Fifteen seconds of fame


ndy Warhol once said that we all have fifteen minutes of fame. I’m not sure if this means 15 minutes at once or 15 minutes in total, but I figure it is the latter rather than the former. I once spent 4 of my allotted 15 minutes when I won a singing contest and got a free trip to Japan. I spent another two minutes of it reciting and talking about Basho haiku on National Public Radio (NPR). I spent 15 more seconds yesterday.

The grand kids–being more kids than grand–have been dying to sleep on our queen-size bed. M finally relented and they both slept spread eagle on it two nights ago. M slept on the sofa as I slept next to her on the floor. Actually, I was lying on the floor watching TV and ended up falling asleep. Well, neither of us slept very well and we were up by 7 AM, which was for the best since I had an 8 AM appointment to have new brake pads put on my car. I took the bus home.

Around 9 AM there was a knock on the door and on the other side of the storm door stood a Fairfax policeman. Apparently, just after 7 AM, two women were assaulted in the neighborhood. One was grabbed by the arm not 50 yards from our front door. The other had her short pants tugged on near the entrance of Nottoway Park, the very park entrance that M enters when she goes running everyday. Unfortunately, even though I was awake at the time–y’know, those grand kids–I neither heard nor saw anything. But fortunately, the perpetrator fled when both women screamed, and neither were harmed seriously.

In any case, I was very alarmed and M had second thoughts about her daily run. At around 3 PM, M and I headed out to the bus stop to go pick up the car when Julie Carey of NBC 4 stopped me on the corner to ask me about what happened earlier this morning. I told her about M’s daily runs and how we are concerned about how our daily routines may change. I have talked to reporter for TV and newspapers before, but not once have I ever been quoted, so I didn’t expect anything this time either. But on News at 5, they played a segment about the assaults and lo and behold, both M and I were on TV.

Very few people I know watch local news anymore–with the Internet and 24 hour news on cable, most people I know don’t bother with local stations. So I figure I’m the only one I know who saw it. Even M was in the shower when it was broadcast and I didn’t tape it–although she saw it later on the station’s Internet site.

But it’s just as well no one I know saw our 15 seconds of fame. The report was serious business for residents in our community but all I could think about was how I should focus on speaking more clearly, articulating my words and maybe losing another 15 pounds or so….