We’d like to thank Jordan for today’s story.
I am a fire fighter in Hawaii, but I also work part time at the Honolulu Airport. When I showed up at the airport for work today the girls were all gushing about how the cast of Hawaii Five-O was downstairs in baggage claim. “They were filming Hawaii Five-O downstairs you know!” exclaimed one of the girls. When she noticed my look of total disinterest she asked, “That’s exciting, don’t you think?”
“Well”, I replied, “I would be, if any real celebrities were here”. My co-worker then left me to work at curbside check-in alone, convinced that I would never be converted into an Alex O’Loughlin (the lead star in Five-O… don’t worry I didn’t know who he was either) fan.
I spent the next five hours doing what I normally do at the airport. I smiled and checked in people, all the while wondering if it was all worth the low wage and free flight benefits. I was about to shut down my check-in station for the end of my shift, when a young Polynesian man ran up to me and politely asked if I could help him check in a Mr. Bill Murray. I kind of chuckled and waited for him to say he was joking (people give fake/funny names all the time to be humorous) – but when I looked down the curb at the black SUV parked nearby, I saw him in all his glory. The man. The legend. Mr. Bill Murray.
As I approached him he asked me, “And how are you doing today?” I could barely hold back my excitement as I replied, “I’m doing great!” Of course I was doing great. I was helping Bill frickin’ Murray.
I don’t know how to describe him except to say that he acts just like you would expect Bill Murray to act in person. He’s funny, cool, personable and most importantly, pretty much a normal guy. I’ve seen/met celebrities before, especially at the airport, but I have never been so star-struck in all my life. I probably looked like an idiot standing there smiling as he searched through his bag looking for his passport, deciding what to carry on the flight with him, and all of the other things people normally do as they prepare to jump on a flight.
He fumbled with the straps on a military style backpack before throwing them down saying, “Well, these are supposed to go together somehow so that they won’t get all screwed up… but I dunno.” I jumped right in, securing all the straps and wrapping the bag up into a tight little olive drab bundle. I was so proud of myself but he didn’t really seem to notice, mostly because he was busy gathering his stuff. Still, I secretly hoped he would give me a nod of approval for my buckle strapping skills because paramilitary bags do tend to have a lot of useless, unnecessary straps.
Anyways, before he left for the gates he I took a picture of him with the local guy who was dropping him off. I didn’t have the courage to ask him for a picture or to tell him how much I think of him as an actor and comedian. I tend to respect the privacy and time of other people, though I’m pretty sure he would have humored me. As he left he gave me a parting gift – a single malasada from Leonard’s Bakery.
If you don’t know what a malasada is, it is a fried Portuguese pastry. Kind of like a fried donut with no hole. It’s not like he bought it for me; he probably ate a few from the box already and didn’t want to carry the last one with him but, like most people, didn’t want it to go to waste either. So he gave it to me. And I accepted it. (I also accepted a tip from him which we are not supposed to do, but he insisted and you just don’t tell Bill Murray “No”.)
So that’s my story. Nothing miraculous. No crazy photo. No autographed malasada box. But meeting Bill Murray totally made my day and I will never forget it.
And that malasada? Well it’s sitting here in front of me and, even after 8 hours, it still smells great and I want to eat it hoping that since it was given to me by Bill Murray that it is somehow infused with his greatness and by ingesting it I will somehow absorb some of its power.
But I’ll probably preserve it in acrylic or epoxy or something and put it on my shelf. I’m pretty sure that if it has magical powers I can still benefit from it that way as well.
I will always cherish my Bill Murray Malasada. It has already inspired me to get back into comedy. I’m not talking about being a stand up comedian or being in movies. I just like making people laugh – my family, my co-workers, anyone that will tolerate my strange sense of humor. Because at the end of the day I think that’s all Bill Murray is trying to do. He’s trying to put a smile on our face. Bill Murray, I love you man!