August 10, 2010
You have heard of Anthony Bourdain, he of NYC/chefdom/ Travel/Discovery Channel/ Author/Back of the house buccaneer/ fabulous’ness & fame/– He also travels around and does a live stand up show. Recently, I read that he was coming to my Mile High City.
Now, for two months before this I have I emailed the T/D network “contact us department” naively thinking they would pass me along to Mr. Bourdain as I have a need to speak with him, but no dice! You see, I’m questing after a cover quote for my soon to be published book for hospitality leaders and managers.
I’m trying to get to him and out of the blue he shows up on my doorstep – I think about the serendipity involved and I tell Mrs. LeBlanc, “We have to get tickets!” At this point, I have no idea how seeing him will help my cause but the sheer force of this “co-wink-i-dink” compels me. Man O’ Man, we just gotta go!
That week I happen to see one of Mr. Bourdain’s TV episodes on Montana, he drools over Jim Harrison who wrote Legends of the Fall, who is now Tony’s… (Can I call him that?) new BFF. Wait a darn minute, I have a pristine copy of 1978 Esquire Magazine, which L.O.T.F. first appeared in, as a novella, that I kept for thirty years, because I liked that story.
A week before the show the daily newspaper says AB takes questions after his show. Now, I have a plan. I will place a formal letter, politely requesting a cover blurb inside the Esquire magazine and offer this “Trojan Horse” of a gift to his royal bad-boy/ness, in gratitude for gracing Denver with his presence. (Really, just a quick note of inquiry – would he read/skim my book and state that my book does not “much suck or sucks very little”, in keeping with his rough edged image and not risking his literary reputation) -
Streaming fans filled the Temple Buell Theater, distinctly resembling a Star Trek convention for hospitality workers. He runs through his shtick, poignant musings about the state of this and that, world-travelogue, out-takes on “the life”, with periodic displays of his switchblade quick wit. All this was unfolding in front of me and all I can think about is… will he do it? Will he subject himself to the potentially cretinous questions that could swallow him whole, much like the “bubble machine” surprises the “stupored” tourists in a Cancun disco?
Then he announces that he will take any and all comers! I stride up to the microphone, flanked by tattooed Boh-tribe members and foodie cultists. I wait my turn, as my stomach flits and my saliva splits. My time comes… on the fly, I stammer through a story about seeing the Montana show the week I cleaned out good ol’ Mom’s basement, and by chance would he take a gift from a stranger? BooYa! Tony says, “You bet I’ll take that…” The audience laughs… blind to the success of my mission. And somewhere an old East German-cold-war-ex-spy hoisted their glass of schnapps and said “Vell don LeBlanc’ski!”
Haven’t Heard A Thing Since…
But I will always have my “shoot for the moon” moment with Anthony Bourdain.
(Mr. Bourdain, if you happen to be lurking on FohBoh, I still have plenty of 1970’s iconography and FYI –
Ken Blanchard dug my book – if that helps sway you.)
Tags: Anthony Bourdain