If you’re a fan of the Food Network as I am, you no doubt have seen or heard of Alton Brown. He’s the host of “Good Eats” and the host-guy on the newest iteration of Iron Chef. He’s quirky, he’s funny and he lives not too far from me.
I tell this story to everyone, so if you’ve heard it…skip on down to the bottom.
I met Alton, albeit briefly, in a Publix supermarket near my house about six years ago. I dropped in one wintry morning and as I walked down the dogfood aisle, I turned left and came side-by-side with Alton walking by the dairy section. Even though he was wearing a wool cap and jacket, I immediately recognized him. Not wanting to sound stalkish, but still wanting say SOMETHING, I cooly looked over at him and said, “I made your fruitcake last Christmas. My wife’s grandmother hasn’t stopped talking about how much it reminded her of her mother’s.“
Still walking, Alton looked over at me and said, with apparent sincerity, “Thanks. I’m really glad she liked it.”
“You’re Welcome.” I said. “I really enjoy the show. Take care.”
And with that, I hooked a left towards the bread and chips and that was that.
Random thoughts post-encounter:
- He’s a lot taller and more solid than he appears on TV
- He really appears to be a genuinely nice person
- I’ve found out that he attends a Baptist Church around here that CareerMom and I tried out a couple of times.
So anyway, I’ve lived high on that chance encounter for some years now.
This past Sunday, thanks to the crap-weather here in Atlanta, we took the boys to the mall to let them run off some steam and to just get us out of the house. CareerMom and MLI dropped by Gymboree to see if there were any leftover winter pants on sale since MLI has hit a growth spurt of late and seems to be “high watering” all of the jeans.
Anyway, I’m sitting out on the bench in the middle of the aisle with MLE. We’re tossing the ball in the air, and occasionally at passer-by’s, when who came toodling down the avenue and literally within inches of us, but Altons’ arch-nemesis on Good Eats, the real-life actress-cum-chiropractor “Vickie Eng,” also known on the show as “W.”
The encounter, as it was, was kinda weird. She was literally strolling down the fairway, sort of swinging her arms in a slow, “Does anyone recognize me?”“ kinda way. She walked one way, stopping occasionally at vendor’s booths to chat, and then came back by me again in a similar fashion. I was so struck by the oddness of her manner, that I couldn’t work up the gumption to say anything to her.
So now, at least, I have another chapter to add to my “The Two Quasi-TV Stars I’ve Met” book. I know…riveting stuff right?