When you’ve lived all your life in southern California like I have, you’re bound to eventually run into a celebrity.
Or vice versa.
For example, several years ago, my girlfriend and I decided to splurge on a couple of more expensive tickets for the Hollywood Bowl. John Williams, movie composer, was conducting, and it was a beautiful afternoon for a concert of science fiction movie themes.
My girlfriend and I were delighted with seats that were down front and up close. We were used to sitting in the cheap rows. From way back there, when you see the orchestra stop playing, the last few notes of music are still drifting your way. The difference between the speed of light and the speed of sound puts the whole concert a bit out of sync. No problem with that this time.
But my friend was even more delighted when she discovered we were sitting right behind a celebrity: Henry Winkler.
This was when the television series Happy Days was extremely popular, and Winkler playing Fonzie was obviously one of the reasons. My girlfriend wanted to tap him on the shoulder and say hello.
I talked her out of it. It looked like he was there on a date, and he had come to the concert to enjoy the young lady’s company and the music, not to talk to us. See, I figure celebrities are people just like everybody else and don’t appreciate being bothered by strangers. Can you imagine not being able to go to a restaurant or just walk down the street without being accosted by people you don’t know?
I was glad we left him alone, but my girlfriend wasn’t too happy with me.
A couple of decades later, my husband and I attended a different concert. This one was at The Greek Theatre and featured Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band. We had gotten free tickets as a thank-you from our local Oldies station for doing some work for them.
Goodness, I had no idea seats could be so awful. From our vantage point, in the last row and way off to one side, we could see maybe 10% of the stage. Ringo, playing the drums in the back, wasn’t visible at all. Fortunately, because this is an outdoor theatre, we were allowed to leave our seats and roam around a bit.
During intermission, we wandered down to the open area by the concession stand. And that’s where my husband suddenly yanked me aside so hard I teetered.
He told me, “You just almost got run over by —–”
I’m not going to say who it was, but it was a major motion picture star. You would definitely recognize his name.
My husband and I had been walking straight ahead. Our pathway, apparently, intersected the beeline he was making for his seat. He could see us straight ahead of him, but because he was to our side and out of range of our peripheral vision, we couldn’t see him. Most people, when they see someone else already crossing in front of them, will, as a matter of courtesy, either alter their own course or wait for that person to pass by. Not this guy. If my husband hadn’t at the last second caught a glimpse of him and yanked me aside, he would have crashed right into me.
What’s more is that he, despite several signs prohibiting food and drink being taken into the auditorium, was carrying a soda and a snack.
As he approached an usher, I was certain he would be told of the prohibition. Nope. The usher instead swept back a drape so he could enter the VIP section with his food.
I guess there were two rules: one for celebrities and one for peons like me.
I find that exceedingly dangerous.
When you start believing you’re so special and privileged that people should step aside for you, when you figure the rules that apply to others are beneath you, it’s more than a little difficult to have the kind of humility we should have before God. That’s why, perhaps, every once in a while, you see a story in the news about a celebrity thinking he’s above the law, even God’s law.
I worry about such people. An attitude like that can start one sliding down a very slippery slope.
I worry that they think they’re such hot stuff they’ll end up being, well, “hot stuff” for all eternity.