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It's Fluff(er-Nutter) Time (Or, In The Alternative: When The Lakers Invaded Orlando)

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Friday, February 15, 2008

It's Fluff(er-Nutter) Time (Or, In The Alternative: When The Lakers Invaded Orlando)

I promised y'all a fluffy story and, by God, y'all will get the fluffy story.

Setting: Nice sunny day

Location: Downtown Orlando

Cast of Characters:

Last Thursday, my friend SL and I decide that we're going to run to Starbucks. It's our 10 min. getaway from the call of the office and we needed some air. The shuttle had launched and a walk was needed. We cross the street on our way to the Starbucks by the Westin Grand Bohemian and a co-worker sees us on the street.

Co-Worker: "Hey - go by the Westin. I just saw Kobe Bryant and *mumble mumble mumble*"
Lys: (thinking - basketball - I hate the Lakers) (ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ) "Okay"

Let me tell you about my boy SL - he is one of the most cheerful, positive people and loves to meet people. He wants to meet a Laker, by God I'm going to find a way and he's gonna meet a Laker. And, knowing how entertainment/sports personalities are - security can be an issue. Obviously the Lakers were playing the Magic. I have NO love for the Magic. I'm a 76ers gal, myself, but hell - if a team is gonna come here and spank the Magic, I'm all for it. The only player I have a bit of affection for is JJ Redick (have you SEEN him - *swoon*) but he plays, like what, 7 minutes a game - what the hell. (Hey Van Gundy - play him more and I won't scream at the 76ers on the TV to spank y'all like a baby, okay?)

Back to the scheming. With celebs, there's a trick to it. You never approach when they are at a restaurant. That's just rude, IMO. Often they don't want to be recognized. If you do happen to encounter, keep it short, sweet and perhaps they will take a picture. ALWAYS show proper respect for the security team. They have to deal with alot of crap.

So, considering our options, it dawns on me "Hmmmm - perhaps H. and his fam had met the Lakers - perhaps I can use the publicist angle to get SL a pic or autograph in case fans are milling about." [Trick o' the trade people trick of the trade.] Like MB has said, everyone knows H. and his family - they might not until they hear the song and then they freak out. I've had people CRY when H. wasn't at a gig that I was working. (BTW - having the same fan tell me how lucky I was to know H. blah blah blah, that still makes me giggle. And I blame H.'s brother who told her, "Hey - talk to Lys - she's close with H." GRRRRRR) MB has been "terrorized" for lack of a better term (he'll say "annoyed" or "bugged") by one inquisitive fan. So yeah. I'll use that angle if it helps a friend.

[Lys whips out cell phone to call MB] "Drats - no answer"

And, sure enough, there's one of the Lakers, Lamar Odom. He looks pissy and by GOD that man is tall (he's 6'10) Here are a gaggle of fans wanting to meet and I hear security say to the excited fans "I'm sorry, Mr. Odom is on the phone right now. Maybe when he's done". [Odom was far from on the phone - man was listening to his iPhone. Your gal ain't stupid].

Also there was Kobe Bryant, I nod in acknowledgement as he's in conversation, Kobe nods - 'sall good.

I had to resign myself to the fact that I would have to call H. since, of course MB refused to pick up his cellie. Dangnabit!

[Cell phone gets whipped out again, dials H. furiously].

H.: "Lyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyysssssssssssss. How ARRRREEEE you?" [he begins to babble] (H. has a habit of drawing my name out and enunciating a few words.)
[I realize that I need to cut this to the quick]
Lys: "Hi H. - I gotta make this quick. Think back - did you guys ever meet, sing for, something for the Lakers"
H.: "Maybe. We sang for a lot of things. I'm not really sure. Why?"
Lys: "Well MB isn't answering his phone and I didn't want to bug you but Kobe Bryant's here and I wanted to pass on your regards and my friend wants to meet him"
H.: "Sure! What are the Lakers doing there?"
Lys: "Playing the Magic, probably."
H.: "Wow." [H. rattles on and on and on - Utah, Cold, Snow, Weather, Sundance, blah blah blah]

Basically, I had to interrupt him to say "Hey let's catch up later" (TWICE) so that I could find a way to finagle a way for SL to meet the Lakers. And, as MB will testify - H. on the phone sometimes takes finesse to get him off the phone and not have your ear hurt. Especially since I haven't talked to him in over 6 months.

So, SL and I go into Starbucks and order and, as waiting for the coffee, here goes Kobe Bryant looking through the window. Again, he nods, smiles and walks away. 'Sall good. He's probably in the hotel. Then I see the most vile, annoying thing that placed Lamar Odom on my craplist for life.

Through the 'bucks window I see this older woman arriving in a cab to check in at the Westin. The Valet guy goes to help her get out of her car. See the Westin is good whereby they will give the BEST service to everyone - they don't care if you are a celeb or not. Here in Orlando, if you are spending a gaggle of $$$$ at their spot, you are royalty. As they are helping her out of the car, slipping behind her and bumping her out of the way is one Lamar Odom. I thought my eyes were deceiving me but no, Mr. Odom, earphones in his ears, bobbin' his head to the tunes is sittin' his 6'10" ass in the cab and the woman is standing there dumbstruck. She hasn't even GOTTEN HER BAGS OUT OF THE VEHICLE! And here he is motioning for the cab to move on. What the hell! The woman, thankfully, got her bags out of the trunk so his impatient ass could leave the hotel and do something. During this whole time, can I say he did not sign anything for fans, take pictures, nothing - he just was wearing some godawful hoodie, bobbin' his head and listening to his iPhone with a pissed off expression on his face.

Kobe, on the other hand, did NOT seem like an ass. As a matter of fact, I have a newfound respect for Kobe. He was pleasant, signing stuff and just all around nice. Sadly, I didn't get to meet him and talk for a hot minute and intro SL to him or pass along H.'s regards but oh well.

That evening, I get a call from MB inquiring as to my call earlier. I asked if H. and his family ever sang for the Lakers. I got a "NO!" and then I was told H.'s brother goes to the games but here I would have been saying "Hey H. and blah blah blah" when it really was his BROTHER that likes the Lakers. Note to self - ask MB - do NOT ask H. I should have known better. But I did want SL to meet a player because he was so excited. Oh well. It was for a good cause.

Finally, the next day as SL and I were making a return jaunt to the 'bucks I joked that he'd see some sights as the game was that night. Sure enough there were a gaggle of groupies waiting outside. Inside, the players wives were sitting in the super fancy restaurant and there were diamonds drippin' all over the place and lots of cocktails. I told SL that the wives aren't stupid - they understand the whole aspect of players/groupies and they are putting a halt to any groupie lovin' that might take place, but the wives were also enjoying themselves while the players were practicing.

Again, no Kobe and I might have made a few nasty comments to Lamar had I had seen his pushy gimme the taxi behind, but oh well.

So - that is our albeit brief encounter with sport celebs. And no, I'm still not a fan of the Magic (or the Lakers).

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Posted by Lys :: 6:45 PM :: 0 comments

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