My friend Lex and I would invariably consult with each other before and after our respective dating experiences. Lex played Mary to my Rhoda since he lived downstairs from me and, more notably, was less sarcastic and bitchy.
"How was your evening with D.E.?" he asked me the morning after my less-than-exciting evening out with Carol Burnett's former TV movie co-star.
"Oh, your usual disaster," I replied, wearily.
"Disaster? It couldn't have been all THAT bad, could it?"
"Oh yes, and worse. I'm sure I'll never hear from him again. And why didn't you tell me he was famous?"
"Famous? He's not really famous, is he?"
"Well, he's famous enough to have worked with Carol Burnett!" Lex could be really maddening sometimes. "There I was, sitting with him in El Coyote, about to babble on like some idiot about Carol Burnett, when all the while this guy knows her."
"Yeah, so?" Lex replied with a somewhat puzzled look on his face.
"Lex, he KNOWS Carol Burnett! How could you not tell me this? How could you have let me just go out into the evening like that with this guy who has worked with the greatest comedic actress of the 20th Century? He probably has her phone number, for God's sake! Don't you get it?"
Clearly, he did not. "What does having Carol Burnett's phone number have to do with any of this, Tom? All I did was ask you how your date went. I wasn't expecting a full on interview with 'Access Hollywood.' Just calm down!" Yeah, right, I thought.
He continued. "Did you like him or not? Did you guys talk about anything besides Carol Burnett?"
The truth was, at that moment I could not have cared less what D.E. and I had discussed; the fact that he probably had Carol's phone number was all I could think about and became my central focus. "Maybe I SHOULD try to get to know him better! That way I can look inside his address book, get Carol's phone number and address and then stalk her!"
Lex looked like he was starting to grow concerned.
"Well . . . I don't think I would recommend that particular course of action. And anyway, it seemed like D.E. did like you well enough at my party. Maybe you should call HIM."
"Me? Call HIM? Are you kidding me with this, Lex? I'm not famous enough to call him. In fact, I'm starting to think I'm not famous enough to live here any more. Everyone here is famous except me. I'm a complete nobody. I'm more of a nobody than Pia Zadora even, and THAT says something."
"That's not true, Tom, you're famous to US!" Lex replied, referring to our small group of friends. Sweet as the sentiment was, it was small consolation. I was feeling downright unworthy.
A few weeks later I developed a feeling that my luck was about to change when Lex and I walked up the street to attend the Gay Pride parade in West Hollywood. Because you see, Gentle Readers, right there in the parade, on a mid-sized float, amidst the drag queens, leather daddies and dykes on bikes sat Palison Yarngrim, who had in recent years developed a name for herself as a prominent AIDS activist, but who was best known to the world for her delightful portrayal of tween bitch Jellie Joleson on "Little Mouse on the Scarie" in the 1970s. I was absolutely giddy at the sight of this fabulous, yet for all intents and purposes, washed-up TV actor. What an unexpected pleasure, a veritable gold mine of special CP Hollywood moments!
But my pleasure would soon increase exponentially, almost beyond the boundaries of the known universe. As she rode by, Palison looked our way and shouted out "LEX! How ARE you, sweetheart? Call me!!!"
My jaw dropped straight to the ground.
"You KNOW her??? You KNOW Palison?" I blurted out, incredulously.
"Yeah, I know her. We used to work together at Tuesday's Pild," he replied with a maddening air of nonchalance, referring to a well known children's AIDS charity.
"How long were you planning on hiding this from me? What other information are you holding out on?" I immediately demanded a full accounting of every famous person with whom he was on private-phone-number terms. Not that it got me anywhere. Having grown up in Hollywood, Lex was completely unimpressed by any of these things and barely even understood why I was asking.
Poor Lex, I thought. If only HE had grown up in the Midwest, he might understand my particular state of excitement.
....... to be continued ..........