Hail: we had HAIL last Wednesday. The storm that raged from Chicago to Maine hit us here on Long Island as a 30-minute pounding of wind, monsoon, and HAIL. Of course, Yours Truly was out in it, experiencing the weather so I could write about it in my journal (weather: the single most interesting part of a journal– as long as you describe what its impact on your normal routine is because that is what readers 100 years from now will want to know trust me: I’ve read hand-written diaries and when it comes to weather, I want to know what they did 100 years ago when it HAILED…should I make this another whole different post?).
Anyhoo. I was out there, in the lightning and thunder, and then the HAIL hit. Hail is the most science-fiction kind of weather we get on earth…except for all the other kinds of weather. Lightning? Rainbows? Sun sets? Are they not, like, utterly fictional if we didnt’ see them with our own eyes??
But I digress. Altho there was much damage to the west and north of us, (mayor of Bridgeport, CT, wants the Feds to declare his city a National Disaster after this storm) here on Middle Egg this was the only damage that I saw with mine own eyes:
But, dear readers, this is not why I am blogging this week.
The thing that’s put a bug up my butt this week is this red hot happenings from my own dear Long Island Newsday (newspaper) Blog about the hometown Crazy Train that is Lindsay Lohan and her mom (Dina):
Yesterday we heard straight from Dina Lohan that she was turned away at a Carvel ice cream outlet for attempting to get a free birthday cake for her son by using a lifetime free ice cream card in her daughter Ali’s name. Dina claimed that she had her own card, but had left it at home, and she became outraged when a clerk confiscated the card and called the police. She hilariously added that her family was “treated so much worse than regular people,” and sneered “wait until Lindsay and Ali hear about this.”
Carvel has responded to this incident, and their statement is very matter of fact and basically takes Dina to task. They say that they only gave cards to Ali and Lindsay, and that the cards state that the holder must be present to get free ice cream. What’s more is that the cards clearly say that no more than $25 in free ice cream can be obtained in a week. Carvel ice cream cakes run about $30 and up. Plus, Carvel points out that Dina is the one who called the cops to get her card back, and they didn’t just “show up” like she claimed.
As part of Carvel’s 75th Anniversary celebration last year, we issued 75 Black Cards to celebrities. These cards were issued in the celebrity’s name and require the card holder to be present at the time of use. Many celebrities have enjoyed their cards at our CarvelIce Cream shoppes and have shared their excitement with being included in the celebration.
Unfortunately, the Lohan family has been abusing the card. While the card was issued in Lindsay and Ali’s names only, their extended family has repeatedly used the card without either present. At first, we graciously honored their requests while explaining that the Black Card was not a carte blanche for unlimited Carvel Ice Cream for the extended Lohan family and friends. After more than six months of numerous and large orders for ice cream, we finally had to cut off the card and take it back.
Dina Lohan reacted badly and called the police to have her card returned. The police responded and did return the card to Dina with instructions not to use it again.
This is an unfortunate situation where certain people feel entitled to use a celebrity’s name for their own purposes. We regret that the Lohan family is upset and hope this matter is put behind us quickly.
This incident got me to thinking about the most obnoxious celebrity I ever met. You may or may not know that I, Yours Truly, have held many a lowly service industry job in my time, various retail and “hospitality” industry jobs that is, and I have had my own Carvel Ice Cream-type run ins with famous people. While I have nothing bad to say about Steve Martin or Mick Jagger (both who showed up at the B. Dalton’s on Fifth Avenue where I was working and very, very politely asked about getting help finding a book), I DO have something to say about Telly Sevalas.
Telly Sevalas: What a creep.
I was working at the front desk at the ITT/Sheraton/Saint Regis Hotel on Fifth Ave. in Manhattan in 1988. I wore a uniform (OK. It was a tuxedo, but still: I had to pay union dues and I had to hope to get over time or holiday pay to put anything in my savings account) and I was supervised by a series of title-happy, Go-By-The-Book (and really: there WAS a book) assistant managers from the Eastern Block who resented having to work their way up in Amerika when they were PRINCES for god’s sake in their own forlorn homelands behind the Iron Curtain….
Anyhoo. It’s a Sunday night and Telly Savalas strolls in. I am at the front desk and I check him in and I ask the usual check-in question: And which credit card, Mr. Sevalas, will you be using for your stay?
And Telly just stands there, exahales, and, as if he had the weight of the world on his shoulders, shakes his head. “No, darling,” he says to me. “No.”
I decide to let the moment hang in the air. I’m kind of an expert when it comes to passive-aggressive customer service at this point in my life because I’m 32 years old and have been under-employed MY WHOLE FREAKING LIFE. And I’ve met other, better, celebrities before; worlds better than this has-been homely TV celeb.
He’s still shaking his head. I wait until he says something. “Check with your CEO,” he says; “I NEVER have to give my card at a Sheraton hotel,” he tells me.
Turns out that Telly, being of Greek extraction, is like the most famous Greek-American in America and so, is like a freaking PRINCE amoung Greek-Americans and the ITT CEO (I forget his name, but I know his twin brother used to turn up at the St. Regis drunk ) is Greek-American, so Telly gets to stay at any ITT/Sheraton hotel for free. But I had not gotten the memo that informed all staff members of this and had personally insulted Mr. Sevalas by asking him to withdraw his credit card from his wallet because, apparently, it’s a big horrible burden to Mr. Sevalas to have to check into a hotel LIKE A NORMAL PERSON.
So Telly then gives me a whole lecture about WHAT a great FRIEND he is of the ITT CEO, who by the way IS MY BOSS, and don’t I know who he is? Etc., etc., etc.
Well, I got a groveling assistant manager to smooth things over eventually, but even now, all these years later, I still wonder. Why did Telly Sevalas have to go to all that trouble to impress a lowly front desk clerk with his VIP status at Sheraton hotels? Why didn’t Telly just hand over his credit card and call the hotel manager’s office in the morning and let them straighten out the room charges? Why did he feel the need to educate me on his importance? (Well, I think we all know the answer. Because Telly Sevalas is/was a DICK.)
I wonder this because, at that same hotel, I had the pleasure of checking in so many other, purely delightful celebrities, who never made a big deal over their exalted status as Special Human Beings on the Scale of Famousness.
Paul Hogan, AKA Crocodile Dundee: extremely, other-worldly handsome in person, genuinely polite and gracious. Really: I was surprised how much more handsome he was in person than on film.
Patty Hearst and her dad, who both waited in a long check-out line for their turn to sign their room charges. Good breeding shows.
Raymond Carver, who was so delighted that I recognized him in the check-in line (and waved him aside so I could get him out of the scrum.., hey: he’s a GREAT WRITER) that he gave me a book of his when he checked out.
Robert Wagner, a true gentleman, who spoke softly and thanked me by name when I gave him his receipts.
Richard Chamberlain, who I had a big crush on since I was 16, who needed change for his cab fare on his way out of a dinner at the hotel and made EYE CONTACT with me as I gazed adoringly at his face.
And — you won’t believe this — Sylvester Stallone. Who I’ve heard from other people can be a real prick but was sweet and unassuming when he swam into my ken. I still have a soft spot for Sylvester, for the kind way he handled the paperwork that I put in front of him, in the 1980s, when he was a big, big star and I was a girl in a uniformwith a plastic name plate pinned to my lapel.
But Telly Sevalas?? Sheesh. And now, Dina Lohan.
Get Over Yourselves. Even If You Are Dead, Mr. Sevalas.
Anybody else got some good dish on household names? I am all ears.