Monday, December 14, 2009

What Tiger Woods and the.effing.librarian have in common

If I told you my real name, you'd slap yourself from the shock at the sudden recognition. I was very famous a long time ago. If you remember anything from the Seventies, you remember me.

I was happily married with a beautiful daughter. But then tragedy. On the set of Fantasy Island, two actresses with whom I'd been having affairs, shared notes and realized that they were both sleeping with me. And in the days that followed, several other actresses from that show and shows like The Love Boat, shows with large pools of beautiful women used for background and minor speaking roles, all had women who came forward to say that I was unfaithful to my wife with them. And in the ensuing media firestorm and scandal, I disappeared from public view.

But what nobody knows is this real truth.

It was all an act. I paid each of those women to say that we'd had an affair. And if you look closely at the photographs of my "family" in all those tabloids, you might recognize that the role of my wife was played expertly by the actress Karen Valentine and my daughter was played by a young Alyssa Milano.

I don't think you normal, noncelebrity people can understand the strains of being under the media microscope. But I understand what Tiger feels. We are compadres.

I couldn't take the pressure that's inextricably tied to the fame. And I left that world and went to library school, my true lifelong passion. After my time in Tibet, of course. Even under the flash of paparazzi cameras on the red carpet or escorting Sonia Braga to those awards shows in Italy or even when I won the silver at the Winter Olympics at Innsbruck, Austria, I'd always wanted to be a librarian.

So don't be so hard on Tiger. In a few years, even he may be sitting at the desk of your local public library, answering questions, or giving a bookmark to your kid, or even performing a puppet show with his hand up a duck.

But if that happens, and I'm pretty sure it will, what he doesn't know is that the fame he had when he was a golfer is nowhere near the attention he'll get when he becomes a librarian. Hoo-wee. I can barely make it out of the Piggly Wiggly from all the autographs I sign (meaning, tomatoes I dodge -- sigh).