I've never been able to get a finger hold in this ephemeral notion of fame. Never tasted the sweet nectar of celebrity.
For two years I've written this blog with some degree of anonymity. Sure, it wouldn't take Scotland Yard to find out who I am, but I didn't see the need to put myself out there. My name couldn't be found here, no full-face photos of me, no kids' names. But that all changed about a month ago when I started writing the small, bi-weekly column for The Commercial Appeal, "Because I Said So."
Now I'm out there. I'm out of my safe, dark closet and in the 40-watt glare of stardom. My name is Richard Alley. I have a blog.
My fame, however, is not limitless. I've been approached about the column by regulars to my shop and my kids seem to enjoy the smug, goofy grin in the paper every couple of weeks when I force them to acknowledge it.
So, essentially, I'm now recognized more in my home and for about two blocks downtown. It's a start.
I still wait on line, unable to gain entry past the velvet ropes that other local columnists, like Tim Sampson and Wendi Thomas, no doubt glide past. But I did get a personal invitation to Mr. Chuck's birthday party from Bard Cole of WKNO. It was a very nice gesture, though I, unfortunately, couldn't make it. Kristy and The Quartet went in my stead and had a lovely time.
Incidentally, I was looking forward to going because in his E-mail, Mr. Cole told me that Clifford, The Big Red Dog and Raggs would be there, and then was kind enough to explain parenthetically that these would be "people in cartoon character suits," which is good because real, giant red dogs scare hell out of me.
Then there was the old-timer who called me at work after my first column ran to let me know that my definition of a "baby boomer" - the collective name given to all those kids born at the same time because they made so much noise - was wrong. He asked that I correct it in a future column. Consider this the correction. And thanks, Patton, for making that call.
I still write for fun and to keep you all informed of what's going on with us. And, although being famous for writing a blog is like being known as the first to scale the shortest mountain alone, the money makes it so much more fun.
So if you see me in public then please say hello and I'll try to acknowledge you on the way to the VIP room at Schnuck's, the post office or Cafe Eclectic, or wherever it is the extremely high-profile people of my ilk hang out.