I posted a couple weeks ago about spotting Wallace Shawn at dinner that night and noted that I am really bad at the celebrity spotting game because I never recognize anyone. I managed to prove it to myself again the other day with an entertaining “celebrity” run-in.
One of my clients needed some work done in Washington, DC the other day, which isn’t all that out of the ordinary. I am not a huge fan of traveling round trip to DC for about 30 minutes worth of work, but that’s the job, so off I went. It happened to be a pretty nasty day in NYC, so I chose Acela over the Delta Shuttle, figuring my chances of actually getting to DC and back were much higher (and I was actually correct – the DL flight cancelled!). Sitting in the Acela lounge at Penn Station I was a bit surprised to hear a woman ask for a Red Cap to bring her bags down to the train, especially when I realized that her “bags” really was just a normal roller board. Even more entertaining was when a man standing in the entry way said hi to her and offered to carry her bags instead. I didn’t think much of it, nor did I think much of the two Amtrak Police officers standing there chatting with the guy at the time. They all left the lounge, and I followed them out and over to the tracks. The security guards escorted them down to the track (and in front of everyone else waiting in line) and then I noticed them all settling in as I found a seat. Again, I didn’t think much of it, though the guy was clearly chatting up the cops.
I thought that the show would end at this point, but there was a repeat performance at each stop along the way, with a uniformed and armed Amtrak officer walking through our car, and another on the platform, every time. As we finally approached Union Station in DC the attendant came through the car and asked all of us to remain seated on arrival so that they “could do their thing” and then we’d all be allowed to depart a few minutes later. Sure enough, on arrival there were two more Amtrak cops on the platform, along with a customer service manager, waiting for the special guest to arrive. They escorted him off the train and then stood around for a couple minutes on the platform while getting his bags situated and ready to go. At this point I started talking with a few of the other passengers in hopes of figuring out who the surprise guest was. Finally, after probably longer than it should’ve been, one of the women recognized the guy: Former Vice President Dan Quayle. I stared for a few more minutes and am still pretty sure that I couldn’t pick the guy out of a lineup today, unless there were flashcards for vegetable spellings involved. Oh, and he was pretty short – maybe 5′ 8″ or so, which was surprising to me.
Anyways, yet another “celebrity” spotting even that was probably wasted on me since I didn’t know who it was in the first place.
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