Lame Claim to Fame (#lameclaimtofame): A Treasury

The hashtag #lameclaimtofame surfaced yesterday on Twitter, prompting a flood of lame claim to fame memories for me:

I trespassed the Akropolis and made out with the Fulbright Director’s son at two in the morning.

I was an extra in a Fisher Stevens After School Special.

My father was the runner-up Marlboro Man.

Harpo Marx once stood up my father.

I once drove Linda Hamilton to a radio interview. We talked about the horror of teen girls self-cutting.

I am distantly related to Pocahontas. Seriously. My brother did a genealogy chart.

The wife of MTV founder Bob Pittman asked for a bulk discount on my Day of the Dead Box to give it as party favor at her husband’s 50th birthday party.

The intern on my incense book worked as nanny for one of Danielle Steele’s daughters. She had to sign a serious confidentiality agreement.

I’m told Annie Potts referenced my Mexico books for her kitchen renovation.

A friend of a friend of mine once got set up on a date with football player Joe Montana.

John Shea was sweet with my daughter after a Symphony Space Selected Shorts reading at The Mount. He showed her how he marked his script with where to breathe.

I chased after Ruth Reichl at Spencertown Academy to tell her she’d left her lights on. She replied: Lexus turns itself off.

Realizing that I have too much respect/sympathy for Jodie Foster to post my lame claim to fame about her.

I co-starred in the early 80s MTV hit video “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger.

I saw Andre 300 (lead singer for Outkast) in the Windows Lounge at the Four Seasons Los Angeles.

When I was 17 and she was 19, I sang a duet with Joan Osborne in a feminist experimental musical about teenage alcoholism in Omaha.

I acted in a student film made by Charles Eames’s grandson.

I went to high school with Benjamin Bratt (he knew me a little) and Naomi Wolf (she didn’t). Other alumni of our high school (Lowell in San Francisco) include Carol Channing and Bill Bixby (the Incredible Hulk).

My English landlord in Oakland had as a young man dated Julie Christie.

I eavesdropped on Cameron Diaz talking about her sunscreen woes in the locker room at Canyon Ranch.

Sam Shepard once gave me his seat at a sold-out Joseph Chaikin production at the Mark Taper Forum.

I once passed Jerry Brown on a trail at Esalen. And I saw Leo and Gisele canoodle in a pool in Baja.

In summary, at Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts: I was Jessica Capshaw’s counselor and I checked Juliet Prowse and Gene Hackman (not together) into adult art camp. Richard Pryor’s daughter, Rain, was there, too.

Susan Orlean may be distantly related to William Shatner, but I took ballet classes with his daughter at summer camp in Colorado.

My father once saw Marilyn Monroe cross Washington Square (actually, I don’t think this is lame).


My great great grandfather chatted with the Emperor of Brazil on a park bench in Rio.

I once dated a boy who knew Jerry Garcia’s daughter. Said she looked just like him.

I waited in a checkout line behind Annie Lennox at Bell Market on 24th St. in San Francisco (sighting disputed by husband).

My mother-in-law has seen Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep (not together) at LaBonne’s Market in Salisbury, CT.

I’ve spotted Al Roker and Karen Allen (not together) at the Great Barrington Farmers’ Market.

I saw Jane Curtin in the parking lot at Guido’s in Great Barrington.

I fondled apples next to Sam Waterston at Guido’s in Great Barrington.

I waited in line behind Daryl Hall for the butcher at Guido’s in Great Barrington.

I snuck into Sammy Cahn’s house  (invited by friend who was housesitting) and hoisted his Oscars (they’re heavy).

I had dinner with the inventor of the Pill. He recited a poem he’d written about his poet wife’s legs.

I went to junior high with Bill T. Jones’ niece.

4 Responses to Lame Claim to Fame (#lameclaimtofame): A Treasury

  1. Emily says:

    My favorite lame claim to fame: I once played “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” with right-wing movie critic Michael Medved.

  2. gina says:

    That’s a good one, Emily!

  3. knockatize says:

    Ray Charles, Ed Koch and Natalie Merchant have all stepped on my foot at various times in my life.

    I helped Peter Frampton find the bathroom at my office.

    I was a passenger in a car that nearly ran over Brit Hume.

    I was in a parade with Karen Duffy.

    I missed an opportunity to go drinking with P.J. O’Rourke.

    I handed a ceremonial prize check to Jimmy Fallon when he was 17.

    Not watching where I was going, I walked directly into Indiana Pacers center Rik Smits at a record store. How you can manage not to avoid somebody who’s seven-foot-four is beyond me.

    My cousin once played snooker with Eric Clapton.

    I helped Sarah McLachlan pick out a birthday card because she thought I worked at the store.

    I had a couple beers with a pre-fame Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys, who in turn threw in his own lame claim to fame: that Mike Rutherford of Genesis picked him up at the airport the first time he visited New York City.

    Isabella Rossellini once walked into a store in Rhinebeck whose manager I was attempting to charm, thus giving me the opportunity to tell the young lady that it must’ve been weird for Isabella to be the second-most-beautiful woman in the room.

  4. Gina Hyams says:

    That is one awesome list!

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