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The Self-Absorbed Media Guy Diaries


"You didn't even get him to autograph a hamburger bun?!"


LT's Brush with Greatness

"When you get to the end-zone, act like you've been there before"

Darrell K. Royal - Former U. Texas Football Coach

The Bull Market for weirdness in and about my life has been ramping steadily for at least 6 months. Like a frog in a stove-top "hot tub", I've been trying to ride it out with an almost willfully casual attitude. It's not that I don't notice the ramping strange; it's just that it seems sort of running along by itself, almost regardless of what I do. I can't control it and I'm not sure I'd actually want to if I could. So I just sit back and try to enjoy the ride as best I can without bursting into flames.

Which brings us to last night when Todd-O and I had dinner in the wake of our Duck Race disappointment. It was intended as a social respite prior to next week when Fast Money goes into full promotional over-drive to celebrate our 5-day schedule. It turned into just another Fellini film by the time I tucked myself into bed; nearly literally.

The full details of the evening are too lengthy for this space so we'll start at the end of the evening, when Todd-O dropped me off at my hotel in mid-town. Now, there's an Italian film of some sort currently being shot at the hotel. An Italian Christmas film, meaning the entire lobby of the place is decked out in twinkling lights and garland. There's only one working entrance to the place at night and, as it happened, they were shooting an exterior scene when I arrived. I paused on the sidewalk, asking someone with a headset if I should wait until the shot was done before entering. Casting a quick look my way, the film guy instead grabbed me by the shoulder and pushed me into the scene, presumably to be a background extra.

With no further instruction I tip-toed behind two actors gesturing wildly and speaking feverish Italian, found an unlocked door on my third try and entered the hotel without looking back. I didn't think to ask about getting my Italian SAG card, I just wanted to go to bed. Thrusting my hand in a closing elevator door, I stepped in and found myself face to face with NY Giants legend Lawrence Taylor.

LT was dressed in shorts, flip-flops and a button up shirt. He was carrying a bag from McDonald's (MCD). Between his physical size and inherent LT-ness he took up roughly 105% of the available space in the elevator. I hit the button for my floor and we stood looking at each other, LT and I, as we began our slow ascent. Unable to contain myself anymore I asked him the only question the moment seemed to demand.

"LT, you have to tell me where you got that McDonald's".

He looked at me with a grin, a wizened old-hand who's surfed more than his share of strange waves over the years. "Sometimes a man just needs something to eat, doesn't he?"

We bemoaned the lack of good fast food in mid-town together and he carefully directed to me to a Micky-D's about 4 blocks from the hotel. He offered me a fry but I declined; when a man has to eat he doesn't really want to share his fries. I stepped off at my floor, telling him I would be getting my own meal shortly. Nodding sagely, LT clarified that my destination was between 7th and 8th. I couldn't be sure but as the doors shut, I thought I heard him wish me a good night by name.

I mean, why wouldn't Lawrence Taylor know me by name and offer me some of his fries? I am, after all, something of a film star in Italy.

In other news, I'll be doing the Today Show Monday morning with the rest of the Fast Money crew. Judging by the reactions of my mother and Mrs. Jeffmacke, the Today Show appearance is a Big Deal, somehow legitimizing the whole television journey we've been on for the last 6-odd months.

I'm not sure about that. Indeed, I'm trying hard not to think about it at all. My plan is to go with the flow, have fun and act like I've been there before. I think that's what LT would do.

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