To back up a little bit, it was my friend Keira Alexandra who called me - you may recall she was on the cover of Dwell magazine for her Mies townhouse a few months ago - because our friend Mitch Cope called her and said the producers told him to invite people. Mitch is one of the guys behind the $100 dollar house thing that Toby Barlow, Keira's boyfriend, wrote about in the Sunday New York Times. And AC 360 was running a piece on him during the show. So without knowing exactly what it was about we drove out to Warren to represent.
Oh yeah, Warren! The filming was at a place called J.B. Bamboozle's on 12 Mile Road across from the GM Tech Center. It was a cinderblock pub with an awning, kind of standard issue for the non-chain establishments in that area.
So Keira and I arrived and it turned out the only two seats remaining were at a table right in front. Like seriously front row. Let me be explicitly clear right here: I sat for three hours with an unobstructed view of Anderson Cooper's backside. It did not suck.
J.B. Bamboozle's was kind of a trip. First off they only had one waitress on duty for a packed restaurant, and I will tell you she was awesome. She handled everything, was speedy and kept a great sense of humor about the whole thing. We passed on the shot special, the Super Cooper ("It's Anderson Cooper's favorite shot." I'm sure.) Keira ordered wine (what kind, red or white?) in a tumbler instead of a wine glass, and they brought her a water glass full of of wine. Insane. My beer was in a gigantic mug - seriously twelve inches tall. They really don't mess around at J.B. Bamboozle's.
It was a little slow but we spent time talking with the other folks at our table (and a lot of time drinking giant drinks), one of whom turned out to be a real-life acquaintance and Facebook friend. AC was around a lot, filming little bits leading up to the show. He is a little tiny but not markedly so. And had some very nice jeans on. And his hair is fully white. I wish mine would do that, all I get is this smattering of grey.
This was our tablemate who got to ask a question. Hey Andy, sit with us!My Facebook buddy and I agreed his grey cashmere sweater was really nice. At one point AC grabbed a mike to say hi to the crowd and ask them not to act like complete boobs on television (because America already thinks you are waste of carbon). He then took questions so I got the important one in right away: where is that sweater from? He said he didn't know, but his mother had called to say it looked green on tv. Gloria!
Oh no you didn't.
Oh yes I did.The show then started and it was pretty relaxed. They do a lot of cutaway bits so there isn't this intense focus on AC live all the time. They informed us that they would not be focusing the entire hour on the unemployment crisis in Detroit because of the death of Natasha Richardson. Because obviously the death of a C-List actress pre-empts coverage of the economic demise of an entire region. Yes, this is CNN.
It's the mullet of outfits. Business up top, party down below.They let the first guy ask his question, which I pretty much missed because I was staring at the most incredible mameltoe I have ever seen! It was insane. Right in front of our faces. I did catch the follow-up question that AC asked him, "How does that make you feel" or something like that, and the guy was like, "uhhhhhh" and I think some drool escaped his mouth.
"Please try to behave like normal humans."
Now you know why he had to say that.
Mameltoe.The second question was from a woman at our table. She asked how she, with an MBA and law degree and recently laid off, can find work in a shrinking economy like this. So CNN's "expert" came up with the genius answer that she should look to her outside interests, and then told a story about a guy who became an event planner after he lost his banking job. OH BRILLIANT. Become an event planner. In the Great Recession. Talk about fiddling while Rome burns. Where do they get these people? Man, give me one shot at that gig, I swear I will do 100% better, and be interesting to boot.
When the camera wasn't on she was using that Blackberry!
Keira, please demonstrate our proximity to Anderson Cooper's butt.Then it all wrapped up. AC said he would pose for some photos so once again front row paid dividends. Keira gave AC a copy of her Dwell magazine with a note that "This is in Detroit," so maybe he would know that not everything is as bleak and depressing as that part of Warren.
AC regards the Lafayette Park issue of Dwell.So I got to be on CNN! It was awesome to get messages from my friends that they saw me on tv. I think I will explore a career as professional local color in news broadcasts. And I got my photo op with AC. That was also fun. But it was the first time I thought to myself that someday I will look back with regret on growing this moostache. Live and learn.