Q: I’m going to LA next week for the first time. If I see a celebrity in a restaurant, is it okay to say hi? Can I ask for an autograph or photo?
A: I’m not keen on asking for autographs or photos. It’s cute at Disney when little kids shyly ask Mickey for an autograph—it’s not so cute when a 35-year-old does it in Nobu. Unless a celebrity is doing a meet-and-greet where they’re expected to do this, leave them alone. Besides, you’ll get enough mileage out of posting “In Pinkberry with Bono and the entire cast of Twilight” as your Facebook status; you don’t need to make them all scribble on a napkin.
There are times, however, when it’s totally fine to talk to a celebrity. If you’d converse with a non-famous stranger in the same situation (e.g., you’re seated beside them on a plane or sharing an elevator), go ahead and chit-chat a bit. But it’d be weird to walk across a crowded restaurant to speak to a random stranger, right? Then you shouldn’t do it if you spot Lady Gaga at IHOP.
Finally, if you do talk to a celeb, don’t babble on and on about how much you adore them. Let’s leave that to 14-year-olds obsessed with the Jonas Brothers, okay?
Q: I was on the redeye and the guy sitting next to me snored the entire way. It was so loud I couldn’t sleep. What could I have done?
A: I’ll take a crying baby over a high-decibel snorer any day. At least babies are cute.
Next time, pack good earplugs or noise-canceling headphones. Snoring isn’t something most people can control, but you can try to muffle it so it bothers you less. And snorers, just as parents shouldn’t book a flight at their baby’s fussiest time of day, you should try to avoid the redeye.
Q: Why can’t people walk on the left and stand on the right on moving sidewalks in airports?
A: That’s sort of like asking why my cat runs around like he’s possessed at 3 am. I haven’t the foggiest idea! It’s not a hard concept to grasp. Some airports actually make announcements, or put up signs, and people still don’t comply. So if you’re walking, but someone’s blocking the entire walkway with 20 pieces of luggage, just say “Excuse me, may I get by?” And FYI, the same thing goes for escalators. If you’re standing, stand on the right with your carry-on in front of or behind you. It’s a little awkward but better than getting plowed into by someone running to catch their plane.
by Lesley Carlin
© 2009, originally published by Scripps Howard News Service