Friday, June 30, 2006

the fame game

An actress turned radio host I know used to get uncomfortable with her place in pop culture history. She never knew if people liked her for the person she is now or for the character she once played on television. When I think of her, I first think of her in the present, not the past. I had never heard of the band Southern Culture on the Skids until meeting her. She was the first to tell me about a group of West Coast pranksters called The Cacophony Society, who pull off great stunts similar to what Improv Everywhere does in New York. I got an email from her the other day which was amusing.

She and a group of her friends have started gathering regularly at a Bob's Big Boy restaurant. They call themselves the Church of Bob. After filling up on Bob's food, they go do something like bowling to burn off the calories. Each member of the group has a nickname. My friend calls herself Mother Fluffer and says hardly anyone uses her original name anymore. She wrote to say that the nickname was partly inspired by a jar of Marshmallow Fluff that I gave her about five years ago. She now displays the jar on her mantle but the contents had started to separate. She wondered if I had any advice. I suggested storing the jar upside down for a while. Like me, her friends email her whenever Marshmallow Fluff is in the news.

The jar of Fluff doesn't get all the credit for her nickname. It also came from her name in an online role-playing game. One of the games she used to play was Toontown Online where she was known as Fluffy Pickleface. She currently plays World of Warcraft. I have no idea what she's called there. She wrote that she liked role-playing games because the other players did not know who she was in real life. The games helped her resolve an issue. Her place in the artificial societies was the same as in the real world. She is now less suspicious of people who want to be her friend. She is not as worried that these people want to be friends with the character she played rather than her off-camera reality.

I chose not to mention my friend's name in this posting. The person I know has eclectic tastes which are all the more interesting in contrast to the role she played on television. But when I have mentioned her name in conversation, many people think I'm doing it just to name-drop. I shouldn't have bothered. Her personality is much more fascinating than her name.
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Blogger bean said...

But can we guess? Knock once if it's Susan Olsen, TV's Cindy Brady......

Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI Frank! I was reading the news a few days ago and when I read this article I thought of you because I Remember how much you love Marshmallows!

Anonymous Pam Mc said...

So is it Cindy Brady??? Huh, huh, can you tell us???? I won't think you're a name dropper. I am as starstruck as anyone could be!


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