What’s the wildest . . .

November 28, 2006

. . . . proposition you’ve ever received? And no, I don’t mean that kind of proposition, not necessarily, anyway.

For example, the wildest proposition I ever received was to write a book on stem-cell research with Columbia biology professor Robert Pollack. I did not pursue the offer because I figured he must have been high on crack the day he talked to me about it, and I subsequently ignored — or otherwise poo-pooed — his e-mails figuring that he must have me mistaken with someone who could actually write a book on stem-cell research.

In many ways, I regret not believing in myself enough to follow up. Why shouldn’t a silly girl from a cowpoke town in Very Northern California co-author a book with a man who has held a Guggenheim Fellowship?

That proposition actually beats out the experience I had on a plane from Houston to Indianapolis in 1984 when ZZTop’s drummer was coming on to me. Of course, I didn’t realize he was coming on to me because, do the math. I was 13.

To his credit, he got up and left the instant he realized it. The conversation, which had been going on for a good hour or so after we’d been seated next to each other on the plane, came to a grinding halt like this:

Picture me blabbering on and on in my normal fashion about the incredible experience of being re-routed first class, complete with champagne on the flights, etc., due to a gas leak in San Fran.

Me: Blah, blah, blah . . . and they even started passing out CHAMPAGNE! But, of course, (in typical bershon, victimized teenaged fashion) I didn’t get to drink it.

Frank: Why not?

Me: I’m not 21.

Frank: (a flicker of recognition begins) How old are you?

Me: (still completely and blissfully unaware of what’s going on and with no hesitation) 13.

*end of conversation as Frank abruptly gets up and walks to the back of the plane*

It took me many years to figure out why I didn’t even get so much as a “Well, it’s been nice talking to you.” I hadn’t a clue who he was — still wouldn’t if I met him again.

Hell, I was listening to Barry Mannilow and Michael Martin Murphey (remember “Wildfire“?) . I figured that he must be an Oak Ridge Boy (or something) since the flight attendants (then called stewardesses) kept asking for his and his companions’ autographs.

My grandmother’s reaction to the group when she met me at the plane? “Blech. Don’t they ever bathe?” Grandma was always a little conservative that way. I also remember that she seemed very unimpressed with their entourage and the very long white limo they piled into. Guess that’s where I get it from. The unimpressed part. Not the rude part (hopefully).

So ‘fess. What is the wildest thing life/fate has thrown your way? Did you run with it? Why or why not?



  1. well, if we’re talkin’ about wild things of a “sexual” nature, i once made out with Chuck Barris (Gong Show) but turned down the chance to go to bed with him. that was fun…ish.

    by the way, cute new avatar, Angela! xox

  2. Neva – Well, if I have a contest going, you’re definitely in the lead with that one. Who Hooo! Probably a good thing that you didn’t sleep with him. Might have caught something, that.

    And thank you for your comment on my boa-clad self. Every year there is a Great Gatsby fundraising party here, and the primary fun of going to the party is that everyone dresses up. It’s Ab Fab! xoxoxo

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