Another story from the Nick Happens file book.
Okay, I know everybody deserves their fifteen minutes of fame. This is the story of mine. But before I write another word, I have to warn you: Do not try this at home (or anywhere else, for that matter)! Unless, of course, you think you can get away with it. If you can’t pull it off, I don’t want to hear from some TV shyster you may have on retainer saying I led you astray.
We had made a long run south on a cold, rainy fall day from Elkhart Campground in Indiana to Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky (no, not all of my adventures and misadventures took place there, but some did). It had been a while since we had dined in a nice restaurant, and when we arrived Miss Terry informed me the kitchen was closed for the night. It was time to take my pretty lady out to dinner. We decided where we wanted to go (a restaurant that will not be named, to protect them and because we may want to return again some day), and I called to get directions from the campground.
The manager started out giving the directions, realized he was getting both me and himself confused, and transferred me to a nice lady named Susan, who gave very good directions to the restaurant. I asked if I could make a reservation and was told that they do not take reservations, it was first come, first served. The wait would be about 45 minutes. No problem. Susan then told me to check in with her when we arrived so she would know we got there in one piece, and asked for my name.
Well, if you know me, it may not surprise you to know that I can be a smart aleck on occasion. Sometimes you just have to be silly because you can. I told Susan my name, than said “Yes, Susan, I’m that Nick Russell. But please. I don’t want a big scene when we arrive. No reporters, no camera crews. I get enough of that on Jay Leno and all the other TV talk shows. Tonight I don’t want to be the world famous celebrity, I’m really not up to interviews and signing autographs. I just want to be a guy enjoying a quiet dinner with his wife.” Susan assured me that we would not be bothered.
So I got a chuckle as I hung up the phone, and we hopped in the pickup and headed out to the restaurant. Sure enough, Susan’s directions were great and we found the place without a problem. There was a big crowd standing around waiting for tables, and I told Miss Terry we should check in and let Susan know we had arrived.
When I introduced myself, Susan immediately led us past all the people in line to a waiting table and assured me that no reporters, photographers, or autograph hounds would show up to interrupt our meal. As soon as we were seated our waitress was at my elbow and told us that the manager had ordered her to give us special treatment, and our appetizers and drinks were on the house.
Right behind her came the beaming manager himself, who shook my hand, told me he was a huge fan, and thanked us for coming to his restaurant. He assured us that no one had been allowed to leak the news of our arrival. The service was excellent, with our waitress hovering nearby to attend to our every need, the food was superb, and all through our meal we noticed the staff whispering among themselves and pointing to our table or whispering to their customers about the celebrity in their midst.
Now, I have to think that sooner or later somebody had to say “Wait a minute, who the hell is Nick Russell, anyway?” But it didn’t happen while we were in the restaurant. After leaving our waitress a healthy tip we left, but not before the manager, Susan, and our waitress again gushed over us and thanked us for coming. As well as this worked out, I think next week I may be Nick Russell, the world famous movie producer. I wonder if Miss Terry would let me have a casting couch…
Congratulations Bob Jae, winner of our drawing for an audiobook of my friend Ken Rossignol’s Pirate Trials: Famous Murderous Pirates. We has 31 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.
Thought For The Day – Never give up on something you really want. It’s difficult to wait, but worse to regret.