It's just me and Mr. Rock.
If you are an Oprah fan, you know that Chris Rock came to Houston and toured the Houston Food Bank. What you didn't see on-camera was that I was Mr. Rock's driver around Houston. That's right.....me. I'm not even considered a Houston Food Bank "Staff Member", but due to a strange quirk in insurance licensing, I was the only one that could drive the minivan with Chris Rock.
I work for a national program that operates out of DC and sets up partner arrangements with local food banks. Well, about three years ago the national office donated a minivan to the Food Bank, but only members of the program were allowed to go on the insurance.
So, it was Monday, Labor Day no less, and word ripples around the Food Bank that there is a "celebrity" coming, but they didn't want to announce who it was to avoid the local news media showing up. I was asked to drive said "celebrity" even though I didn't know who it was. About two hours before he arrived, I was told that it was Chris Rock and possibly Oprah, who was also in Houston that day. I would drive with Chris in the passenger seat and the film crew in the backseats of the van for a gritty, "traveling to a hurricane shelter" shot. Chris did an interview in the passenger seat and every time I looked over I couldn't help but think, "Wow. He has incredibly white teeth." He is also older than I was expecting...you could see the gray hairs in his goatee.
I have never been more afraid to drive. Could you imagine the story on the six o'clock news if I was driving down Highway 59, slammed into a median after being cut off by a psychotic Texan driver, and killed myself and Chris Rock? I'm not even sure my name would be mentioned, other than the reporter saying something like: "And the woman that killed Chris Rock was reportedly driving a white minivan at the time of the accident, although we are getting unconfirmed reports that she kept staring at his teeth and replaying Mr. Rock's stand-up comedy in her head, not at all focusing on the road. Clearly, this is a tragedy that could have been avoided"
All and all, he was a nice guy. As he was getting out of the van at the shelter, he sighed a bit and I asked if he was ok. He looked at me and said: "Please. You DO NOT want to hear me complain. This is not the town to do that in. This is the town to thank God that you're alive and feel lucky in. 'I'm soooo tired' PLEASE."
OK Chris. Got it. Call me next time you want a tour of low-income areas and hurricane shelters. I'm your woman. Only....next time, can we call the FOB and leave him a message on his answering machine from you? You see, he looks up to you and idolizes your stand-up. It would really make my day, hell - it would make my pregnancy - if you would just call him and tell him what you think about deadbeat fathers. OK? Have your people call my people.