Sunday, October 21, 2007

Brush with Washington Famous, Parts 2 and 3

A few weeks ago, I walked past the former Director of Central Intelligence and former head of the Central Intelligence Agency F. James Woolsey. I chronicled this event in a recent blog post.

Yesterday, Saturday, I had two--yes, count 'em, two--encounters with the Washington Famous. I was doing my usual Saturday grocery shopping when I bumped into Ben Stein's shopping cart (or, to be more accurate, his cart almost bumped into me - but he quickly apologized).

Ben Stein is an economist, writer, comedian, TV personality, game show host, reality show host, and on and on the list goes.

Bumping into him near the cold cuts and cheese section was a surprise and then seeing him line up in the express check out lane was equally surprising. I guess these Washington elites and Hollywood types are not all that different from us (aside from a few million dollars in their bank accounts).

My second encounter with the Washington Famous occurred later on in the evening when I was leaving the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts building following its daily free show program.

I was crossing the street from the Kennedy Center to the Watergate complex when I saw a sleek black Cadillac slowly pull to the curb, followed by two large, black SUVs. The slow, deliberate movement of the three vehicles alerted me that this was a coordinated motorcade.

Two secret service agents jumped out from the SUVs (looking suspiciously like Agent Smith from Matrix fame), and I continued crossing the street, actually walking between the two now parked SUVs. The driver of one SUV looked at me with piercing eyes; I could see his communication ear piece and its coiled wire running down into his shirt collar. Another agent with bulging eyes saw me coming and probably sized me and concluded I was no threat.

In an almost surreal moment, I looked to my left and saw another agent open the door to the first SUV and out stepped US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, her long black legs reaching toward the sidewalk. She walked toward the Watergate with purpose even when someone from a local cafe shouted, "Hi Condi!"

While I have serious mixed feelings about living and working in this city, these encounters with the Washington Famous add some needed distraction to the daily routine.

The big question is: Who will I bump into next. Stay tuned!


french panic said...

Ben Stein? Ben STEIN??? And creepy Condoleeza? You are running into all the interesting right-wingers!

Though I would definitely choose Ben over Condi as a dinner guest, any day.

dkemper said...

Yes, I seem to have a knack in bumping into the powers that be (on the right side of the political spectrum) in Washington, DC.

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