I can't really say that I've had very many brushes with celebrities, at least any really notable ones. I was sitting in the lobby at the Mid-Ohio Comic Con a few years back and, upon accidentally making eye contact with David Carradine, I managed to stammer out, "Hey, how's it going?", to which he responded by winking at me on his way to the men's room. Yeah. David Carradine. "Kung Fu" David Carradine. "Kill Bill" David Carradine. Winked at me.
According to my major internet obsession Wikipedia:
The wink is an intentional facial expression made by briefly closing one or both eyes. To wink is to close and open either one or both eyelids with a rapid motion; to blink suggests a sleepy, dazed, or dazzled condition in which it is difficult to focus the eyes or see clearly. A wink is a form of semi-formal communication, which indicates shared, unspoken knowledge.
A “naughty wink” can silently indicate a shared secret, such as if a salesperson gives a customer a brochure and says, “Here you go; it’s free”. Infrequently, it may also mean “got it” or “yes, I understand”.
In Western cultures, women may wink to men they are interested in dating, but this has grown out of fashion, though still used occasionally. Winking is also done by men to women, often to convey a message of “I like what I see here” or “Hello, I am interested in getting to know one another if that is agreeable with you.”
In Latin American cultures, winking is also a romantic or sexual invitation, but can also be used a casual sign of recognition or of acceptance of behavior among friends. In Nigeria, winking is a signal for children to leave the room. Many Asians, especially Chinese and Indian women, consider winking to be rude.
I would take to time out right now to rip on whoever wrote this Wikipedia entry for their hilariously robotic sense of casual slang, but...well, I'm just not going to.
To the point, I don't mean to say that David Carradine was hitting on me, because that wouldn't make any sense; he probably just wasn't thinking about what he was doing with his face while he was politely trying to avoid talking to me. As a matter of fact, in college, I'm pretty sure I used to wink at people on a pretty regular basis for no apparent reason, which I'm pretty sure was a conversational side-effect of my ever prevalent mass ingestion of alcohol. Unfortunately, this gesture carried over, on accident, to my job working in amusement parks, and I often found myself winking involuntarily at people in situations where it could easily be considered inappropriate, especially since most of the people I was accidentally winking at were high school girls that were anywhere from five to ten years younger than me.
Me: "Hey, what's up with your cash register?"
Oblivious High School Girl: "I don't know...it kept beeping at me. That cash register hates me."
Me: "Cash registers feel no emotion and lack the cognitive capacity necessary to judge you. Here, look...judging by your log tape, you've had it set on 'void' for your last twenty-seven transactions. I'll fix it."
Oblivious High School Girl: "Oh...oh God. You're not going to write me up, are you? I'm already covering other shifts to make up for being late."
Me: "No, it was an honest mistake. Just don't do it again, or we'll have to work you (wink)."
My Inner Monologue: (Oh, no...did I just wink again? Oh, shit, did I just say 'work you' to a high school girl and then WINK? Fuck. FUCK! What the fuck is WRONG with me? How could I possibly...
Red Alert! Shields up! Port and Starboard Eyelids, blink uncontrollably. All right, good, keep it up. Right hand, jam Right Index Finger into Right Eye on my mark! And...MARK. Good. Index Finger, rub Right Eye. Dammit, be careful around that contact lens, Index Finger!
Okay, okay...that's it. Right Hand, abort the operation, I repeat, stand down. We've done all we can. All we can do now is wait.)
Oblivious High School Girl: "Okay. Thanks! Hey, what's wrong with your eye?"
My Inner Monologue: (False alarm, false alarm. Jesus, that was close. Legs, take us out of here, three-quarters maximum walking speed.)
Me: "Nothing. My contact lens has been bothering me all morning. Make sure you call if you need anything else from me (wink)."
My Inner Monologue: (DAMN IT!)
In retrospect, things like narrowly avoiding potential lawsuits because of misplaced facial miscommunications probably made me the paranoid reactionary that my employees had to deal with on a regular basis. So I have to forgive David Carradine for winking at me, because I'm just like David Carradine, except for the extensive background in Tai Chi. And the acting. And the age difference. All right, I am, admittedly, nothing like David Carradine, except for the tendency to accidentally wink inappropriately at people.
Wow. I dare myself to make less sense.