Hah, made you look! Yes, I've invoked the name of the woman to whom I would usually refer as She Who Should Not Be Encouraged because she bugs me so darned much and I don't want to give her an iota more publicity for the infinite amount of nothingness that she does.
But I decided to adopt a practical attitude. She uses us, so I'm using her. Just to get your attention. Sorry for the bait and switch. This isn't really about her at all. In fact, the best celeb gossip I'll be offering is something about actor John Leguizamo, but even that's kind of sketchy.
Yet you looked! Such is the powerful affect of celebrity, the magnetic allure, the pull of a deftly dropped name, the vague suggestion of scuttlebutt or the possible presence of a popular persona. It's enough to make miracles of their mundane activities, garner zillions of ad-generating hits on social media, and cause a pleasant-looking young woman to stand on a sidewalk for hours under the hot Hollywood sun last Sunday. Perhaps for nothing more than a nasty burn.
I spotted her last weekend when my husband and I were down in L.A., riding along Sunset Boulevard in our 2007 Honda Civic Si, approaching our accommodations and nonchalantly glancing sideways into neighboring Bentleys and Lambos to see if they contained someone famous. OK, I did that. My spouse was unimpressed and more interested in finishing off our Jack Link's beef jerky road snacks.
On the sidewalk across from the valet parking entrance to the hotel was a cluster of paparazzi. A small cluster. Four guys, in fact, which meant they weren't waiting for a Depp or a Clooney or even a She Who Should Not Be Encouraged, but likely a lower level glimmer in the Hollywood constellation. Still, it was a star who could draw at least one highly dedicated fan.
Lady in waiting
The young woman, fair skinned with shoulder-length brown hair, stood perfectly still at the front of the group of celeb-stalking photographers, staring into the driveway. She was in her mid 20s, fit, in black shorts and cropped tank top, black ankle booties and fedora a la 1980s Madonna. She held a bouquet of yellow flowers, perhaps zinnias, clenching them tightly with both hands like a slightly nervous bride.
As we passed the paparazzi, we considered putting on our sunglasses, ducking our heads and holding up newspapers to block our faces, just to mess with them. But we figured the 6-year-old Honda, its front end covered in insect carcasses from the drive down 101, would betray us. Plus, we didn't have any newspapers and would have been forced to use the discarded beef jerky bag. Class act.
So the woman stood there. For hours. We checked in. She was out there. We settled in. She was out there. We went back and forth to the main lobby several times during the afternoon for things like asking at the front desk if we could get a coffee pot in the room. They had every other amenity, from cotton balls to iPad ports. But no coffee pot -- a necessity for the spouse. So they sent one over. But no coffee. A complex conversation ensued with room service about getting some coffee grounds. "What do you want them for?" the clerk asked warily, as though we might be planning to build some sort of caffeinated bomb.
Sunburn on Sunset
Through all this, we'd occasionally peek over the garden fence and, yup, the woman was still there, as if someone had Krazy Glued her feet to the pavement. By late afternoon, her legs and arms became the color of a blushing lobster.
Feeling bold, I finally sauntered over and threw out a general, "So who are you guys waiting for?" hoping the young woman would reply. Instead, one surly photog mumbled, "John Legublablabla." Who? "John Leguizamo," he said, louder and more surly. "Ohhh, gotcha." I added, knowingly. Truth is -- and I'm sorry John -- I had to go look the name up on my iPad. He's been in tons of stuff -- on Broadway, in movies like "Moulin Rouge, in TV shows like "E.R." as Dr. Victor Clemente in 2005, but I didn't watch that show. Mainly, I know his voice as that of Sid the Sloth in the "Ice Age" movies.
Was that who she was waiting for? A guy who decided a sloth would have a slobbery, lispy kind of speech because he learned those critters keep food in their cheeks for weeks until it ferments, as he told one interviewer? Ick.
Who knows. But I hope she got to see him. Or whoever she hoped to spot. Or maybe she was just waiting for a bus.
Contact Angela Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter @giveemhill.