Thanks again for all the great feedback yesterday. To tell you the truth, I was braced for an avalanche of complaint. Whenever I made big changes in the past, it always seemed to go that way. But maybe those changes were shit, and the new one isn’t? Perhaps I earned all former avalanches, as well as yesterday’s lack of one? It’s a possibility worth considering.
A couple of quick things about our new layout…
The RSS feed on this WordPress site is completely new. The old one has been stuffed inside a metaphorical potato sack, and hurled into the proverbial river. So, if you’re interested in such things, you’ll need to subscribe all over again. Yeah, I know it’ll cost you three additional seconds of your life, but I’ll try to make it worth the price. Like full updates, instead of summaries, for instance.
My original plan (up until two or three days ago) was to move the FrontPage archives into WordPress, a little here and a little there. But I think I’m just going to leave them as they are. When I began thinking about the logistics of such a project, my brain started changing shape.
Keeping all the URLs the same… dealing with Google’s dislike of duplicate content… trying to import the Haloscan comments… It was giving me scrotal hives just thinking about it.
So, I think I’m going to have pre and post-August 2008 website designs. It’s not perfect, and I could still change my mind about it, but that’s the way I’m leaning at the moment.
Even so, there’s still much work to be done; the bunker cam isn’t yet operational, for instance, and I haven’t found a home for Charley West. Give me a few weeks though, and we’ll be back in business. Heck, I consider it a miracle we’ve made it this far.
But enough of that crapola, let’s talk about celebrity rudeness.
Have you ever encountered it? Without putting too much thought into it (heaven forbid), I can come up with four stories right off the top of my head. Three were personal experiences, and one happened to Toney and the oldest Secret…
When I was a kid there was a Triple-A minor league baseball team in our town, and a lot of former stars would make appearances at the park. It broke my baseball-loving heart, but most of them weren’t very friendly. I could almost read their minds: “Please God, make it end. Just give me my check, and let me get away from all these rind-eating rindbillies.”
There were exceptions, of course, like Bob Feller and Satchel Paige (both very nice). But most of the folk heroes who appeared at Watt Powell Park were what’s commonly known as “surly.”
Sparky Anderson was surly, and so was Pete Rose. I was always a little suspicious of Pete, you never really knew what was going on there, but Sparky’s attitude was like a punch to my gut. Why Sparky, why??
Nothing, however, can compare to a couple of home run-hitting Hall of Famers, both enormously famous and larger than life.
I remember Willie Mays being surrounded by kids (in the stands on the first base side), and just being openly hostile. The man was spewing venom, rolling his eyes, and giving everyone sarcastic answers. It was like something off the Bernie Mac Show.
I mean, what the hell?? Cynically fulfilling a contractual obligation for booze & abortion money is one thing, but Willie took it to another level. I stood and watched from a distance, and it made me sad. Why couldn’t they just be the way we thought they’d be? I simply wasn’t prepared for the Say Hey Fuck You Kid.
Similarly, Hank Aaron was a magnificent asshole. Steve and I tried to get his autograph (the home run king!), and he said no. No!? The team promoted his appearance, but he wouldn’t sign anything while he was there. Or even treat his fans with civility.
We hung around, lurking in the background, as Hank sat in a box seat watching the game. Occasionally someone would timidly approach, he’d lash out in anger, and they’d go scurrying up the stairs with their tails between their legs, a wounded expression on their faces.
At one point a woman shoved a wheelchair-bound girl to the top of the stairs, and engaged the brake. The girl was sitting there with her head all ratcheted to one side and making grunting noises, as her handler went down to talk to Hank Aaron. The woman was holding a crude painting of him, in his home run swing, probably created by the girl in the chair. …Somehow.
Aaron got mad again, and said he was trying to watch the game. She pointed to the girl, and he rolled his eyes in exasperation. As if to say: not another one! He reluctantly snatched the painting away and signed it, then stormed out of the box without saying a word to the girl, whose head was now whipping around like a Tilt-O-Whirl.
Next thing we know he’s on top of the press box, sitting in a lawn chair, and smoking cigarettes. And another small part of me died…
When I worked at Peaches Records in Greensboro, Dave Mustaine from Megadeth was supposed to stop by the store one night, just to thank us for our “support.” It was nothing formal, the general public wasn’t even allowed to know, but the employees were given a heads-up.
About an hour after his scheduled arrival, a limousine pulled into the parking lot and a couple of people emerged from it. One was Mustaine, wearing a long black overcoat, his red hair going in every direction.
He walked into the middle of the store, stopped, and said something like, “OK, we were here.” Then they all turned around and left. He never said a word to any of us, and was in the store for roughly thirty seconds. Possibly twenty.
Wotta spectacular douche.
And finally… Toney and the oldest Secret were in a restaurant in Atlanta years ago, having breakfast. It was a place in Little Five Points, called Baker’s Café, and our youngling was less than six months old.
As Toney was eating (I think Nancy was there, as well), she noticed Martha Stewart seated nearby! And during the entire meal the Secret made little cooing baby noises, and Martha shot Toney dirty looks and sighed theatrically.
He wasn’t crying, or screaming, or anything. But she reportedly put on a big performance of exasperation, for everyone in attendance. Then she ripped the waiter a new one for some transgression, and left the place angry. Apparently she leaves a lot of places angry… At least that’s what the waiters said, once she was gone.
And those are my encounters with celebrity rudeness.
What about you? Tell us your stories in the comments.
And I’ll see you guys next time.