I think Scott Baio has had it out for me.
Ever since I ran into him at the movie theater almost a year ago — I’ve had the feeling he was looking for a way to get back at me. I had an inkling that he had read my post, been unhappy that I had made fun of his inability to validate his parking ticket, and was stalking me…much like Beverly Hills 90210‘s Ian Ziering.
Yesterday, my suspicions were validated with Scott Baio’s vengeance.
Before I reveal the truth about Baio’s horrific manners, I must also mention that this post could have easily been replaced by Ethan Embry Has Gotten Fat And Grown A Goatee To Mask It, Eric McCormack Doesn’t Comb His Hair When He Goes To The Mall With His Family and Blink 182′s Travis Barker Loves His Eggs Sunny-Side Up — three other sightings I had in the last day here in the San Fernando Valley. (McCormack, at the mall and Embry and Barker at the same diner at the same time as Baio.)
But Baio so went out of his way to make this happen for himself, that I couldn’t leave him out.
I walked into the famous Mel’s Diner in the Valley yesterday morning, hunkering for a nice hot breakfast. The way it works is you walk in, you tell the manager what you want (booth or table) and you get the next one up. There was one that had just been abandoned by the window that was getting cleaned up. The manager, of course, said that the table was mine and made sure the staff were aware.
I waited. And waited. And waited.
And just about the time that the table was about to be cleaned up, someone with an ego and a sense of self-importance looked over from his seat at the counter (with his friend) realizing that a more comfortable place to sit was opening up even though he, himself (the Baio-ster) had already settled down in his seat for his meal.
Scott Baio promptly got up, transferred the beginnings of a meal into the now-clean booth, and stole it right out from under me. When the manager came back to the counter to seat me, he turned and looked at the table — now occupied with our favorite Happy Days table-stealing star, Scott Baio.
Manager: “He just stole your table, didn’t he?”
I wondered if the manager would fall into the similar trap that many restaurant managers do here in LA when faced with a celebrity — i.e. letting them get away with it. But the manager at Mel’s Diner was not going to crumble against the wall of Baio.
Manager: “He can’t do that. That’s just…wrong.”
The manager made a bee-line for Baio at the corner booth, loudly exclaiming that Baio couldn’t take the table. That someone else had been waiting for it. That such act was bordering on treason (which he didn’t say, but I imagined that he did.) Baio looked up from the table, straight in my direction and gave me the most disgusted look ever. In the book of looks, on page 365 — it translated out to something like:
“You’re kidding me, right? You’re going to make Scott Baio get up from a table just because you think you were waiting for it in the first place? I mean, who are you? Really.”
But the manager pressed on, and Scott Baio seemingly wanted to start an argument. This table was his. He came, he sat down at the counter, he started to eat, then saw something better that he wanted, took it, and…well… What was wrong with that? But around the time that the evils of the world were boiling up inside of the Baio — a booth nearby became available and the drama subsided.
But Baio didn’t stop glaring at me throughout my entire breakfast.
Whether or not he knows it, once a person sits down and receives their morning coffee or juice at a diner’s counter, those are the seats you must stick with. Just because you see another table open up doesn’t mean it’s yours. Just because you had a guest-starring role on Arrested Development doesn’t mean your powers of celebrity-influence mean more today than 3 years ago.
I’m sorry about the validating your parking ticket post, Scott, but that’s no reason to steal my table.