Star Sighting of the Week: Wm. Shatner
So I'm getting my coffee at the very fashionable coffee house called Aroma Café in Tujunga Village just about an hour ago. In front of me in line is a broadly-built man medium height, with short, wiry salt and pepper hair, wearing a rather tatty red (or was it blue?) T-shirt, black track pants and Tevo scandals. I can't see his face as he's got his back to me.
I'm always kind of disgusted with the slovenly way people dress when they come to this very nice, and rather upper-crust, establishment. I know it's early Sunday morning but still, it's Sunday morning. Does "Sunday best" mean nothing anymore? I guess not. Ciao, civilization. We hardly knew ya.
Anyway, the fellow is further irritating me by negotiating, at length, with the young man behind the counter for an egg dish that's not on the menu. I hate that. But the fellow's voice is familiar, like that of someone I've known for years, but with that grumbly, phlegmatic, early morning growl to it. Suddenly, it dawns on me that that I might be irritated at William Shatner (I never forget a voice), but I dismiss that notion as I've never seen him in the 'hood and no one has told me he lives nearby*.
Finally, another counter-jumper -- the pretty, dark-eyed one (you know who I mean) -- comes the rescue and motions me over to the register, so that I'm now standing abreast of the mysterious stranger. I glance over, do a double-take, and stare. Sure enough, Captain Kirk, with puffy it's-too-early-in-the-morning-eyes, is standing right next to me.
Inside, my hearts skips and beat. I turn back to the counter girl who flashes a knowing smile: she's caught me with my mouth agape. Beaming to be in The Presence, I order my coffee. She serves it up and says, "Have a great morning!"
I say, "Thanks! I already have!"
She says, "Alright!"
Had it been anybody else, even someone like Quentin Tarantino or Madonna, I'd have shrugged it off. But it was Captain Kirk! In his grubbies! Wearing sandals! Ordering eggs! Irritating me!
I mean, William Shatner has, in a sense, been with me all of my life. First on Star Trek TOS (The Original Series), on T.J. Hooker (with flashbacks to The Outer Limits and about a million other guest-starrings throughout the '60s and '70s), and then as the captain of the new Enterprise (NCC-1701-A) of the movies -- Khaaaann! -- and lately as the spokesperson for Priceline.com, as himself in a wonderfully self-deprecating part in Free Enterprise, and as a delightfully smarmy lawyer on Boston Legal. He's always been there, somewhere. Above all, he's always been Kirk, commander of the Starship Enterprise, the man who boldly goes where no man has gone before... and captures the imagination.
Hurray for this Little Hollywood… this little Studio City.
*Addendum: A coeval at the office tells me that Mr. Shatner, in fact, lives right up the hill from me. Expect a picture or two, soon, though not an address.