Boats, Boredom, Football & Psuedo-Celebrities

There you go. My business trip to Shreveport, LA in a nutshell. Should I elaborate? I suspect I must seeing as I have been absent for the better part of a week. If your eyes begin to droop in reading this and a snore escapes your lips – please know that I forgive you in advance.

The purpose of our (my coworker Linda and me) trip to Louisiana was to work the boat show sponsored by one of the local television stations. It is a well publicized event and a number of boat sellers and manufacturers are present to sell the next greatest thing in boat design. In addition to the boats, vendors such as ourselves are there to represent additional outdoor activities and the like. The show is open to the public for a nominal fee. Seeing as we represent the largest state park in the state of Arkansas this show is a good opportunity for us to push information on DeGray State Park and the pristine 13,800 acres of DeGray Lake to those who are both buying and selling boats. Parker (another fellow from Arkansas there to represent Suzuki) pointed out to me that we needed shirts that read, “Let me show you where to float your boat!” Nice. It would not have done any good seeing as the flow of traffic throughout the show never elevated itself past the point of a trickling stream. Advertising aside, there were no waves of individuals in attendance like there have been in the past. Trust me, it takes a lot of patience to stand in a convention center for ten hours with very few people coming and going. Boredom. I had nothing better to do than chat up the hot boat salesmen which, despite the fact they were all married, was quite entertaining and made the time go by a bit quicker.

Sunday, the last day of the show, finally came and attendance was even smaller than the days prior. To top off my frustration it was game day … NFL playoffs (National Football League for my international readers) … and I was stuck behind a booth. Well, Linda’s husband agreed to text the scores so I could keep track and I finally found a television in another vendor booth that was broadcasting the first playoff game between the Patriots and the Chargers. Patriots won (duh) and the show ended. We sped off to a local pub so I would not miss the beginning of game two. After some excellent fish & chips we sprinted back to the hotel between the first and second quarter in order to finish out the game between the Packers and the Giants.

“Football is an honest game. It's true to life. It's a game about sharing. Football is a team game. So is life.”
~Joe Namath

I will choose this moment to merge the football and pseudo-celebrity portion of my weekend. The Shreveport, LA area has become quite the location for film production. Apparently it has been dubbed “The Hollywood of the South” which seems appropriate considering two years ago stars like Sandra Bullock and Kevin Costner were in town while we attended the same show. This year, there were a number of pseudo-celebrities staying at our hotel … you know them – those people that are in a ton of films, but always in the background … you know their faces, but you can’t think of their names. Pseudo-Celebrities. Having met them, I could now give you their names, but I will not be the one to invade their privacy and plaster current locations across the internet for all to see. Several of them teeter precariously between being a pseudo-celebrity and the real deal. There was a leading man much shorter than expected, a funny man even wittier and more sarcastic in person, a bona fide hottie who has been in a Shakespeare adaptation (which is always a good thing in my opinion) and several others I could never quite place. Each evening we would stop by the hotel bar between dinner and bed just to see who was about, but it was the final night … game night … before I ventured forth into conversation with the pseudo-celebrities that were present.

Apparently, I was the only individual in the vicinity routing for the Packers and I am rather vocal during football games. A competition of sorts developed between me and one or two of the pseudo-celebrities regarding the game. Linda had removed herself to the room so I found myself in the midst of these guys as we yelled and cheered and … ultimately … the game ended with me pissed and them rubbing the win in my face. At some point a group of young girls showed up with paper and pen in hand looking for autographs. I laughed aloud and received a quizzical look from one of my new pseudo-celebrity acquaintances to which I responded, “Don’t worry! I don’t need your autograph to know who you are.” Celebrities are people just like the rest of us … they just have much cooler jobs.

Well, there it is … my rundown of the week and why I have been much more silent than usual: boats, boredom, football, & pseudo-celebrities. All in all it was much better than sitting in the office or alone in my apartment.

“Celebrity-worship and hero-worship should not be confused. Yet we confuse them every day, and by doing so we come dangerously close to depriving ourselves of all real models. We lose sight of the men and women who do not simply seem great because they are famous but are famous because they are great. We come closer and closer to degrading all fame into notoriety.” ~Daniel J. Boorstin

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