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Loitering With Gary
1.13.2003 by Dan, every Monday.

Recently, I've been getting a lot of feedback on my column. This is unusual, since my inbox usually lacks even the tumbleweeds required to show desolation. “Hey, Dan!” they say, “Great column!” Or “Once again, another good one!” And ”Hey Dan, could you show this attached screenplay to Nathan Lane?” That's right, I was getting feedback for “Waiting With Nathan,” a column written by a completely different Dan, named Dan Beirne. My name, in contrast, is Dan Haun.

But this got me thinking, in spite of the court order the judge slapped on me to never think again after the incident in the supermarket. I'm sure you saw that on the news. But I got to thinking, shameful as it is to admit, like a television executive. And of course, all television executives are incapable of thinking originally; they must all copy what is already popular. So I thought about my own conversation with a famous person that I had recently taped, and decided to share it with you.

Tuesday, December 17, kind of cloudy, but really not so much.

Me: Wow, here I am, at the mall!

(loud crash) AAIIEEE!!

Me: Sorry about that. Looks like my shoes were untied.

Unknown Man: burble.

Me: You might want to get your head out of Chick-Fil-A's deep-fryer, sir.

Chick-Fil-A Clerk #1: Sir, You are violating restaurant policy. I'm going to have to ask you to leave.

Chick-Fil-A Clerk #2: NOOOO! He's been killed by chickeny goodness!!

(the screams fade as I go to find a quiet place to tie my shoes. I ultimately find a free bench.)

Me: Some people are so clumsy.

(at this point, someone sits down at the other end of the bench.)

Familiar Voice: Man, did you see all that craziness in the food court?

Me: Um, no, I was just browsing in, um, Victoria's Secret and- wait. Aren't you Gary Coleman?

Gary Coleman: Just call me Gary. I'm waiting for my girl to get out of Victoria's Secret myself.

Me: Wow. I always expected you to be . . . shorter.

Gary: It's all done with cameras.


Me: So, um, you ever hang out with Emmanuel Lewis?

Gary: That “Webster” kid? Why?

Me: Um, no reason.

Gary: I get asked that question a lot.

Me: (rummaging in bag) Hey, you want Mrs. Field's cookie?

Gary: Sure! I love Mrs. Field's Cookies after a great meal from Chick-Fil-A!

Me: Well, here you go then.

Gary: (Muffled from mouthful of cookie) Say, you catch that new Star Trek movie?

Me: Yeah! I really liked it.

Gary: It was pretty good, but derivative of “Wrath of Khan” in a lot of ways, though.

Me: Yeah, I noticed that. Ricardo Montalban made a better enemy than that British guy, too.

Gary: Yeah, and Khan and Kirk had history, Khan wasn't made up just for the movie.

Me: Yeah, although Patrick Stewart can actually act.

Gary: Tell me about it. (flat voice) “Genesis? What's that?”

Me: (Laughing) Khan!! KHAAAAAAN!

Gary: Man, bad as that was, you still topped Shatner.

Security Guard #1: There he is! Shoot to kill!

Security Guard #2: But we don't have guns!

Security Guard #1: Then let's yell a lot!

Me: Well, it was fun, Gary, but I have to go . . .to Pier 1 and help, er, polish the candelabras.

Gary: See you, man.

(There's about five more minutes of yelling and screaming before the tape ends)

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