Another installment for Writers Workshop
I have had my share of run-ins with celebrities…what can I say? I am cool like that. Actually, I used to work at a private air terminal in southern California, and famous people frequent those. I had encounters with Jim Carrey, Oprah and her dogs, Mr. October aka Reggie Jackson, and I even helped Mark Maguire make a bottle for his baby. My most frequent interaction would have been with Harrison Ford. He flies his own small aircraft, and he was in and out a lot. There are two times that stick out in my mind…the time I harassed him, and the time his credit card declined.
The time I harassed him, he didn’t take it as well as I had hoped. I was just being funny sarcastic me…and well...he didn’t “get it.” Where I worked we offered pilots the use of a courtesy vehicle to make quick trips if they weren’t staying long. Harrison Ford made regular use of these vehicles. One time when he was going to fly out, he was in a hurry and he forgot to return the car keys to me. I ran after him calling his name “INDY, INDY!!! You forgot to leave the keys!!!” He didn’t stop. So I was all “HAN, the keys!!!” he kept going…I finally called out “HARRY, please don’t take my keys!” He finally stopped and I got the keys back. The next time he came through the terminal and asked to borrow the courtesy car, I told him, “sure, no problem, as long as you don’t take the keys with you” *wink-wink* He didn’t laugh, he didn’t even smile, instead he gave me the evil eye. I wanted to curl up in a ball, I got the evil eye from Indiana Jones. Not the highlight of my career.
The second encounter I had with Harrison was probably about a year later. He had purchased some fuel from us for his small aircraft. He came inside to leave a credit card number, and then he flew away. I ran the card later that afternoon and it declined. WHAT? That can’t be right I thought. So I ran it again-DECLINED-the machine blinked at me. What now? Well, lucky for me Harrison left his phone number for us when he borrowed the courtesy car. So now I had the privilege of calling him and telling him his card declined, yay. I dialed the number expecting to hear his voice, instead I got some woman. “uh, er….I think I got the wrong number” I said. The woman answered “We’re an answering service for this number, you can tell me what you’re calling about and I will relay a message to the numbers owner” Well of course she is! Harrison Ford wouldn’t leave me his real number, duuuuh! It’s like he knew I would stalk him or something, weird. So I left my message, and two days later I got a call from a representative of Mr. Ford’s who gave me a credit card that was accepted.
Harrison kept coming in, despite the colorful girl behind the counter. I was even there when he introduced his mother to Calista Flockhart. It was interesting working in a place where you see famous people everyday. After awhile they just don’t seem famous anymore, and they’re everyday people like you and me…getting their credit cards declined and forgetting to return keys.