So, I am in Northern Virginia the other day, and, as is par for the course, I got wicked hungry. I decided to try one of those new mandarin orange/chicken salads at Wendys. I picked a relatively inauspicious location right off US 50 and 495.
I walk in and face a fairly sizable lunchtime crush. Unlike most fast food establishments, there was a crush of women in line, most with digital cameras or waving their picture phones around like Charlie running through the village with his Golden Ticket.
They were aiming their devices at a white guy behind the counter. While considering most fast food establishments in Northern Virginia have more racial diversity than a Bennetton ad, but fewer white folks than a gangsta rap label, I too was shocked to see a honkey. This honkey was different, though - he had spiky hair, and a goofy smile. He looked rather out of place amongst the typical Wendy's crew. Manager trainee, perhaps? Corporate partner visiting the unwashed masses? A trim, 6-foot tall white guy in a sea of spanish-speaking immigrants - dude stuck out like Yao Ming in day care.
I asked one of NoVA's typical women - mid-30s, overstyled hair, a mamma can wedged into sorority girl pants, snotty attitude - who is that guy? She looked at me, and in a voice that's a combination of Fran Drescher and a Valley Girl (and any guy in the metro area knows she's not the only one with that voice), says "You know what? That's Bill Rancic." I said "Oh, ok..." She cut me off "You know? The first season winner of the Apprentice?" She breathed in that disgusted manner endemic to snotty bitches all over the globe, and finished with "He's so handsome." Several other women like her nodded in agreement, and immediately synchronized their cycles.
Now, Bill Rancic won the Apprentice, and he gets to hang with Donald Trump. He was on a tv show, made some good coin doing it, and is now working at a Wendy's. Well, the dude who played Oswald on The Drew Carey Show was on TV, made some good coin doing it, and might be working at a Whattaburger on the Sunset Strip for all we know. Oswald, though, has had a relatively decent career in commercials, movies (Office Space, baby!) and a few other guest spots on TV shows. He has residuals to fall back on. Bill Rancic is now handing out Bacon Cheddar Classics and Frostys in Virginia.
As luck would have it, as I waited in line, I just happened to end up in Billy Boy's line. He's a tall guy, and his spiky 'do adds a couple of inches. Gray suit jacket, unbuttoned collar on a white shirt. Big smile, really trim, and he took my order. Seeing as how all these women were ovulating in his presence, I knew I had to take my chance. I had to show these women that the cult of celebrity is not worth worshipping. I had to stand up for those of us men without a reality show to boost our fame and exposure. I looked him dead in the eye, and said "Man, I knew the job market was tough, but couldn't they have made you an assistant manager, or something? You coulda called, I'd get you an interview somewhere, sheesh..."
Zinger, baby. Zinger.
He laughed, and not entirely in that fake Hollywood way, either. He said "No, it's not that bad. We're filming a commercial here today. What would you like for lunch?"
I then noticed the BIG cameras. I meekly ordered the orange chicken salad thingy. I'd have felt weird ordering a burger and fries in front of the Apprentice. Wouldn't want him to get on the hotline to the Trump - "I have the smartass targeted, sir...No, he ordered the burger and fries... He didn't biggie size it, though. What's that, kill him anyway? Yes sir. Rancic out."
He turned to get my diet soda, and his handler said to him "That actually was pretty funny" and Bill said "yeah, that was. Funny." in two sentences, fully secured my lid on the soda, a rarity in any establishment, and processed my order correctly, succinctly and efficiently. He smiled as he gave me my meal, and told me to have a nice day. I thanked him, and wished him luck avoiding the throng of NoVA career women. He laughed again, and processed the next person's order, correctly, succinctly and efficiently.
I gave him a 100% for service on my comment card, but commented that he was out of uniform.