On one fateful eve in April of 2014, my life would be changed forever after a chance encounter with the man who brought Star Lord to life and made besties with raptors, Chris. Pratt.
But is he the man Hollywood thinks him to be?
Living in LA, it's not unusual to have encounters with people who are considerably more famous than you or anyone you know will ever be. I've stood behind Hilary Duff at Starbucks, been yelled at by Ricky Lake for recognizing her in a shopping mall, and ate lunch next to Joaquin Phoenix (though I prefer to say "with", not "next to", same thing right?). It becomes a part of daily life, and soon you learn the rules to abide by in order to not to look like an out of state tourist or a complete imbecile. Like Don't act weird around them, they are just like us! and Don't ask them for pictures when they are just out and about!, and probably the most important out of all of them, Don't interrupt them while they are out to dinner... in the middle of eating! You. Just. Don't.
Well, this is the story of when I did.
We begin with Chris Pratt pre-Guardians of the Galaxy. Buckle up for suspense, romance, action, drama like you've never seen before.
And abs...these abs...
It was a crisp evening in West Hollywood. I was the food runner for the evening at the local Hollywood restaurant I worked at. A BBQ restaurant that's a hot spot for celebrity cameos (deservedly so, it's DELICIOUS!) The evening wasn't particularly busy, and during the slow moments, I would catch a sneak peak at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards currently airing on one of our bar TV's. Suddenly, coming from a restroom break, I am stopped dead in my tracks by the object of my sweet Everwood lovin heart's affection.... Bright Abbot- I MEAN Chris Pratt. Tall, chiseled, blonde, and with a smile that rendered every single one of the girls in the place worthless.... I MEAN DID YOU SEE HIM EVERWOOD PEOPLE?! Damaged jock with a Justin Timberlake fro, I mean, HELLO!
He had obviously come straight from presenting at the MTV Movie Awards because I HAD SEEN HIM DO IT NOT 20 MINUTES EARLIER! Now, he was here, and I watched him as he was escorted to his table alone. I came to the realization I would soon inevitably come in contact with Bright-I mean CHRIS Pratt. Me, little old me! You see, I was the ONLY food runner on! When his food was ready, I would be the one to give it too him. I suddenly became very nervous, and when I get nervous, bad things happen. I laugh at inappropriate moments, and absolutely say things I shouldn't, but more than anything, i become EXTREMELY shaky...I'm like Jessie on Saved By The Bell when she took caffeine pills and acted like she was on meth...
I watched Chris as he proceeded to place his order in under 2 minutes. He was of a noble brow, but I couldn't tell if it was to be trusted. In Hollywood, you never know who you can trust, and I have had experience with diva celebrities who shall remain nameless, TRAUMATIZING experiences! As the waitress walked to her micros machine and entered his order, I stood and stared at the kitchen ticket printer like it was Channing Tatum in Magic Mike. What did he order? Brisket? No! I thought, he recently got in shape, I bet he got chicken...white meat. Suddenly the printer began to make a sound and a 2 small sheets of paper slowly revealed themselves with writing...CHICKEN! White meat only! I CALLED IT! With my small victory I was suddenly filled with an overwhelming rush if confidence and bravery! This was my chance, this was my moment to tell him how Bright was my favorite, how Everwood was canceled too soon, how much I missed his curly Justin Timberlake fro!
After a chat with my co-workers about his overall mouthwatering hotness and how all that I planned to confide in him was probably not the best idea, I decided to keep it simple, and tell him how excited I was for Guardians of the Galaxy. I knew the unspoken rule for not interrupting a celebrity's dinner, but I wasn't REALLY interrupting his dinner. I mean, after all, he couldn't even eat his dinner at all if not for me bringing it to him, being the ONLY food runner and all...without me, he would starve! So it was decided, I would bring him his meal, chicken and all, and I would speak to him. I would speak to Chris Pratt.........DING! Order up! I picked up his plate to deliver, when his waitress walked up to me and said three fateful words.
"I got it!" she removed the plate from my hand and proceeded to his table. I wallowed in self pity. Now I would never have my chance! Just when I had given up in living, another ticket printed. Chicken. White meat only. Tomatoes. Collard greens. IT WAS HIS! He had ordered a second helping! I was back in the game! I waited patiently for the ding while minutes ticked by when.. DING! ORDER UP!
I took a deep breath, straightened out my shirt, stood up tall, and reached for his bright orange plastic plate fitted with Chicken (white meat only) and 2 sides of vegetables in their own bright colored plastic containers also fitted onto the plate. I began to walk toward his window seat, the plate was fastened securely in my right hand. Step by step, my heart began to beat faster. Was he a diva that would spit in my face for even imagining I had the right to speak his name? What if he didn't like his chicken? IF HE DIDN'T LIKE HIS CHICKEN he would surely blame me like 99% of normal patrons that blame their dislike of the food they order on their servers who didn't cook it?!? That's when it happened. Something wasn't right..I had become distracted from my mission! I began to shake uncontrollably!
But it was too late! I was inches from him now! I was so close to Chris Pratt that I could see his beautiful wife Anna Faris on his IPhone screen as he facetimed her and his adorable baby son.
Pause: Seriously though, can they be any cuter?!? Facetiming in public because they miss eachother?! Relationship goals! Ok, back to the story....
Before I could turn back, Chris Pratt must have sensed my presence because he turned to look me in the eye as I held tightly onto his highly nutritious plate of freshly cooked BBQ Chicken (white meat only) and vegetables. Was it me or the food he was smiling at? No time to think, it was now or never, time was of the essence.
I spoke "Hi! BBQ Chicken, white meat only?"
My words sounded foreign in my own ears, was that English?
"Yup!" Chris responded.
Oh THANK GOD, it was English. I knew needed to speak again fast, or all of this would have been for nothing...and just like that, the words flowed out of my mouth like a symphony..."I just wanted to tell you I am REALLY excited for Guardians of the Galaxy!"
A moment passed...seemed like an eternity. It could go either way from here...he could throw the chicken at my face or thank me for being the sweetest kindest human in the world and tell me he wants to be best friends with me and invite me to his family dinners. I mean really, it could.
I held my breath, my knuckles red from clutching the plate so tightly. His eyes began to squint, the corners of his mouth began to lift, and then, he began to speak.
"Oh, Thank you!" he smiled at me as he removed the headphones from his ears and set his phone on the edge of the table....HE SAID THANK YOU... TO ME!
WARNING: If you are faint at heart, you may want to stop reading...
Unable to control my shaking, the plate in my hand began to wobble. His chicken remained still, but the vegetable filled plastic containers on top of the plate did not. No, plastic began to slide on plastic! My eyes became wide as I looked down at the plate I was slowly but surely loosing control of! WHY GOD! WHY WOULD ANYONE PUT PLASTIC ON PLASTIC! Chris made room for the plate as he awaited his feast, not knowing what was to come! NO, I thought, I can't go out this way, this wasn't how it was supposed to happen! I looked up at Chris, I could see the excitement and hunger in his eyes, and I knew I couldn't fail him now, not when he needed me most. He had probably not eaten for hours, craft tables are the worst at these awards shows, let's be real!
I knew was going down, but I wouldn't go without a fight! The plastic on plastic became more unsteady and the plate wobbled frantically. The chicken ( all white meat) was now sliding too and at any moment it all would come tumbling down to the floor or on his lap. Without thinking, I began to shove the plate onto the table in front of Chris in one swift move. The muscles in my arm tensed as I thrust the plate forward. Everything from there happened in slow motion and I could hear nothing but deafening silence. I knew I could not rest until I felt plastic hit glass, plate hit table. Then, I felt the plate make contact on the table with a clink, and I raised my eyes to meet Chris' to reassure him all was well. Relief fell over me like a wave...but I would soon learn it came too soon.
Chris' eyes left mine and darted down to the table where his plate now rests, i followed with my gaze. No, no this can't be happening....I DID IT! I PUT THE PLATE ON THE TABLE! I did not, however, account for the force on which I had put the plate on the table, and how it would alter the 2 plastic dishes of vegetables on top of the plate. I watched in horror as the plastic vegetable dishes toppled off of Chris' plate of BBQ chicken (white meat only) with their contents of roasted tomatoes and collard greens. In moments said contents would spill onto the table then proceed to his clothing and end on the floor. That's it. This is the end. I am done for. I have shamed my family. I closed my eyes and prepared for my death.
Then I heard a voice from an angel...
"Hey, look, it's Ok, see?"
I blinked my eyes open...I was still alive! Was that Chris Pratt speaking? To me? I followed his gaze to the table where he lifted the plastic vegetable containers back onto the plate. That's when i saw that the tasty contents HAD REMAINED INSIDE THEIR MULTICOLORED PLASTIC DISHES! I was afraid to look him in the eye, a peasant like me, that nearly destroyed Star Lord's long awaited feast. As our eyes met, there was no doubt he could see the redness in my cheeks and the fear in my eyes. I began apologizing frantically.
"I'm so sorry, Oh my gosh, so sorry, here let me help!" I reached for the second vegetable dish that lay on it's side, ready to cry. Before I could grab it, Chris Pratt lay his hand on it first.
"Hey! No worries. Look, nothing spilled, totally cool! All good!" He placed the dish onto his plate and proceeded to take a bite...then looked at me and smiled as he said "Thank you!".
At that moment the starts aligned and the world was righted once more. I knew, it would all be OK. With that, I returned a warm smile, and prepared for my exit.
"You're Welcome," I said. Then I turned to walk away, seeing him pick up his piece of chicken (white meat only) in the corner of my eye. I made it.
I have seen a lot in life, some good some bad, but I'm a tough cookie. It once took the amount same of anesthesia given to a 350 lb man to get me, a 120 lb girl, to go under for my wisdom teeth surgery. Like that, some moments stick with you forever. That night i was forever changed by the kindness of Chris Pratt. It felt as though we had overcome fierce odds together, that we were bonded for life. I had (inadvertently) met his family, we had (not really) shared a meal together. He could have thrown a fit, gotten me fired, humiliated me, but instead, he stood with me, calmed my storm, laughed in the face of my fears, and picked up the plastic dishes that nearly were my ruin with his bare hands. Chris Pratt was just like I imagined him; like Bright Abbot in small town Everwood, Colorado. A guy with a big heart, big smile, and always there to save the day. An all-around nice dude in Hollywood who managed not to get a big head...who would have thought?
So as Chris Pratt celebrates Jurassic World's record shattering MILLION dollar opening weekend, I reflect. It's not everyday you meet your heroes, no. I wish I could have snapped a picture with him, but the time just wasn't right. All I have to remember this day is this Facebook post... and I will cherish it forever.
Oh, hey Chris, by the way, Guardians of the Galaxy was AWESOME.
See Jurassic World is in theaters worldwide NOW!