Last week I had the flu. Bad. You know, the kind of flu where you’re so sick you’re delirious? I couldn’t think of the last time that I felt that awful, but then I remembered. I had a 102 fever, and I was scheduled to attend a press day at a hotel in New York City for this boy band I liked as a kid. They were really old at this point (hair falling out with kids and all of that), but as part of their “comeback” tour, they were doing some press. I knew I had to be there, especially to meet my favorite. Every girl has her “favorite” in a boy band. Mine was one of the ancillary members (I root for the underdog), so I figured getting him to care about me was a lot easier than vying for the attention of one of the douchey front men. One of the magazines I wrote for assigned me the story, and I lost my shit. Then I got sick. The day of the interview, I took the bus (that’s how sick I was) to Times Square to head on over to the hotel.
So I got to the hotel room, and the only two people there were the publicist and the douchiest front man. He’s carrying on about how his manager is a scumbag for not providing him with “fresh fruit” because “he knows that cantaloupe is the only thing he likes to eat at hotels.” I’m sitting quietly on one of the sofas in the room, trying not to die of dehydration. Another member walked in brushing his hair. He heads over to the mirror and continues to brush his very short hair like he’s Marcia Brady, singing another boy band’s song. “We did the damn thing with that one right there, boy,” he said, sealing it with a “Woooo!” in between brushes. I look up from delirium and go, “Wait, but that’s not your song.” He points his brush at me, “Oh shit! Looks like we got a fan on our hands! Who’s your favorite, honey? Be honest.” So I tell him. He and his bandmate looked at me like I was insane, but I didn’t care. He had to be better than them. Anyone was at that point.
The third member walks in flapping his arms. I still don’t know what the fuck he was doing that for, but he kissed me on the forehead hello (ew), told me I had a fever, and sat down. “She’s sick ‘cause she loves us,” the one with the brush said. “She caught the fever.” I explained that I was “getting sick,” since I didn’t want them knowing I was Patient Zero. The publicist looks at her watch and says my favorite might not make it to the interview, so we should begin. Then she walks out. I was pissed.
We sit down and I start asking them generic questions, hoping to stall until my favorite arrived. I asked the front doucher what he loves the most about coming back into music. “Some fuckin’ cantaloupe would be nice!” was his response. I’m feeling myself get faint, and all I want is my bed. Fifteen minutes later, the door opens, and it’s my favorite. I start panicking. As he gets closer I notice he’s emaciated and is scratching his neck. Oh my GOD, he’s a crack head! He sat really far from everyone else, hugging a pillow and licking his barely-there mustache. I tried asking him questions, but he was totally aloof. The one with the brush is still brushing his hair, and the guy with the flapping arms keeps checking my temperature and pouring me water. He’s obviously someone’s dad.
The publicist randomly opens the hotel room door, pokes her head in and goes to my favorite: “You know, Kathy told us that she’s always been in love with you (I never said that) and she came here with the flu just to see you (I never said that either, though I might have thought it before I saw that he had meth face).” Then she closed the door (thanks, bitch). My favorite’s eyes widen and he goes, “Weh-heh-hell then! Lemme come sit next to my babygirl.” He proceeds to get up and sit in the 4-inch space between me and the end of the sofa. He puts his hand on my thigh and keeps it there for the duration of the interview. I start to rush them at this point. My favorite is no longer my favorite (the flapping arms guy is), and I’m getting creeped out.
I finished the interview and thanked everyone. My flapping father says he’s calling me a car to take me home (he never did – thanks, dad), the front douchebag walks away still grumbling about his cantaloupe, the one with the brush leaves, and it’s just me and my cracked out fave. “You look tired, baby,” he says, as I’m packing up my things. “I got a room in this hotel. It’s real nice. Do you like nice things, baby?” I look down and he’s got a massive erection. My eyes are glassy but manage to zoom in on his saluting soldier and he looks down and says, “See that? That’s called medicine.” No, that’s called gross. “What’s the room number?” I asked him. He gave it to me, almost surprised. “Fine. I’ll meet you there in 15.” He walked out still scratching his neck. I felt like I had just ducked the chance to be the star of a Lifetime Original Movie, so I ran like hell out of the hotel to catch the nearest cab.
Here’s a word to the wise writer: If you’re running a fever the day of an interview, it’s the universe telling you to switch your interview to phone. It’s also the universe’s way of telling you that your childhood crush might be a perverted crackhead fifteen years later. I threw out their cassettes when I got home that day. Never again.
Previously: A-hole in a K-hole