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When Famous People Meet

I had dinner last night with Nigel. Yes, that’s right… THE Nigel. The one from Australia. The one in the link column. He’s in Washington D.C. for a conference. He emailed me a while back and we arranged to meet for dinner. Last night he was staying in a hotel right next to IKEA in College Park, and I mean literally right next to. I knew exactly where that was, of course, having been to the College Park IKEA several times. I even got my kitchen sink from there.

Anyway, neither of us knew where to go for dinner, so we just drove down the road. We looked for an Outback Steakhouse, because how ironic would that have been? But we couldn’t find one, so we ended up back next to the hotel at a Buffalo Wild Wings. I figured that would give Nigel another American food experience. It was a sports bar, and it was packed. Most of our conversation went like this: Nigel: “It’s really noisy in here!” Me: “What?”

Actually, our conversation was really funny. Having read each others websites, we had to talk about non-website things. It was a fun challenge. And his accent made everything sound terribly important.

Then it got REALLY noisy. A football game had just started. Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles scored at the beginning of the first quarter and the cheers were deafening; the place was full of Eagles fans. It was some kind of gathering place for them or something.

We wanted to leave, but our server was nowhere in sight. Nigel wandered around until he found someone who would help us. In all the confusion, I didn’t get anyone to take our picture, so I don’t really have proof that all this happened. But I’m pretty sure it wasn’t an hallucination…

I took this picture as I was heading home.  Some impolite person drove in front of my camera.


  1. Nigel

    Genius post.
    My accent making everything I say sound important made me laugh and laugh. I will pinch that.
    As you drove off I realised we had forgotten to get a pic of us together. This is annoying however many historic first meetings fail to have evidence, I guess. Certainly the troglodytes watching the football weren’t aware of the history being made in the corner of the sports bar with the server who disappears better than
    Harry Potter
    Excellent to meet you my friend. I look forward to the next (quieter) encounter.
    My take on the meeting in my blog tomorrow. (I am behind as ever)

  2. Lauren

    Ha! That is hilarious!! Nigel, I’m glad you got to experience how insanely loud Americans we (not me – the football-loving ones) can be, and how extremely deaf Brad is. 🙂

    That is so crazy! Off to Nigel’s site….

  3. Michele

    Nigel – I’m so glad to hear that Brad didn’t just bring along a book for you to read to him with your award-winning accent! He mentioned yesterday how cool that would be.

    Brad – Outback Steakhouse – ha!

    • Nigel

      HA! I’d have read him a book. Thats funny. He could have recorded a talking book for you guys who like the accent so much.
      When i speak to people they think I’m from Virginia. They are either puilling my leg or really geographically challenged.

      • Carol

        Oiw, Hon! We’s guys know from accents aw-right. But ‘lessin’ Virginia is b’tween Hamden ‘n Hollan-town, ‘fraid I can telp ya’ much wiff jog-ra-fee. ( N.b. It’s not easy typing in Bawlmer-ese!)

  4. Brent

    Nigel, I’ve spoken to Australians a couple of times and asked them if they understand just how wonderful your accent sounds to American ears. It makes you sound exotic and intelligent.

    So do we sound correspondingly boring and ignorant with our flat drawl? It must be hard to take us seriously…

    • Peggy

      I’ve often thought that myself…are our accents cool…or gross?

      My son Matt goes to school with people all over the country…all over the world….and the word he gets most made fun of is … bathroom….which really suprised me. Now I won’t say that word anymore.

      • Nigel

        Peggy, if you sound like Brad, albeit in Female form, you sound excellent.
        Bathroom…they want him to say toilet? The word most cuasing consternation for me over here is macrame. Read this if you havent already:
        This has caused much discussion. Then we got into the pronounciation of bouy and quay which we pronounce boy and key.
        It is amazing how one language can be interpreted so liberally.

    • Nigel

      It amuses me you find the Australian accent exotic and intelligent. I find it kind of twangy myself and our inflection at the end makes us sound like we’re constantly asking questions.

      And no, not boring and ignorant. Depending on the area the American accent can sound positively mind numbing to downright sexy. This is what you get when you have a country that has fifty different countries inside it.

  5. Peggy

    I thought Nigel was someone you went to college with who moved away to the land down under…like several of your other friends who moved to another country. Hmpf.

    I agree….the accent is to die for! Did you record him Brad?

    And Nigel…do you eat vegemite sandwiches?

    • Nigel

      He could have tried to record me but you wouldn’t have been able to hear a word. Sports bar – not conducive to deep and meaningfuls.
      I do eat vegemite on toast. Its a VERY aquired taste and if you dont prepare yourself it will taste like you are eating acid. I brought some for my American guests and told them to use a little on anything till they get used to it. It’s lovely but I can understand how people wouldnt think so.
      Next time I meet the Brad I will ensure he has a jar to bring to school.

  6. J. Wesley Thompson

    Oh Lord!. Newbies to the accent of Oz. Now when Nigel Gareth Vanstone return to North Carolina on Friday, I will surely have to leave the sun roof back, not unlike Homer does for Marge Simpson. His head will need the room!

    He keeps telling people he is from Virginia and you know Southerners, we just smile, or give of Southerner look of amusement and say “oh how nice”, and secretly wonder if his risperdal needs a dosing adjustment.

    • Nigel

      You’re right, Wesley. That did make me giggle.
      My accent remains fabulous though.

  7. kerrie anne brown

    OOOhhhhh, hullo Brad, Nigel told his loyal followers to come over and leave you a few lines.Firstly I am glad we sound exotic to some.Robin Williams doesn’t think so, but I will bask in that glory of exoticism !!! I am glad that Nigel has experienced the rough and tumble of the footy crowd of America, because it will prove beneficial the next time he is dragged along to an AFL match back here in Adelaide .I don’t like the sound of some Americans , but I don’t know where they come from, but for the most part it sounds O.K to me.Well thats about all from down under…..See ya

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