Peggy and I went to the great Maryland State Fair at Timonium the other night and had a great time. All the things we love about the fair were there...the farm animals with the proud farm kids who raised 'em and displayed 'em...the home arts, the produce, the pies, the homemade honey...the rides, the food on the midway...the people on the midway...it's all good there at the fair.
And we are grateful that our feet were not injured. Not from walking, but from this guy we ran into...
Channel 13 had their snazzy new Mobile Weather Van out there with a giant monitor to display all the current conditions - temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, dew point, barometric pressure.
And they had their nice new addition to their weather team, a meteorologist named Chelsea Ingram. Between live shots back to the studio during the news, she was chatting with passersby, saying that she came here from a job in Vermont but was born and raised in North Carolina, so I was able to tell her that New England weather appeals greatly to me, as a devotee of cold weather and snow. She was as gracious as could be, showing not a trace of ego or vanity, and we enjoyed meeting her and saying 'hey'.
I say 'hey' all the time.
But then along came this guy. A meaty, beefy sort of guy knifed his way through the crowd and butted right into the conversation, saying things such as:
"My name is..." (He said his name, and waited ten seconds for a glimmer of an iota of a scintilla of recognition for his moniker. Sensing none, he plowed on...)
"You don't know me yet, but (a man who also does weather for that station) is a personal friend of mine for 30 years..."
(Notice the "yet", which implies that she is GOING to know him.)
"Where do you live?" (For real, this man just asked the lady where she lives. Taken aback at his effrontery, she said..."Uh...in the city.." but that was not enough information to satisfy him, so he countered with...
"Where in the city?" ( and she reluctantly named a neighborhood)
"Are you leasing (a female reporter)'s condo down there?"
Then he explained himself, as we watched and listened...
"I'm in commercial real estate, myself, or at least I was until a week ago. I went to prep school in New England, you see. (At this point, he demanded to know exactly where she lived when she worked in Vermont so he could name ten Vermonters and grill her to see if she knew them as well as he did). And I went to prep school with (name of a theatrical agent I never heard of) who is a great friend of (male reporter who used to work at Channel 13)."
On and on he droned, and that's why I was worried about Peggy's feet and my feet. The way he was dropping names like anvils, I was afraid that one or two of them would land on our dogs, causing significant injury.
Fortunately for the meteorologist, it was time for her to go on the air, so she graciously excused herself and took her place on camera. She could not have been more lovely in any sense of that word.
I felt sorry for her; this sort of thing must happen every day in the life of a local celebrity, having to deal with the swollen egos of people desperate for recognition by sneaking into the party under the cloaks of other people.
I almost felt sorry for him. I guess he just lost his job and is having a bit of a pride problem, but the solution to that is not to appear in a public place and mention how many famous people you claim to number among your friends.
We saw him leave. He went into the Cow Palace, with the rest of the bull.