The Secret Rats Of NIMH

Yesterday at work I meet a fetching woman with a voice like a wisp of silk who reminds me of a far more attractive Joey Lauren Adams. I try to help her think of some cool, guitar-based music for her to use as temp tracks in a film, although it’s more that I talk to her about thinking of some cool guitar-based music without actually doing so. My immediate suggestion is Sam Bush, who plays mandolin. But the only reason I suggest it is because I’m thnking about how a couple days ago Joy leaves me a voice mail from her car and holds the phone to her stereo so I can hear the mandolin music she’s hearing (“Will, I’m listing to Home Country Prairie or whatever and this music is really cool but I don’t know who it is!” – I later help her figure out that she was listening to Prairie Home Companion and that the mandolinist in question is Sam Bush.) But all of this is really no help to the woman, who’s looking for guitar music. I think she appreciates the effort with which I attempt to help her but eventually heads for less confusing pastures.

Back at the info counter I say, “I think I just helped an actress, but I don’t know if I’m right.” Today I learn that she was Joey Lauren Adams.

Of course.

Sometimes I’m good at spotting celebrities (“Hey, it’s Keith!”) But sometimes I’m terrible. Here are some other customers I’ve helped without recognizing:

Jason Schwartzman – He asks for a movie. He’s very polite. But we don’t have it. He leaves. Eric tells me that I just helped Jason Schwartzman, which I think is cool, but Deep has a funnier story about him which I’ll tell another time.

Cheri Oteri – One of my fave SNL alums. I’m poking around the comedy landscape on the mezz. She’s looking for a comedy box set to give as a gift for some guy. I suggest the Jane Austen Box. She laughs. That’s the thing about comedy people; they appreciate humor, even when it’s as lame as mine. So then I say, “Pink Panther,” and she says, “That’s it.”

Tracey Morgan – Another SNL alum, but one I admittedly knew nothing about at the time. I still don’t. He walks up to the counter and ask if we have the “Best of Tracy Morgan” on DVD. Even if I’d kinda recognized him this would have thrown me off. Why is he looking for his own disc? Anyway, we don’t have it because it hasn’t come out yet (this is months ago.) But he says he really wants the disc. I say, “Why, is he funny?” This is the point at which he gets pissy. And I take back what I just said about comedy people. They don’t always find things funny.

These are just the ones I know about.

Because I didn’t have a camera to record my encounter with Joey Lauren Adams, I’ve commissioned an artist to draw up a re-enactment. Here it is:

Tracy Morgan still comes in all the time. Yesterday he asks for the “Secret Rats of NIMH.”

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