I call people out on Twitter quite a bit. The difference between doing it there and doing it, say, over the sink in the men's bathroom is that on Twitter, if you put their handle in your tweet, THEY CAN SEE EVERYTHING YOU SAY. It's not like replying to @barackobama is equal to having a red phone connected to the White House. But still.
A few minutes after Charlotte Today was over, somebody kicked the exercise ball I sit on at work. I figured it was Mike from Production, because it's always Mike from Production. So, I did like I always do. I slowly turned around and said something snarky.
Except no, it wasn't Mike from Production, it was Colin Quinn. He had seen my tweet and wanted to know who this guy was who was talking about him behind his back. I was on ball-kick-response autopilot. It took a full ten seconds before I realized who it was.
I don't know why, but I slapped him on the back. We started chatting. There are all of these nice chairs in here, he said. Why are you sitting on an exercise ball? I said it was my choice, and that all of the other chairs in here probably had dust mites that could crawl all over your butt. I told him this was the second time in two days I'd been personally called out because of something I'd said over Twitter. Just yesterday, I'd pointed how strange it was that the supposedly open Democratic National Convention Committee demanded that 500 journalists go off-the-record for a relatively benign tour of convention sites. Later in the day, someone from the DNCC called me to "touch base," about what I'd tweeted. Wow, he said.
He told me not to swear, because he was still wearing a mic, and I reminded him that he'd already said "ass" in our conversation at least once. He had to run, so we took a picture together. I said it was nice to meet him. Likewise, he said. I shook his hand. He left.
A co-worker who witnessed the whole thing turned to me. "Who was that guy?" he asked.
Colin Quinn, I told him. He was on SNL for a while in the 90's. Hosted Weekend Update. Was the sidekick on Remote Control back in the 80's, when MTV was worth watching.
He looked confused. "You said it was nice to meet him," he said. Well, yeah. "You mean, you don't know him?" No. "You certainly seemed like you did."
It's funny. I'm not really starstruck by celebrities. But when Colin Quinn showed up and kicked my exercise ball, we suddenly turned into long lost friends. I don't know how that happens. Maybe Twitter puts you on the same level as everyone else. Celebrity or not, we're all people, after all.
Besides, this was much better than the time when I ate Coolio's fish and it made me wretchedly sick.
UPDATE: Charlotte Today producer Bob Carroll tells me Colin saw my initial tweet in the green room before the show, then, on the way to the studio, started yelling "Where's Jeremy? Where's Jeremy?" I wasn't there.
BONUS UPDATE: That's WCNC reporter Glenn Counts lurking over my right shoulder. Like he usually does.