Many years ago, when I worked for a PR firm, I found myself alone in an elevator with a comic the firm represented. I never like to talk to celebs unless I have something specific to say, having been burned once by Robert Townsend in Santa Barbara (not literally). So I'm in an elevator with Caroline Rhea in the building where I worked. She was leaving, as was I.
It turns out that I did, in fact, have something specific and kind of interesting to share with her. Her father, Dr. Rhea, lives in Tucson where he practices medicine. My mother, Dr. Swisher (does NOT practice medicine), was one of his patients. She went in to see him one fine day for a regular check-up and the two were chatting and somehow it came up that I was a comedian in Los Angeles. Of course Dr. Rhea then told my mom that his daughter was a comedian in LA as well. Of course he won that round because his daughter was famous and my mother's daughter was, well, one of thousands of people living in LA that fancied themselves comics but had day jobs as well.
So I'm in the elevator with Caroline and I don't say anything to her. Here's why: Her father is a gynecologist. I had envisioned in my head how the conversation might go down. Caroline, a celebrity, sharing an elevator with a total stranger who says, "My mom is a patient of your dad's. Isn't that neat? What are the odds?" Implicitly, what I'm saying is, "Hey, your dad's totally seen my mom's snatch! Going to the lobby?" There's really no place a conversation can go after that.
I also imagined that if I were in her position, such an awkward encounter might convince me it was time to switch publicists. Then I'd be known as the employee who thought it would be a good idea to bring up the subject of vagina with important clients.
So I didn't say anything and Caroline was none the wiser. Until last night. We were in the same show. I went up second in the line-up so Ms. Rhea hadn't arrived yet. But I did share the story with her at the end of the night. She seemed to find it amusing, but we have no plans to share an elevator together anytime soon.
Now I'm guessing my mother will be the one uncomfortable that I shared this story. For the record, Dr. Rhea no longer privy to her privates. They're in different states.
Wow. Now I'm comfortable.