The McKellar Ambush

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Let it not be said that yesterday was a complete disaster.  Just minutes before my comedy-network-esque interview, I ambushed at the corner of Spadina and Adelaide.

Now while, I don’t generally just ambush people on the street, not even celebs, I have been known to approach them for recommendations when I can’t reach them through more appropriate channels.  (or if I’m just feeling pushy.)

While it wasn’t nearly as awkward as my encounter, or as stalker-esque as my emails, I still think it was an ambush of note.

It started when I noticed Don McKellar across a packed sidewalk of people all rushing north for lunch.

He was standing waiting for the light at Spadina and Adelaide, looking around furtively as if attempting to avoid notice, or perhaps simply trying to send out the non-verbal “leave me alone” message.

Of course, I completely ignored that and beat my way through the crowd to get to him, digging in my back for a fresh copy of CheapEats Toronto to show I wasn’t a stalker, as I elbowed people out of the way.

Once I was beside him, I struggled to get his attention and to get that damned book out of my bag. Now, perhaps my “excuse me”s were a little too quiet.  Or perhaps he intentially ignored me in the hopes that the light would change and he could escape me before  I turned into:

  • an overly-pushy GenXer looking for an autograph
  • an eager but aging script writer looking for an endorsement on their latest off-beat romantic comedy involving a cinnamon bun and a sled dog
  • an irate managerial type ready to rant about his latest Task making her job look trivial
  • or some evil combination of all those.

But sadly (for him), the light didn’t change and he was forced (I assume by his inborn Canadian politeness) to turn and deal directly with my repeated “excuse me”s. 

I was still digging for that CETO when he turned and we made eye contact.

“I’m really not here to be creepy or stalk you” I mumbled as I hauled it out and handed it to him before starting my pitch.  “I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully, to contact you for a restaurant recommendation for CheapEats” I said. “I would love to have you in the celebrity section.”

His response, in summary, “I could probably do that,” kind of enthusiastically.

Which then resulted in me babbling a bit, (okay a fair bit), and a real chunk of conversation which I stretched on too long… then him commenting that I must have an interesting job.

“Yes, it is, Mr. McKellar, and if you want to talk about it I’d be happy to bring your friend on as a freelance contributor to CheapEats for an episode. He could plumb the amusing, shocking and outrageous things we encounter daily as we write, produce and publish CheapEats.”

Yup, that’s what I should have said.  What I actually said was way to boring to even bother putting it here.  Then I stumbled and bumbled my way to the end of the encounter.  sigh. I really did have one of those days.

But, hey! Don McKellar is considering being a CheapEats celeb. How cool is that!?!?

Alexa Clark

Alexa is a digital marketer and author with over 20 years in digital & interactive communications in the food and tech industries. Alexa's CheapEats Restaurant Guides, for both Toronto & Ottawa, were Canadian best sellers. She is a recognized authority on social media and has been named one of Canada's 20 Leading Women in Social Media.

7 thoughts on “The McKellar Ambush

  • May 19, 2006 at 7:11 pm

    Wowie Zowie! You are braver than me. Did he smell good? Was he, you know, nice?

  • May 19, 2006 at 7:25 pm

    Venus, I am so NOT braver than you! Liar.
    However, yes, he was very nice, engaging and open to talking… perhaps not as much as I talked… but once we got past the weird chick on the street approaching him stage he was a real personal who I’d invite over for the BBQ and he’d fit in fine.
    (Don if you’re reading this… you are welcome to come. Just email me. I make a mean BBQ.)
    re: smell – well, from where I stood he smelled exactly like – the corner of Spadina and Adelaide. Geeze, how close do you think I got!?!?

  • May 21, 2006 at 12:47 pm

    Well done! I’m very impressed. I think it helps too when you’re approaching a celebrity-type and actually have something to talk up or about (like Cheap Eats!) instead of just babbling over how great the sled dog was in their last film. I can’t wait to read his recommendation!

  • May 24, 2006 at 1:17 am

    So where do I read about the Rick Mercer encounter and the Tom King stalking?

  • May 24, 2006 at 11:19 am

    The Rick Mercer encounter was blogged here
    But I haven’t written about the Tom King stalking – to protect the innocent (aka me.)

  • May 25, 2006 at 2:28 pm

    I’m impressed!
    I wouldn’t have been able to do it. Even if I COULD I would have stuck my foot in my mouth somehow.
    Me: When given the opportunity to say something witty to Micheal Ondaatje about The English Patient (which he was signing for me) I was only able to muster two words:
    “Great book.”

  • May 25, 2006 at 3:14 pm

    WHAT!?!? You didn’t get an Ottawa cheapeat reco from him???
    At least you didn’t say “Bob’s my uncle.”


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