My brother Tod recommended Wil Wheaton’s blog to me a while back and I finally got around to reading it (in fact, Tod even wrote a Las Vegas Mercury column about the blog). Wheaton, you may recall, was the kid in STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION… and his blog is surprisingly sharp, witty, and candid. It starts with his explanation of why he started blogging in the first place…an epiphany at Hooters (hey, if you’re gonna have one, there are worse places it could happen).
We walked in ahead of the lunchtime rush, so we could sit wherever we liked. We stood in the doorway, Bob Seger blaring above our heads that he was workin’ on a night move, and chose the section with the hottest waitress in the joint. As we were taking our seats, she came over to our table: a cute-but-not-beautiful girl in her early 20s. Bleached-blond, fake tan, long legs. Hooters. Her name tag said “Destiny.” She flirted with us as she took our order, all smiles and giggles. We ordered wings. Super Fire Hot, baby.
She stood up, and left to put in our order. Darin and I stared at each other. We still had it, and it felt good.
She’d only walked a few steps, when she stopped suddenly, turned around, and came back to our table. She looked at me, lustily. “Can I ask you something?”
“Oh, hell, yeah, Willie,” I thought to myself, “The ladies still want your sweet action!”
My throat went dry. My face flushed and my pulse quickened.
“Sure,” I croaked.
She screwed up her courage and leaned close to me, her full, pouting lips just inches from mine. Her perfume embraced me. Her ample cleavage seductively longed to bust out from beneath her thin cotton T-shirt. She drew a nervous breath, bit down on the corner of her mouth, and asked, breathlessly,”Didn’t you used to be an actor?”
“WHAT?! USED TO BE?! I STILL AM!” I hollered, as images of a hot Hooters threesome were replaced with images of myself on Celebrity Boxing.
She immediately knew that she made a mistake. She thought quickly, licked her lips, self-consciously fussed with her over-processed hair and tried again:”Oh, I mean, weren’t you an actor when you were a kid?”
All I could do was numbly answer,”Yeah, when I was a kid,” as I hung my head and ordered the first of many pints of Guinness.
Funny story, right? Yeah, funny like when you watch another guy get kicked in the nuts.
In the days that followed, I tried to write it off. Tried to bolster my wounded self-esteem by telling myself that she was just a Hooters waitress, so she didn’t matter.
But the truth was, this simple, scantily clad waitress had driven home with painful acuity my deepest fear: I was a has-been. I “used to be” an actor, when I was a kid. That weekend, my wife was out of town and I found myself in front of my computer, surfing the Internet, playing Diablo II, doing anything I could to get that Hooters waitress out of my mind.
Yes, that’s how badly it hurt me: I was actively trying to get a Hooters waitress out of my mind. While my wife was out of town.
Somewhere in that day, while I was battling the forces of polygonal evil on Battle.Net, I was hit with an inspiration: I would make a website and let the world know that I was still alive and still working.
I know from personal experience that he’s worked since his days on the Enterprise… I hired him in an episode of DIAGNOSIS MURDER and he did a great job.