I appear to be taking my fifteen minutes of fame, one minute at a time. My 'resting' period was interrupted, again, this week when I was requested to make an appearance.
Unfortunately, there was an incident downtown on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Reported as a possible 'gang related' incident, four people were being treated for gun shot wounds. I am sure that it is of no consolation that the minor responsible was a lousy aim, as the quartet were accidental victims. Four cones marked the spot, but fortunately chalk was not needed.
Perhaps the main question asked should have been, 'what was a minor doing in possession of a gun, and why was he driving alone?' Whether this question was asked, or not, will remain a mystery, as it didn't get air time.
However, this isolated incident brought out the news teams, once again, attempting to make more out of a story than was necessary. At the sight of a camera crew, I rushed to the office door and wondered if they needed to interview a sophisticated, yet modest, English woman. 'Hair by Ulta; Nails by Bloomingnails', I announced, as I stood on the wrong side of the entrance. Considering the said event took place just to the left of the front porch, of our building, surely afforded me the opportunity of at least an audition. Taking the bull by the horns has not necessarily been one of my strong points, but this called for emergency action. I made the decision to boldly exit the building, to give the necessary individuals the chance to solicit my opinion. Samantha was close on my heels, which of course were high, and we walked to the back of the building, un-accosted. Our walk back was slightly more eventful. 'Excuse me', was the opening sentence. 'Why yes, of course I can give you an interview; Hair by Ulta, Nails by Bloomingnails; what would you like to hear? was what I had practiced, but instead a simple, 'Yes', was the response. The reporter explained that he had heard about the shooting, and wondered if I was in the office when it happened. It was at this point that I nearly blew my chance. 'We are not normally in the office at 2am. Much as I love my job, even I have to sleep! No, I was not here'. Said with my biggest and brightest smile, he did not seem to take offence at my sarcastic reply, and asked if I had seen anything unusual, in general. My poise disappeared, and I started to talk, with my hands, as usual. I explained that there was nothing out of the usual. We had just gone to inspect the shed at the back of the car park. Apparently there was some graffiti sprayed onto it Saturday morning, but the city had managed to remove it. Other than that, nothing out of the ordinary. I didn't mention my hair or my nails. I retreated into the office and told my colleagues that I had, indeed, been approached by the reporter. Unfortunately, he was not interested in my outward maintenance. The newsmen seemed to be as dejected as their potential interviewee, as they sat down on a bench at the cafe opposite our office. I decided that as my chance for another taste of fame had been thwarted, by not being at the right place at the right time, or in this case, perhaps, the right place at the wrong time, I took out my 'trash can'. Samantha duly followed. It was as I walked back, plastic receptacle in hand, that I was once again approached. 'It's me again', said the friendly reporter. 'Can I ask you a couple of questions'. Of course, willing to oblige, Although my mind told him, 'Hair by Ulta, nails by Bloomingnails', I just smiled and nodded. 'Would you mind if we filmed your replies, for the six o'clock news'. Oh my, my! How the fallen become mighty!! 'Sure!' came the over enthusiastic reply, followed quickly by a nonchalant, 'I don't see why not'. He asked me a few questions. Did I think this was an isolated incident? I told him that I hoped so! He said that the cafe owner was shocked. 'I was really shocked!', I exclaimed. He was curious as to whether I thought this was the shape of things to come. I replied, 'I hope they drifted off their patch, and will quietly drift back again'. For the first time, I saw a glimpse of 'human', and the reporter actually laughed. I then said that 6th Street, despite being famous for its evening activities, was not known for trouble, and there was never really anything bad reported.
'Despite being famous for its evening activities!' I really wanted to convey that it is the hive of activity, with the bars and clubs, but in my attempt to sound very chic, to match my elegant, sleeveless, dress, and of course the traditional pearls, I managed to make it sound rather sleazy. Of course, sleaze is an aspect of the famous downtown thoroughfare, but it was not my intention to advertise that I work in the middle of an unauthorized red light district! Thanking me for my time, he put down his microphone, and allowed me to pass, still holding my rubbish bin! Singing to those that were still in my office, 'I'm gonna be on the telly, I'm gonna be on the telly!' did not have much of an impact.
The recording, itself, was rather amusing. 'Going live to our reporter on 6th street', was not exactly the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Samantha had called to say that she was watching the live recording, and the reporter was on our steps!' I told her that we were locking up, on the steps, but the reporter, his crew, and the news van, were no where to be seen. Obviously aware that they were 'green screening it', the studio personnel should have been nominated for a golden globe. His performance was impressively dramatic. My performance, on the other hand, I believe, was worth the Oscar I will never see. Reporting that locals were very worried, there was a long shot of me, standing on the front porch of our office, waving my arms around, pointing to the site of the removed graffiti. How strange that one thing had nothing to do with the other! My second appearance was very dramatic. 'I was really shocked!' was the stand alone sentence that led the reporter into the rest of his blurb that introduced me, by name. My comment on how 6th Street was famous for its evening activity was the remark which he thought would be the most effective. It was also the one sentence in which I did not speak totally clearly, and although I spoke in the most beautiful English accent, I must have said a dozen 'ums'. He didn't mention 'Hair by Ulta; nails by Bloomingnails'. He failed to include the song and dance routine that may have won us 'Britain's got Talent', and our hand clapping game seemed to be of no interest! However, repeating half of what has been told can make an incredible news story. A local company has told their staff not to talk to the press, should they enlist support, as they are, more often than not, guilty of relaying stories that are more than slightly askew. On suggesting this incident was causing more than its fair share of concern, he stated, 'One company has told their staff not to talk to the press!' Even saying nothing constitutes a story!
The following morning, I went to see my co-star, the owner of the cafe. The waitress on duty said to me, 'I saw you on the television!' She is from Aberdeen, Scotland. When she told her husband that she knew me, he assumed that it was because I was British. 'No!', she said, 'She works across the street!' After discussing our obvious impending invitations for chat shows, and the like, as our performances were of such star quality, we bid each other good morning, and I went back to the office. Being very busy was a mere inconvenience. I took time out to send virtually everyone on my email list the clip from the news website. 'I was really shocked', became my catchphrase.
The postman arrived just before lunch. 'Hey Tracie, Saw you on TV last night', he said. I put my home-made masquerade mask up to cover my eyes. 'This is what I have to wear now', I said. He laughed and said that it was a good thing, as I looked 'really shocked!. Two of our process servers asked for my autograph, and said they were going to auction it off to the highest bidder. Edward had come running up to me the previous evening with a pen and paper asking for my signature. I was really shocked!
My friend, Gail, sent me a message to say, 'you are well turned out for the moment. Your hair looks great, the necklace is lovely, too bad we couldn[t see the nails!' I promised her that I would not let this new phase in my life change me. I shall keep my feet firmly on the ground. When I went to have my nails done on Friday, I explained to my manicurist that the last time I saw her, I was a client of the manicurist to the stars; now I was one of her stars, despite the camera not picking up on my hands! She thought that was rather amusing.
Obviously, the disguise of dark glasses is doing the trick. It has been rather sunny here, so I do not look out of place, but no one has recognised me all weekend. It is highly possibly that not everyone in the city actually saw the news. How shocking is that!!
New week starts tomorrow, and with a long weekend ahead, it is possible that I may be a day late in writing my next post, and although I hope not as shocking, it will be...another story.