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Bits ‘n’ pieces o’ this ‘n’ that

More tidbits from another email newsletter I’m really, really glad I signed up for, the Quora Daily Digest. From the News You Can Use department, Practical Realities division.

As a police officer, if the person receiving the ticket is crying a lot, does it make you more likely to give the ticket to them or less likely?

Absolutely not. You know what does sway me? When I walk up and I get something along the lines of, “Sorry officer, I didn’t even realize I was speeding until I saw your lights, my mistake.” Honesty and attitude is key. If it’s nothing major, and the person owns up to it and talks to me in a respectful manner, I’m much more likely to just give out a warning and wish them a nice day. Dont try to lie your way out of it, don’t think crying will work, and above all, don’t keep the officer on the side of the road longer just so you can argue with them. It won’t work.

Next item comes to us from the Nice-Guy Celebrities local office.

Have you ever met a celebrity and found they were much kinder or ruder than you expected?

Back in 2003, Alice Cooper was playing a shown near Jim Thorpe, PA. It was sold out but I decided to try to find a ticket that day.

While walking by the only hotel in the downtown area, Alice’s tour bus pulled into the parking lot. The band and then Alice himself got off and were just milling about chatting.

I stood at the edge of the lot debating about asking for an autograph. As I started to approach, Alice looked over, said hello and held out his hand. Nervously, I shook it while trying not to sputter like an idiot.

Alice was amazing. We started talking and he was asking me questions about the area, if I golfed (he’s a huge golfer), how far I drove to be there. We started walking towards the hotel but he never broke the conversation. Even when Eric Singer (his drummer at the time) came up to tell Alice something, he motioned for me to hold on, answered Eric’s question, then continued the conversation.

When we reached the hotel front, I asked for a picture (taken with a 35mm film camera.) He obliged, we shook hands, and he went into the hotel.

Later that night, I bought a ticket from someone in line who had a no show in their group.

Being as it was general admission, I made my way to right in front of the stage. I’d like to think he noticed me there and gave me a wink at one point, but who knows.

Alice Cooper, the person, is much different that Alice Cooper you see on stage.

That’s always been the rule and not the exception for me with the many celebs I’ve serendipitously rubbed shoulders with over the years, yeah, from Johnny Cash to Daryl Hannah. I’ve heard that same thing said about the esteemed Mr Furnier lots of times, although I never did get to meet the man myself. Hell, even Janeane Garofalo—who’s kinda well-known for being not very friendly or nice usually—was absolutely great to me when she attended a show we did out in LA. Although it must also be noted that she was stinking, pie-eyed blotto when I sat and talked with her for a while after the show was over.

So, y’know, there’s that.

Waylon Jennings, Carl Perkins, Marisa Tomei, CJ Chenier, John Stamos, Brian Setzer, Mike Ness, though? All just great folks, super-nice and perfectly willing, even eager, to spend some of their valuable time chatting with a relative nobody like moi. The lone exception was actor George Kennedy, whom I had the sad misfortune of serving back when I was bartending at the CLT airport. He was a complete prick, start to finish, and I was mighty glad to see the back of him when his flight was finally called. That was an hour that went on for an eternity, seemed like; I thought it would never end, but thankfully it did.

Today’s final missive is courtesy of the Don’t Be A Dick sub-branch.

Police showed up to my neighbors house this morning and my neighbor told me they were looking for me (they said my full name) but then left promptly. But there is no search warrant for me online, how do I find out why the police were looking for me?

My wife called me at work saying the Sheriff was at the house with an arrest warrant for me for writing bad checks. I told her that I would handle it when I got home. When I got home I called the Sheriff’s office and said I would like to arrange a surrender. I explained that wealthy people do it all the time. Basically, you want me in custody, I would like this incarceration to have a minimal impact on my life. I ask to be allowed to eat dinner at home and shower at home and notify my boss of the situation before I willingly present myself to you for incarceration. This surprised the Sheriff, who had never been in this situation. He started asking questions and it was discovered that the person who the warrant was actually intended for, their S.S.# was 1 digit different from mine. Our names were identical, our age was identical, our wives’ names were one letter off from being identical and their S.S.#s were only 2 digits off. They lived roughly 50 miles from were I had lived for 8 years.

The Sheriff was curious and basically did a 10 minute investigation and dismissed the warrant due to incorrect information.

Obviously this is not standard behavior, I have been arrested due to a warrant, at my job, as I was working. I say all this to say that police are people first and many go into that profession to make the world a better place. It is unwise to assume that everyone in a group think alike in every instance.

Sometimes a little cooperation and how you present yourself can influence the outcome considerably.

WOW. That’s one hell of a story for sure. But…only “sometimes”? I’d say it’s the way to go pretty much every time myself, if only for purposes of self-preservation and nothing else. But then again, maybe that’s just me, and I could be all wet about it.


3 thoughts on “Bits ‘n’ pieces o’ this ‘n’ that

  1. 20+ years in The Biz?
    Someday, the good guy/asshole list will probably get written up.
    But I’ll throw out one:

    Kim Catrall

    I’m filling in just for one day as medic for another guy on a film she’s in.
    Being shot literally 5 minutes away from where I live, for a change.
    I had a Kim Catrall crush since Police Academy anyways, and the flick in question was pre- her days on Sex In The City.

    So I’m the medic for the production, which is working afternoon until dawn the next day, and around 9PM, I get called to her trailer by one of the production staff.

    I knock at the door, and she’s hanging out in case they need her for work that night (it’s maybe/maybe not, which happens to actors a lot).
    She’s lounging in sweats and a bathrobe, and Looks. Like. Absolute. Hell.
    Red puffy face. Teary eyes. Rat nest hair. Blowing her runny nose.
    Sick as a dog.
    Even Lassie wouldn’t have sniffed her, and guys who were sucked through the engines of A-7 Corsairs on carrier decks didn’t look that as bad as she probably felt.

    Like should’ve-called-in-to-work-dead sick.

    And probably feeling like twenty pounds of dogshit hammered flat with a pile driver, she was nicer, kinder, and sweeter to me in five minutes, than some actors I worked with 80 hours a week for three months on an entire movie.

    She actually apologized profusely for calling me away from the set to make a “house call” on set, like that wasn’t exactly the whole point of the production hiring me in the first place: to tend to the needs of everybody there.

    And then asked what I had to help anything/everything she had going on, from headache, to cough, to runny nose, to everything else, including feeling like she was dragged to set behind a city bus.

    Whereupon I unloaded every over-the-counter item I could find, and told her if there was anything she needed that I wasn’t toting, I’d get somebody to pick it up from the local drugstore straightaway, and bring it back ricky-tick. (Which is exactly what ended up happening, too.)

    Set her up for the next 4-6 hours, and told her if she was still there later to let me know what she needed a re-dose of, and I’d be right over.

    And again she thanked me profusely.

    After then, after a trip to hair and make-up, she did get called out to do a couple of scenes a couple of hours later, at pushing midnight on a cold winter’s night, and you wouldn’t have had any idea she wasn’t feeling 100%, and she looked like she was doing okay, as far as the camera could tell.

    When they wrapped her for the night, meaning she could get taken home, I dropped off another care package, and she was, once again, kind, appreciative, and totally a sweetheart, on what had to be a very shitty night for her, to somebody who was just a visiting one-day player on the movie.

    Professional, a true trooper, classy, and kind, and all too rare a thing in The Biz.

    1. GREAT story, Aesop, thanks for that. Like I said, my own experience has been that there’s way more Good ‘Uns than there are Bad ‘Uns. The Bad ‘Uns are definitely greatly outnumbered, but we do tend to remember them when we run across one. Which is unfortunate, even unfair, but I guess that’s just human nature.

      1. Yep, agreed a heartwarming story.

        We hear about all the bad ones but rarely about the good ones. I really do think the good outnumber the bad by quite a bit. Or at least they used to.

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