Frightening Robin Williams

I was asked who was the most famous person I’ve ever met. That’d be Elizabeth Warren or Robin Williams.

With Robin Williams, he shopped in a software store I managed in the mid 1980s. One of my employees scared him so badly he covered the family jewels in fright. I was in the midst of giving her a disciplinary talk on appropriate behavior in the office when someone buzzed to say he was there.

“…and?” I said. “Does he want to talk to me?”
No, came the response, but I thought you’d wanna know.
I shrugged and returned to telling off my salesperson, a very tall young woman dressed head to toe in hot pink with hair that god himself wouldn’t be able to tame, I swear she had a squirrel nesting in it half the time. I mentioned who was downstairs and she gaped.

Then she jumped to her feet, bolted from the room and screamed “ROBIN WILLIAMS!! ROBIN WILLIAMS!!” Then, landing with a thump as she lept off the escalator from halfway up, she triumphantly roared “AUUUUUUTO-GRAAAAAAPHS!!”

Jesus, I woulda clutched my naughty bits too.
I caught up to her, grabbed her by the scruff of the neck and hauled her into the back room. Then I went out, apologized profusely and rang up his purchases myself… and he used a credit card. In those days of the ka-CHUNK ka-CHUNK manual carbon copy imprint machines, we required a phone number.

He lifted one eyebrow on the request, clearly thinking of my mentally unbalanced clerk.
“I’m sorry, I have to ask.”
Mercifully his agent was with him and gave me his work phone.
Mr. Williams never did come shopping in our store again.

With Senator Warren, nothing so dramatic. I sat next to her on a flight and we talked about sewing. I tried not to be appalled over her lack of screen protector (to prevent other people from reading what she had up). Someone else asked for a picture as we disembarked, so I did too.

Me and Elizabeth Warren on an airplane.
Really the nicest woman.

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