Saturday, October 11, 2014

Brush With Greatness


Something light
for a rainy Saturday

Brush With Greatness

What makes people famous?

Why of course... we do!

We go to great lengths to get a simple autograph, or perhaps even a photo of someone

who we deem famous.

That’s what makes famous people famous!

Without us, they would have no fame, and probably no fortunes to go along with that fame, regardless of their talents.

But don’t be one of those people who become jealous or dislike others because of their fame. Hey, if someone is willing to put it all on the line and risk everything they have, well then,

they deserve every bit of that fame
and fortune they receive.

So don't you dare begrudge them of any of it.
Because c’mon, honestly, you know that at
one time or another we've all wanted
that spotlight to shine on us.

Deep down, we want the attention.

I think about it all the time. I’m sure you guys have thought about it as well from time to time.

That spotlight seems to transform ordinary people into Gods, and as soon as I see that person drenched within that light, my legs

turn to rubber. I'm such a douche head!

Even to this day, no matter how much I tell myself that I’m not going to get excited over a celebrity or a high profile athlete, I still lose my mind when I see one. I reiterate... douche head!

I’m like a deer in headlights. Again!
Just like in boot camp, when I had to
answer those stupid questions.

But really, let’s face it; most celebrities are a little special. I mean anyone who can put up with all of the public scrutiny, invasion of privacy, and hectic lifestyle, has to be a passionate muthafucker!

Just take a look at how thin our own skin is. How do you feel when some asshole comes up to you, and says...

Oh wow!
Puttin’ on a few pounds, huh?

You know that you just wanna punch that dick right in the fuckin’ face, regardless

if he’s telling the truth or not.

Now, magnify that by probably a million, and that’s how it must feel living your life

in the public’s eye.

So, if someone’s talent brings me enjoyment, then yes, in my eyes that person is a celebrity, and should get treated differently.

But that’s just my way of thinking. You guys 'n girls might have a totally different viewpoint and opinion. But, c’mon, if you girls out there bumped into Orlando Bloom, or Leonardo DiCaprio,

you wouldn’t lose your minds?

Of course you would!

You’d pat dry the dripping urine from their dicks, after they’ve just taken a leak, if you could!

And, you know you would!

Or, for you sports fanatics. Imagine if

Joe Montana threw you a pass. Or, you caught one of those towering homeruns that
Mark McGuire hit. You would shit yourself
you’d be so excited.

And hey, you might even be into that dripping urine thing too, I don’t know.

Believe me, I’ve just about done that myself on a few occasions. Shit myself that is, you knuckleheads, shit myself! Not the urine thing.

So okay, get'chor score cards out, and lets see just how your friend Tommy Mondello holds up during a brush with greatness.

But I must warn you; the embarrassment you’re about to feel for me may cause your balls to shrivel up into your stomach,

and totally disappear.

And, I don’t know what happens to you women in these situations, but hang on to those

titties just in case. Ya never know!

Well, I guess we could start with a few of my sports hero's from the New York Giants.

First there was Carl Banks.

Carl Banks #58 New York Football Giants

He was a great linebacker for the New York Football Giants. Probably not so popular and famous to most of you, but in my world,
he was up there.

We found out that he was appearing at our local J.C.Penny’s store to sign autographs. So my ex wife Lynn and I shot right up there,

with video camera in hand.

When we arrived, I believe that there were a few kids already on line. Well, if you could even call it a line. It was a pretty funny sight.

There we were, Lynn, myself, and about five or so other ten year olds, waiting on line to see

Carl Banks… our football hero!

Man, I stuck out like a nerd at a geek check!

Finally, Carl arrived. My hands got all sweaty, and my heart began to pound. Lynn went first,

and then it was my turn.

I looked at Carl, and said

Can I shake that hand?

Man, can I come up with those one-liners

under pressure, or what?

Can I shake that hand.

Oh man what a loser... LoL
My ankles were swollen I was so nervous. It was pretty hilarious. I was fumbling with the video camera, and tripping over my words all at the same time. The guards couldn’t move me along fast enough. See ya later Carl!
Thanx for the autographed picture!!

My autographed photo of Carl Banks

But not every encounter was that disastrous.

I fared a little better when we got to meet
Harry Carson, yet another great linebacker
from the New York Giants.

Harry Carson #53 New York Football Giants

And another hero of mine.

This time it was at a local Shop Rite store in Sayreville, New Jersey. And again, Lynn and I jumped on the opportunity.

But before we went inside the store, we waited at the entrance to meet a friend of ours, Olevia.

She was a huge Giants fan also. Hey liv!!

Anyway, Olevia was late, so we went in

to see big Harry without her.
And man... he was fuckin' huge!

When we walked up to the designated area, there was only a short line. So within minutes

we got to meet our hero.

He signed a few photos for us including one I snapped of him and his teammates at Giants stadium in 1996 while he was speaking at halftime during the 10 year reunion game
for the Superbowl champion 1986 team.

Harry Carson & 1986 Superbowl team at 10 year reunion Giants stadium 1996

And then it was time for me to talk.

Ut ohh!

And this is what I said...

Wow, I saw you guys at the reunion game. Some of you guys really put on some weight, huh?

What the fuck is wrong with me??

This guy could’ve kicked King Kong’s ass for goodness sake, and here I was insulting him,

and his teammates.

I didn’t really mean him, though. He was as solid as a rock. I only meant some of his teammates. But he took it all in stride.

Harry just calmly looked up to Lynn, and said,

Let’s see what kinda shape he’s in
when he gets to my age!

Smiling the whole time, of course!

But you know he really wanted to just

swat me away like a fly.

I then asked if he could sign a photo for a friend since she was late, and he gladly agreed to do so.

We got to talking about Olevia, and it turned out that she had already been to the store, and had met Harry. This was even before the store had set up for the event, because she had

to make it into work on time.

As I was describing her to Harry,

and saying how much of a fan she was,
he cut me off in mid sentence.

Wait, was she a cute girl?
And her name was Olevia?

I responded with a yes to both questions!

He then informed us that she had already been there and ate half of his shrimp platter during their meeting. And judging by his reaction to her, they practically had fuckin’ sex

right there on the table. LoL

I say this, because as soon as he found out that we knew Olevia, he immediately warmed up to the both Lynn and myself even more so.

He actually let us walk around the table
to take photos with him.

Harry Carson signing autographs 1997
Tommy Mondello getting Harry Carson to autograph his 1986 Giants book
Where Harry signed my book
Tommy & Lynn with Harry Carson. Harry's hand is almost as big as Lynn's head... he was huge! Awesome!

Even after my verbal assault upon him
and his teammates. It was great!

I was standing next to him doing bodybuilder poses, as he just looked to Lynn, as to say...

Yeah right!
Look at Penis Boy over here!
My dick is bigger than any muscle
on his entire body!

Tommy Mondello making a dick out of himself... again... LoL

Man, it was so cool.

He didn’t get up for anyone else but Lynn and myself. The other people that were now on line behind us were actually taking photos of all three of us with their own cameras.

We were fuckin' rock stars! LoL

Oh, but not big enough stars for him to offer us any shrimp, though. Maybe next time I’ll ask Lynn to kiss him a few times. I bet we get some fuckin’ shrimp then! But hey,
I’ll take the photos for now.
(And since Lynn is now my ex...
I'll be buying my own fuckin' shrimp as well... LoL)

Speaking of fame.
My one and only appearance on television
was during a taping of Howard Stern’s
channel 9 TV show and radio broadcast
back on February 5, 1991.

The Howard Stern Channel 9 TV show with Robin Gary Fred & Jackie

Okay, so you could really only see my profile. But if you’ve ever seen that before, then you know, there would be no mistaking it!

(At the 6:16 mark you begin to hear a distinct voice yelling "Howard". And then you see my fist and right arm extending out with a green jacket. Then you see me to the right of the screen.
But don't blink... my 15 minutes of fame
were more like 5 seconds... LoL)

I was driving into Manhattan for work one day, listening to Howard on the radio as usual. They were talking about a bet that Howard had made with Leonard Marshall, who was yet another great New York Giants football player.

Well, the bet was that if the Giants won the superbowl that year (1986), that Howard would have to shine his shoes and then

kiss Leonard’s ass in public!

I mean literally kiss it in public, out on the sidewalk in front of the radio station.

And as luck would have it, the service call I was heading to was only about five blocks away from the station. I tell you... it was destiny calling.

I drove up there as fast as I could, parked the car, and ran over to the station. When I got to 600 Madison Ave, only myself, and two other faithful losers… oh, oh, I mean listeners,

were present.
(3:45 mark)
there were hundreds of fans looking on.

The crowd spilled out into the street creating even more chaos. It was so cool and the event even made the evening news.

How ‘bout this one,

for you old-time wrestling fans.

I got to meet one of the all-time great names in pro wrestling, Lou Albano… The Captain!

The Captain... Lou Albano pro wrestler.

But believe me, I was no boost to his ego on this night. I froze-up in those damn headlights once again, and launched an utterly ridiculous question at The Captain.

I walked up to him
and began to shake his hand.

Now, did I say...Hello?


Did I say...
that it was a thrill to meet him?

Of course not!

I didn’t even say...
Wow, its Lou Albano!

Fuck no!

All I said was...
Hey, so where’s Chief Jay Strongbow?

Chief Jay Strongbow pro wrestler.

Oh my goodness.
Once again, I was the dick!

The chief was another old-time wrestler

who fought during the same time
as the Captain did and one of my favorites.

I mean, I didn’t even say hello to the poor guy. Nerves of Steel, strikes again!

I also unofficially hung out with comedian

Jackie Mason for a few moments.

Comedian Jackie Mason

And I say unofficially, because well, I wasn’t really invited to hangout with him.

You see, I was walking up Fifth Ave in Manhattan, and noticed him talking to what seemed to be friends, and not just fans.

I mean, they were talking as you and I would. No autograph signing going on or any of that

other admiration type stuff.

So, I got curious, and wondered to myself just what the hell do famous people talk about?

Well, I made a quick U-turn and parked myself about fifteen feet from the conversation.

I stopped, and leaned up against the building, like I didn’t have a care in the world.

But there was one problem.

I couldn’t hear what the fuck was being said.

So, just like in the classrooms of DeVry, I began to hum the Mission Impossible theme song

in my head, and began to inch my way
closer to the fella's.

Inch by inch, I shimmied myself along the building wall towards them. It was hilarious!

I got within about 6 feet of them, but then, just chickened out. I began to notice a few concerned glances coming my way. And since I didn’t wanna be taken out for trying to eavesdrop on Jackie Mason. I stood my ground

and didn't try to get any closer.

So, I just hung out there against the wall for about a good ten minutes or so, and let people think, that I was with them.

And no, I never really did get a good ear to their conversation, because of traffic noise and such.

Maybe next time I’ll grow a pair, and just go join the conversation. Oh oh, without humming the Mission Impossible theme, of course!

Oh wait!

How about Tom Hanks!

Tom Hanks in the movie Big

Fuckin A, I almost met him.

I got a wave from him anyways.

You see, it was during the taping of the movie, Big. I was driving on a crowded, slow moving 14th St in Manhattan, when I noticed all of the cameras and lighting equipment on the sidewalk.

I scanned the scene like Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator, seeking out

any famous targets.

And bang, there he was!

Tom Hanks.

So, I began yelling out the window of the car 

Fuckin’ Tom Hanks!
Hey Tom fuckin' Hanks!”

I was on the opposite side of the street, so I had to yell several times, but my tenacity paid off.

I finally got his attention, and he actually

turned my way, smiled, then gave me
one of those, now famous, silly
Forrest Gump waves back.

It was really exciting. I know it was only a stupid wave, but it all happened so fast that… that… that… crap, I just lost my train of thought! Shit! But believe me, it was really cool.

Finally, I saved the most humiliating for last.

I bumped into Donald Trump at a gathering held at the All-Star CafĂ© in Manhattan. That’s right, the Donald Trump!

Donald Trump

It was at a fundraiser for the
Hunter's Hope Foundation that Buffalo Bill’s quarterback, Jim Kelly, created for his son Hunter. And believe me, being at this event was an explosive wet dream for any sports fan.

Jim Kelly arriving at the Hunter's Hope Foundation fundraiser at the All-Star Cafe Jan, 15 1998

We were rubbing elbows with some really big named people within the sports world,
who we thought, were going to be cool.
But it turned out, that not all of them were.

We found that several of the players were very cold, and actually seemed to be looking down upon us. Real jerkoff's! But most of them
were really great.

Bare with me here for a moment before I unload my Trump debacle, and lemme do some
name dropping from the event.

We met Jason Sehorn
from the New York Giants.
He was great!

He let Lynn take a photo with him,
and then made fun of me,
as I nervously ruined the first shot by
leaving the camera strap in the frame.

He turned to Lynn and said…
Oh man, look at him.

He then told me to relax,
and to take another photo.
(Nervous Nelly Unger
portraits a specialty!
For you Odd Couple fans!)

Jason Sehorn & Lynn as I fuck up the photo
Jason Sehorn makin' fun of me for fuckin' up the first photo... he was so cool!!

We talked with Chris Berman, from ESPN.
You know... (Back, back, back, back…)
He was really funny and very gracious.

Chris Berman... back back back back... he was really cool!

Oh yeah, we stood right next to the
great one himself, Wayne Gretsky.
I was too chicken to say anything to him though, as he was having a conversation with someone. Look at me, being shy!

Wayne Gretzky in the center, Jim Kelly on the right and I can't remember the guy on the left

And then we talked to Bruce Hornsby for about ten minutes. He was really great. He talked about how he toured with the Grateful Dead
and other cool stuff about music.

Bruce Hornsby... he was awesome!

Dan Marino was a real douche bag. He saw me lining up a photo of him from about 50 feet or so away, and at the last second jerked his head so I couldn't get the shot. He was really a hero of mine that went right up in flames
the second that happened. Fuck him.

But I still got a few shots of him regardless!

Dan Marino... aka... DICK!

Another huge asshole was Troy Aikman.

He just flat out refused to even acknowledge Lynn as she approached him. And he was all alone at the time too. We were in an isolated part of the room close to the restrooms.
And yes, he was exiting the restroom!

It was so horrible to witness.

I wanted to punch the shit outta that dick. But since he was like 12 feet tall, he was huge, I just yelled out calling him an asshole as he got on the elevator leading up to the balcony.

That's where most of the upper echelon, high end superstar assholes hung out so us mere mortals couldn't bother them.

But this was what they were there for, to engage with the people. This was after all,
a charity event. A mingling event!

Every one there donated a decent chunk'a change per person to mingle with these greats.
They should have been a lot more
inviting and gracious than what they were.

I mean, this wasn't us running up to them while they were at dinner with the family. It was a function meant, for them to mingle.

Well... another FU to Troy Aikman for making my then wife upset. You were her favorite athlete of all time. I didn't even bother to take a single photo of that dick!

Junior Seau, Bernie Kosar, Andre Reed,
Tony Dorsett, Charles Oakly, sportscaster
Len Berman and Buffalo Bills coach Marv Levy were all very cool as well.

Junior Seau as I marvel how huge his fuckin' hand was... LoL... I'm such a douche...
Bernie Kosar... really inviting and so polite to both Lynn & myself
Andre Reed... great guy!
Tony Dorsett... warmed up to us after a few seconds! Very cool!
Len Berman... was really fun and inviting!
Coach Marv Levy was very happy to snap a few pics with us... very cool!
Gigantic Charles Oakley of the New York Knicks

There were so many other's that I can't recall at the moment. But by far the most comical moment of the night, occurred during my brief encounter with Donald Trump.

Personally, I think he’s great, and should be the envy of every living man. So, when he came walking my way, out came
the fucking deer in headlights.

Man, I got so nervous. I didn’t want to shake his hand, because I read that he really doesn’t like to do that in public which is fine with me,
but I had to do something.

I mean, this was Donald Trump.
I’ll never be within inches of him again, ever!

I had to make my mark, and leave him with a lasting impression. And so, I said it!

I came up with the most profound thing that I could think of at the time. Now just listen to me set the Mondello name back a hundred years.


I said...
Hey Donald,
great building buying!

Oh... my... goodness...
just take me out to the back
and have me horse whipped!

Am I a choker, or what?
I didn’t say, hello Donald,
or even, hello Mr. Trump!
I said, Great fucking building buying!

What the fuck does that mean anyways?

Mr. Trump just looked at me in amazement, and kept right on walking. In fact, I’m sure he would’ve had me arrested on the spot if he could’ve. And you know what,
I wouldn’t have blamed him.

At least I was able to snap a quick blurry photo before he had his bodyguard
kick me in the nutz... LoL

Donald Trump as he ran away from me... lololol

Hey, I don’t know about you. But I’ve had enough of this name dropping stuff. There were many others at the fundraiser. Most very nice,
but some weren’t nice at all.

But, I’ll just let sleeping assholes lie!

But overall it was quite an amazing experience for us both.

Great fucking building buying...
why I oughta!