Doing Some Laundry

We’d like to thank Mark O’Connell for sharing the following story.

In 1996, when I was sixteen, I was sitting on a bench with a couple of friends in my hometown of Kilkenny, in Ireland. It was a Saturday afternoon, and we were just hanging out, smoking cigarettes, shooting the breeze. Bill Murray was in town that weekend for a comedy festival; he was doing an improv show at a local theatre with the Second City group, along with his brothers Joel and Brian Doyle Murray.

Kilkenny’s a pretty small town, so the odds against seeing Murray weren’t that high. But even still, when I spotted him walking along the opposite side of the street – wearing shorts and a t-shirt and carrying what looked like a bag full of laundry – I got a rush of blood to the head and shouted across at him, which is the kind of thing I wasn’t in the habit of doing.

“Bill!” I shouted.

He was about to walk into a laundrette. He stopped and turned to look across the street, and waved over at us. “Hey, fellas!” he shouted.

“What’s going on?” I shouted back.

He gestured to the laundry bag in his hand, then nodded at the door of the laundrette, and shouted, “Not much, man! Just doing some laundry!”

“Cool!”

He waved again, and went into the laundrette. My friends and I were so excited about my having just talked to Bill Murray from across a street that we somehow missed him coming out the door again. I’ve also never been able to figure out why the hell an A-list Hollywood film star was doing his own laundry in a small town in Ireland, instead of just getting his hotel to do it for him. That’s Bill Murray, though; always throwing curve balls.

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