Squaring The Social Circles

The other night I had my first and probably only brush with greatness on the streets of Vancouver. No disrespect to the U.S. Men’s and Women’s hockey teams, which have been great in their own right.

I was getting off the train line, weaving my way through the crowd while dodging raindrops, when I almost walked right into Vince Vaughn. 

Vince Vaughn cheers on Team USA.Vince Vaughn cheers on Team USA.Now I wouldn’t know who this guy was if we don’t have every copy of People Magazine ever printed kicking around our house. But because we do, I know that he is an actor and one in a long line of leading men who have been romantically linked to Jennifer Aniston. Who knew? I would’ve thought he was just another long-suffering Cubs fan.

So anyway, we cruise past, make quick eye contact and move on. I should’ve let it wash away with the evening rain shower, but instead I pull off to the side and text to my daughter the movie buff that I just saw Vince Vaughn on Georgia Street.

“OMG. No way! I’m so jealous,” she texted back.

Yes, I do lead a charmed life.

Vancouver has been full of celebrities these past few weeks. Some I’ve heard of, like Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky and Yvan Cournoyer. Others I'd really have no idea that they were anybody of supposed significance if not for the ear-piercing shrieks of fans inside the arena.

I know that the town is teeming with celebrities because I see it on the morning news when these three celebrity shoe-sniffers ramble on about the parties they attended the night before, the celebrities they stalked and the schwag they managed to swipe.

“You see this glass? Michael Phelps took a drink from this glass.”

That is met with the appropriate oohs and aahs as they genuflect in the direction of a fingerprint-smudged highball glass as if were the Holy Grail.

The papers, also, are packed with stories about who was seen where, the parties they attended and the outfits they had on. If they were wearing anything but a raincoat in this city then they’re bigger idiots than I thought.

I don’t run with the Grey Poupon crowd. I’m more the yellow mustard in the little packets type. They’re more Chardonnay and champagne; I’d rather smoke cigars and drink Molson with the Canadian women’s team.

But hey, different strokes for different folks.

Rummaging through some back issues of the paper last night – what else would I be doing on a Friday night in the most happening city in North America – I came across several stories about what the pretty people have been up to.

And here’s what I learned:

Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell were spotted at a coffee shop. No kidding? I haven’t seen anybody in Vancouver who doesn’t drink at least a gallon of the stuff a day. There’s a coffee shop on every block, and sometimes even more. There are actually two Starbucks on facing corners near Robson Street. Talk about not doing your market research.

Arnold Schwarzenegger not only carried the Olympic torch, he was spotted pumping iron at Steve Nash’s Gym. Now I’m not from California, so it’s really none of my business, but I would think he has some other heavy lifting to do back home.

Paris Hilton and her entourage have been spotted at both the Barcelona Ultra Lounge and the Irish House. I’ll have to find out where those places are on a map so I can run far, run fast in the other direction.

Cindy Crawford and none other than Oprah have been seen on the streets. I didn’t know Oprah ever left the couch on the set of her talk show. I figure she’d do what Ellen did and beam in the Olympic athletes for interviews via satellite dish. A separate story said that Oprah loves those red mittens. Now I know who bought all the mittens.

There have also been reports of Shania Twain buying tofu at a vegetarian market and Scarlett Johansson at a yoga studio. Those are two more places I’m not likely to be caught dead in.

My other brush with greatness came when some wise-guy weatherman from the local TV station spotted me waiting in line for tickets to a curling event. “Hey look, it’s George Clooney. We have a George Clooney sighting here in Vancouver.”

Yeah, right. If I did look like George Clooney, and that's a mighty big if, do you really think I’d be standing in line for curling tickets?

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