shaken & stirred

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lamest made-up sighting ever

The allure of "sighting" a celebrity or some other notable type has always eluded me. In fact, the only sighting I've ever truly been thrilled by was recognizing paleontologist Jack Horner from an unnamed description in a David Quammen essay that rendered him drinking from a brown bag and reading a giant book and muttering to himself in the university library. But this made up sighting of Jonathan Safran Foer that was sent to Neal Pollack and Ms. Tingle (and who knows what other bewildered bloggers) really takes the cake. I reproduce it below for your mockery, from Mr. Pollack's site:

"So my friend Kristy and I saw Jonathan Safran Foer at the Duane Reade on Broadway and 8th Street. This was April 7th, around noon. He was wearing his coat that he wore in that Pages Magazine profile. He picked up one of those cheap $1.89 shampoos. It was green, and he stared at it for a really long time, maybe 20 seconds. I walked really slowly by him (my friend was in the candy aisle then) and he said kind of loudly, "Holy shit," and he was still staring at the shampoo, and I had to get out of that aisle to laugh. My friend Kristy was there too and she can verify. Safran Foer was alone as far as we could tell. He looked at the shampoos for a long time and then left without buying anything. He seemed really confused when he left. Kristy and I were going to follow him but he went into that subway station across the street, the 8th street one. It was definitely him, because Kristy and I were both at the 92 Y reading too, and saw him there, that was the night before."

I so think we should all make up the most banal sighting stories ever and send them to each other and strangers.

(Via The Tingle.)


  • At 2:54 PM , Anonymous david thayer said...

    Men alone shopping for shampoo frequently stare and mutter aloud. Soylent Green...stuff like that.

  • At 3:42 PM , Blogger Little Toy Robot said...

    I saw Rudyard Kipling eating a banana at the grocery store.

  • At 5:19 PM , Anonymous scott said...

    Yeah, I saw Kingsley Amis shopping for fruit. He tried a seedless grape. Then I think he felt me staring and looked up with a guilty expression.

    I turned away.

  • At 5:46 PM , Blogger Christopher said...

    As usual, Terry Bisson is way ahead of everybody on this one (though his examples aren't really lame). In his short story--his fantastic short story, his kickass short story--"The Two Janets," published in 1990, essentially every important figure in American letters (the American letters of 1990, anyhow) spontaneously and independently of one another moves to Owensboro, Kentucky.

    Find a copy of his extraordinary collection, Bears Discover Fire and read the story for its poignant examination of what happens when one best friend stays home and the other moves to the city. Read it for that, sure, but love it for being made up of a whole series of moments like what y'all are talking about. Here's the last paragraph:

    At midnight we went to the all-night Convenience Mart at Eighteenth and Triplett for two more cans of beer. John Updike was looking through the magazines (even though the little sign says not to). At 12:12 A.M. Joyce Carol Oates came in for a pack of cigarettes, and surprising us both, they left together.


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