Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fifteen Minutes of Fame

I'm not really as bad as they say I am. I'm actually a really nice person.

-- Juliette Lewis (as Mallory Knox in Natural Born Killers)

I met a friend at a brewery downtown last night. This one, which I mentioned before, was converted from an old Catholic school. I passed through the gap in the tall, wooden fence by the parking lot through powdery snow much too cold to think about melting and past two small but angry fires captive in pits under metal screens. The bartender fed pieces of dry pine to each of them under the stars, looking up at me and saying hello as I entered the courtyard. I felt as if I was in the middle of a wintry scene from The Chronicles of Narnia. I smiled a little too shyly and quickened my pace. Anybody who drank beer in 16-degree weather without a football game in front of them was out of their tree, I thought.

I opened the oversized wooden door to the small cottage that looks as if it could have been a garage or some sort of outbuilding at one time. Another more serious fire blazed in the belly of a cast iron stove, filling the place with warmth. As I made my way past the narrow bar and a couple tables surrounded by beer sipping, cigar smoking patrons, the conversation abruptly ceased, and I felt eyes on me, making me wonder if I had something hanging from the tip of my nose.

Once I found my friend and our usual table in the back of the place, I threw myself into savoring some specialty red wine served in a fat glass that filled my palm perfectly, gazing at the snow behind the building through panes of leaded glass. Music that caused my thoughts to drift to the antics of the Manson Family poured from the speakers around us, thick with some type of jovial but sinister-sounding type of organ. I suddenly pined for the knee-high go-go boots collecting dust in my closet.

It was then that the face of a strange-looking man, whom I would best describe as Bruce Vilanch's twin, suddenly came around my left side, orbiting past my ear and coming to a stop a foot from me like a furry, gibbous moon. A small knit hat strained to remain atop his head.

He said, "Yup, you sure do look like her!" And then he disappeared again.

My friend and I looked at each other, blinking in a couple seconds of silence, and I then laughed, explaining that I get this all of the time. I apparently look like a lot of women. I have been stopped on the street and in stores, although it is rarely explained to me just why. Perhaps this is the reason I cannot pass through customs entering the country without threat of a rigorous cavity search and the contents of my luggage spilled out on a table for all to see.

A slightly more intoxicated stranger later plopped herself down in the booth next to me without warning, interrupting our conversation yet again and flattening my jacket, which was loosely piled beside me, with her generous buttocks. She squinted a bit and scrutinized my facial features before explaining that she and her friend were debating on whether I was, in fact, the actress Juliette Lewis. She came back to determine once and for all if I were indeed Ms. Lewis or not. Poor Juliette. I can't imagine strangers' noses almost touching my own or having people at less than arm's distance breathing all over me on a regular basis.

When the time came for these people to leave, the man walked back to say goodbye and offer a half-apology. I reached out across the table to shake his hand, instantly putting their silly, beer-infused mystery to rest.



Blogger Amy said...

Thank god for drunk people. If it wasn't for booze, most people wouldn't talk to each other. Cute story(:

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Dee-ta said...

How fun!!! I can see where they would think you might be Juliette Lewis... But I think you look more like you belong in the family of Jacqueline Bisset!

I have been asked a couple of times over the years if I was Jodie Foster! Once at a ski resort in your part of the world!

If I had been with you, I would of acted like I was your assistant and had the whole place thinking you were Juliette! lol!! I think I am going to buy you a great beret!

9:44 AM  
Blogger Every minute counts.... said...

Love the story! I can say I have been mistaken for other people but not too many famous people.


11:42 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Makes you glad you aren't really a celebrity, huh? I was often compared to Julia Roberts at the time Pretty Woman came out. It had to be my hair at the time considering I am probably a foot shorter than her.

11:45 AM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Nancy ~ Your blog profile picture looks MUCH BETTER than this one! May be you can give her some hair stying tips? ~ jb///

12:07 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

What a great story and I totally see it! You take the best pictures and are very photogenic.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

And that is what alcohol is for!
Actually, Nance..
I was at work the other day and a lady walked in and i had to do a double take. No cant be. but? No. Impossible. What on earth would Nancy be doing in an Australian Pet Shop?? LOL turns out she was from the UK and owned a great dane!

There is a man who lives around here who is an exact replica of Sean Connery, accent and all - the only thing that makes me sure its not him is that this man is in a wheelchair (i wonder if he has a twin?)

1:55 PM  
Blogger Kerry said...

I don't see it - you are much prettier than her! I have had a few people tell me I look like Brtiney Spears - -I ask them, "The drunk, children-ignoring one or the one in the school girl outfit??" It's something about the eyes, apparently.

4:14 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

Funny post-ahhhh alcohol. But you do look like her a bit.

5:46 PM  
Blogger Ava Jewel Leilana said...

Funny story, but at least you don't have people telling you that you look like Cathy Bates! Who by the was was bron in 48 and I was born in 70 :( Bye the way love the picture, you look great!

10:45 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

I can see a resemblance!!! Love the picture by the way.

8:08 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

LOL! I can see it a little bit, and if I had my drunk goggles on I may mistake you for her! too funny! I never get mistaken for anyone else except a few people have told me that I look like some girl named heidie. Poor girl!

8:39 AM  
Blogger Michelle, Tim, Aidan & Ari said...

I loved your story! They are all right you are certainly prettier than Juliette Lewis.

9:40 AM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Nancy ~ I didn't actually know who she was... but I did manage to find this shot: It just may be that I can see it! It is actually a compliment to you BOTH! ~ jb///

12:21 PM  
Anonymous DEE-TA said...


2:16 PM  
Blogger TrappedInColorado said...

No! When I was reading I figured you would say people thought you looked like Debra Winger. I don't see Juliette at all! Well, maybe a little. BTW - I meant a YOUNG Debra Winger.

8:17 AM  

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