SNL alum Cheri Oteri, apparently, likes to wear a hat.
Of course, why exactly anyone wears a hat is their own business. Some of them like to wear hats because they didn’t want to take a shower. Others wear a hat because they’re going bald. Others believe that wearing a hat makes them look sporty. But yesterday at the Sherman Oaks, CA restaurant Hugo’s — Cheri Oteri was wearing a hat to make sure that no one recognized her.
Oh, Cheri. You can’t get away from me that easily.
I was standing just next to her and her “unknown breakfast partner” in the front of the restaurant — we shared a look when I walked into the establishment. It was that kind of, ‘do I know you, no I don’t, but do you know me’ kind of thing. I swear that when I glanced in her direction she lowered the bill of her hat as if she knew I had no fear in approaching her and asking her why she chose to cover up those beautiful locks of hair with a grungy old baseball hat.
I couldn’t let her down.
I sidled up next to her but pretended to be playing with my Sidekick, punching away at the keys as I turned my head to see what she was talking about. Politics? What she was going to eat for breakfast? The mating habits of South American pincher-esque beetles? Who knew. She was the crazy cheerleader on Saturday Night Live and so many other quirky characters that she was like a loose cannon.
But why was she wearing the hat? Seriously? I wanted to know. So I turned around and faced her.
Cheri Oteri: “Hi.”
She was good. She wasn’t going to give ANYTHING away. Well, I wasn’t going to even address the fact that I knew who she was if she wasn’t going to either.
Me: “So… I noticed you’re wearing a hat.”
Cheri Oteri: “Yes. I’m wearing a hat.”
Me: “Are you trying to hide from somebody?”
Cheri Oteri: “Am I trying to hide from somebody.”
Me: “Cause if you are, well, I think people probably still know it’s you. I mean, c’mon. Embrace who you are, don’t try to hide it.”
Cheri Oteri: “That’s really good advice.”
Me: “You think?”
Cheri Oteri: “Yeah, I think.”
Me: “Well, then… I say you take off that hat and you let everyone know it’s you.”
And that was about when Cheri launched into her typical, sarcastic SNL voice:
Cheri Oteri: “Yeah, no. But thanks. Really. Great talkin’ to ya. Buh-bye.”
Hell, I was just…
Me: “…trying to be there for you.”
She looked at me, looked at the person I was with (who was now shrinking back into the background), and looked to her friend who appeared to be a tad uncomfortable. It was right about then that the restaurant’s resident “I’ve got the list of names” person shouted out, “Cheri? Cheri, party of two?”
Curious, I thought, as Cheri and her friend left me in the cold. She’s wearing a hat to protect her identity yet at the same time she gave her REAL NAME to the person at the front podium. It could only mean one very startling thing:
Cheri Oteri likes to wear a hat.
There was no faux-reason for covering her noggin. She was not trying to hide from the public or cover up an unsightly female bald issue. She was not unclean or had nappy, gnarly hair. She genuinely, totally, fully just loves wearing a dingy old baseball cap. The sudden realization was both stunning and relieving.
Let no mere mortal say that WFME does not uncover the true, harsh, startling revelations.