give a knowing nod. Perhaps she thought she was looking into a mirror back in time; a more innocent time when blond bobs were au rigor. Or she was thinking: “F*ck you. You clumsy asshole.” It is really hard to say.