Tired of the paparazzi

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May 19th 2011
Published: May 19th 2011
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Those of you who work with or live with my dad may not want to read this blog entry...his head is swelling as I type!

In Algeria, we all got a great chuckle out of the 40 year old business man approaching dad because he believed, with sincerity, that dad was the star of "The Hunt for Red October." He was sure he was a submarine captain and so embarrassed when we informed him he was inaccurate. At lunch yesterday we were laughing even louder.

We are in Douz, a tiny little oasis town on the edge of the Sahara Desert where tourists gather only for expeditions into the sand dunes. In the afternoon, the town becomes quiet and void of activity. Dad and I wandered into a little restaurant that seemed to be manned by a young Tunisian man. As we were ordering food--using English, French and hand gestures--he kept suggesting he had seen us before. Sounded to us like a scam to get us on a camel ride into the dunes and we just dismissed it.

Had lunch, rested and all the while this kid would not drop it about seeing us before and dad looking familiar. It became clear he was not trying to work us and he was legitimately frustrated by not being able to determine how he knew dad! Finally as we were getting ready to leave, he got his English-speaking friend to come to the restaurant. (It is quite generous to say he speaks English, by the way!) His friend helped him communicate that he thought dad was a famous film star!
We both smiled and I told him that he was not famous and had not been in any films, but he did not seem to believe me! As we communicated, we figured out he thought dad was Alec Baldwin!! We repeatedly try to tell him that he was not, but we could not convince him! He was so excited to shake dad's hand and take a picture. Then he insisted we send him a copy of the photo.

As we walked back to our hotel, we realized our normal behaviors probably played into his belief that dad was famous....I always carry the money, so I paid for lunch; I ordered lunch because my French is better than dad's (again, generous to say I speak any French at all, but I could order lunch!) and the ATM was not working in English, so I went to the ATM to get dad some money! That young man is probably thinking how nice it would be to have an assistant or agent like dad has!!! (or like Alec Baldwin!)


19th May 2011

In the last 24 hours, the farm has received .80 inches of rain, and according to Granny about 20 minutes ago, it was just pouring. It is supposed to do this all weekend. Keep your fingers crossed. Alec Baldwin, really?
19th May 2011

yesterday's blog
It took me a few minutes, but I figured out who you met yesterday! Great, great people, very nice. On a side note, I think I may have just heard Jenny in Abilene vomit from disgust over the Alec Baldwin thing...
19th May 2011

Ok, your dad is going to be TERRIBLE to work with after all of this attention!!! I'm just so thankful for your blog--otherwise we would have no idea to get prepared for the movie star attitude that we'll be facing in the office next week! Really, I'm not too worried--this kind of "diva" attitude is nothing a few days working with all of us can't cure. ;) Have fun and stay safe!
19th May 2011

oh Good God.....You seriously could not even make this up. That is crazy. Help us all when you get back and we have to treat you like a movie star.
19th May 2011

How could you ever be tired of the paparazzi?!! That is a kid after my own heart! I'm glad I found your posts, Valeri! I'll do some catching up and follow your trip from now on :)
19th May 2011

I can totally see how this would cause Roy to get the big head. You do realize that you will never, ever live this down! Those of us who know him fear we will never hear the end of it either. Your trip sounds intriguing and I look forward to your entries. Enjoy and be safe!

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