Met Keanu Reeves at a bodega in the West village (this was around that sad Keanu/meme of him eating a sandwich on that bench time). He was tossing the Gatorade he was going to buy and dropped it and picked it up. Didn’t pay much attention until then which is when he got in line behind us (me and the people I was with at the time). I turned to my friend and said “this guy looks just like Keanu Reeves” and he’s like “Yea, cuz that’s Keanu Reeves”. Keanu says “hey, how’s it going”.
Fun times. Also did not know Keanu was that tall until then.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie came through my drive thru at Sonic about 7 years ago. Transaction was completely normal except they were REALLY smiley. I finally actually looked at them and said, “Anyone ever tell you… Wait. You ARE them aren’t you?!” They nodded, told me to have a nice day, and pulled away. I think they were relieved that it wasn’t a big scene.
I met Obama in an elevator at the Peninsula in Chicago when he was a Senator. It was months before he announced he was running for President but basically everyone on Earth knew he was going to. I asked what he was doing there and he told me he was buying a spa day for his wife. He definitely had a real relaxed and in control aura to him which for some reason made me oddly nervous. As I got off the elevator I shook his hand and said “seems like you got a lot of momentum behind you. If you become president, don’t screw it up and make Chicago look bad.” This was totally out of character for me and I still can’t believe I said it. He chuckled and I got off.
My grandma met Adam Sandler in an elevator in Mexico. She didn’t speak English but Adam was kind enough to try and speak Spanish with her. She was delighted, she loves his movies.
This was around 2005/2006, when I was working in a sandwich place in college.
Anyway, somebody had left a copy of The Davinci Code on a table and we kept it on the back counter in case they came back for it. This was right when It was becoming huge, well before the movie.
This one guy had been in a couple times that week. So he comes up to order and sees the book and points saying “Hey, that’s my book.”
I, being very helpful and good replied “Oh, would you like it back?”
He just smiled and said no thanks and left with his food. I just thought he was a big ole weirdo. Didn’t see him again.
Quite literally a week later I happened to open my roommate’s copy of the book and saw the author photo.
Could make a nice little TIFU:
I accidentally trying to give a famous author’s book right back to him.
25 years ago I drove a cab while in college. Picked up Paul McCartney. It was near my mother’s birthday and I called her and he sung her happy birthday.
Edit: He got in the cab and asked to be taken to the stadium. (he was doing a show there that night) I’m looking at him going I know this guy (I was 23 at the time, never expected a celeb in my cab in Cincinnati). When I realized who he was, I asked to be sure, and he laughed. I mentioned my mom was a huge fan and asked him if he would do it. He asked which birthday song I wanted him to sing his or the other one. I chose the other one.
I had a Bag phone in the car, I think it might have cost me a small fortune for that call but totally worth it. If only I had had a modern phone for the camera.
Served jury duty with Steve Carrell. He was great. Talked to him for a little bit while waiting outside a courtroom. The thing that sucked was when we went to lunch I saw papparazi chasing him as he tried to get something to eat. Just wanted to be a normal guy doing his civic duty.
Chuck Norris. lowe’s hardware store. I didn’t bother him, but he was in check-out line. Some dude started filming him on his phone & like whispering commentary into his phone. Chuck Norris was clearly irritated, but didn’t say anything to the guy directly.
Tom Hanks at Best Buy. He was in line in front of me with a cart full, all by himself. I was only buying a bottle of water because they didn’t have what I was looking for. I just blurted out” Forest Gump is my favorite movie” like a creep, and he turned around, and said “that was my favorite movie to make! I’m glad you love it.” He then chatted with me while about movies as we stood in line. When it was his turn to check out while they were ringing up his stuff he said “oh let me get that water for you” and paid for my water. He kept talking to me and then we walked out and he said “nice talking to you! You’re a very nice young lady and always remember… life is like a box of chocolates.. you never know what your gonna get” in his Forest Gump voice. IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER.
I was sitting down in an airport restaurant in California. And Ice Cube casually sat down two seats away from me.
I was petrified with fear, and couldn’t finish my entrée.
Conor McGregor was assisting a plumber my uncle hired for a job. He Looked like he would steal from the house.
My family sat behind Jimmy Fallon at a Yankees game. My family had a big history of being Yankees fans and being in their stadium was a big deal, so when there was a rain delay we waited it out. He ended up waiting it out with who he arrived with as well, talked to him for a little bit, super nice guy.
I once ran into Ryan Reynolds on an elevator and told him he looked exactly like Ryan Reynolds.
He was very amused. I was very embarrassed.
I met Helena Bonham Carter at the American Girl Doll store in New York City in 2011. She was there with her daughter and mom. I asked for a picture but she said no because it confuses her daughter. She was nice about it, though. Same with her mom.
John Waters asked me across the deli counter if we had more house-made mango salsa in the back.
I saw Aubrey Plaza and her friend in the gift store of the Hagley Museum in Delaware (original DuPont homestead and gunpowder mills). We made eye contact as she left.
I smiled and waved. She smiled and flipped me off.
Random convenience store in Hawaii, Robert Downey Jr walks up next to me while I’m looking at drinks in a cooler and asks me something like “how do you know how much everything is?” because there were no prices on the racks. It was about 10 seconds after I said “I guess you just take it up to the register” that everything about that whole scenario finished processing, then I had absolutely no clue what to do.
I met Aaron Paul at a Cirque Du Soleil show in Vegas (The Beatles one). My ex and myself were sitting there and this guy was next to us talking up a storm while the acrobats did the pre show thing. We end up talking a bit and he said he was in town for his friends wedding as a part of the wedding party. He was like you might know him. He yelled over at Aaron and there he was with his fiancée at the time! I got to shake his hand, it was awesome. Aaron got married like a couple days later or something like that. I will always remember how calm and collected Aaron was with his buddy doing that to him and just the all around good person he is. And I truly appreciate his buddy for introducing my ex and myself to Aaron. It was a pretty fantastic night.
After we just moved to CA, my brother and I saw David Hasselhoff at the Grove (outside shopping mall in LA) with what looked like his wife. My brother said under his breath as we walked by “Is that the Hoff?”. Then David perked up and started looking around crazily. His wife asked him what was wrong. He said “I hear my fans calling!”. She said “Please stop”.
We kept walking. Somehow it seemed like it was the best thing to do.
I worked at Starbucks in London, Ontario. There’s a big ass university there and apparently they were having a talk about some disease. A guy was paying with American money so I asked why he was in town. He said he was speaking at the medical talk and I replied oh so you’re a Doctor or something? And he said “something like that”. Left a wicked good tip and left. My coworker told me afterwards that it was Alec Baldwin. I had no freaking clue.
I met Arnold Schwarzenegger before he was Governor riding on the beach in Santa Monica. He was riding a bike with a sectional on the back where his two boys were sitting. I wasn’t sure it was him until I saw his kids jumping up and down and rode up to him to tell him that they were misbehaving. He turned to them and in his best Arnold accent told them to “sit down”.
Fairly recently I met Jude Law in the HMV store on Oxford Street, London looking at some vinyls. The store started playing some chart pop wank song (I refuse to remember what) and we both exclaimed “FFS!!!” louder than we anticipated at the same time. He was happy to chat for quite a while about any old bollocks although probably quite glad I made any effort to talk about non film stuff.
I drove Dave Chappelle’s Lexus SUV back to a bonfire we were having just outside Yellow Springs once. It was around ’99, and his 100 disk changer was the best thing ever. He said, “We can use my car for music, but I ain’t tryin’ to drive that motherf*cker back here.” I volunteered immediately. Nice guy. Would do again.
I showed Robin Williams a spotting scope when I worked at REI in high school.
I knew where his house was because a friend had shown me, it was looking out over the San Francisco Bay, so I told him that he would need something more powerful to see across the portion of the bay he was on, and that we didn’t carry that in the store.
Didn’t realize how creepy I probably sounded till he was walking away.
Years ago I had an hours long wait at an airport. Bought the latest Stephen King book (Dolores Claieborn?) and started reading in a corner. Across the way, sitting at a table, was Stephen. He was already looking at me read it.
So, like a d*ck, I turned to the back cover, looked at his pic, looked at him, confirmed, checked the cover again.
All the while he just stared blankly at me.
2 mins later he was still staring. It was weird. I always thought that maybe that moment was inspiring him to think up some twisted story about the way he was harmlessly freaking me out.
Ana Gasteyer at a Panera bread in Chicago.
Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum at the O’Hare baggage claim… after seeing She’s the Man on my flight… which was super trippy. This was before anyone knew who he was.
Jackie from Roseanne bought a movie ticket from me once.
Jon Lovitz was on my flight a few months ago and travels with a service dog who wears a sweater vest.
Used to work at iO theater and had several encounters: Danny Pudi, David Koechner, and Neil Flynn.
The BEST one though, hands down, was seeing Betty White at Lincoln Park Zoo. She was dressed in a baby blue suit and had a purse with cats embroidered on it. She was as adorable as you would expect.
I used to live in New York City so you see random people trying to keep a low profile on the street all the time, but my favorite story belongs to one of my friends who tends to be pretty clueless about pop culture. She went to a neighboring friend’s party and someone at the party ended up crashing on the couch, and all three of them went to brunch the next day. While they were at lunch people kept coming up to the window and taking pictures, so finally she went off on how she knows the restaurant was renovated recently but it’s not THAT nice, why do so many people want to take pictures of it? Turns out the dude who crashed on the couch was Jake Gyllenhaal.
Edit: Since people seem to enjoy this story I’ll add in another one. This is all highly ironic because my friend worked as a drummer in the house band for a talk show in this same era. It was a running joke on production that she never had any idea who the guests were, so they would have her give all the guests nicknames. I remember her trying to describe the guests on one of the shows to me because she still didn’t know who they were, but she had named one of them “Muscles” and one of the “Cap”, because one of them was strong and one was wearing a hat (I didn’t say these were good names), and Cap was a bit perturbed that the other guy got a nickname like “Muscles” and he was simply relegated to “Cap”. It turned out she was talking about Chris Hemsworth and Zac Efron.
Ran into Jason Bateman in a Starbucks in NYC. He had a hood on, and was waiting for his coffee off to the side, but I recognized him from his voice. I had to eventually wait next to him for my coffee ( I think I was 16 then) and just said “hey Jason” casually. 16 year old me wanted to “play it cool” whatever that means. He smiled and said “hello” and asked if I wanted to take a photo, probably because I looked young. I don’t remember where this came from, but I feel like I quoted a movie or something cause I said something like “I like to live in the moment but thanks for offering to take one.” He smiled at me and said “I like that, thanks.” His coffee came out and he nodded at me before he left. He’s a really nice guy. Took me a minute to realize why he said thanks, but he’s probably tired of people asking for photos all the time, maybe it was a nice break to just talk to someone, instead of just taking a picture.
A few friends of mine doubted the story because I didn’t take a picture, and this only gives me more reason not to take one. Don’t need to prove this to anyone, just had a nice random encounter with him in a Starbucks, and was good enough for me.
I saw Ben Stein once at the bank. It was during or shortly after he had the show “Win Ben Stein’s Money”. The best part was the disappointment on his face when the teller said “Hey! You’re that guy! You’re Ben… Ben… Stiller!”
When I was 4 or 5, my family and I were coming back from a vacation, and my dad and I had the aisle and middle seats, respectively, in one of those areas with three seats. We stayed on the plane during a layover, and dad took a nap. He woke up to hear me talking, at first didn’t think anything of it because I had a lot of “imaginary friends” at the time. He looked over and I was sitting on the lap of our seat-mate who had the window seat now, who had gotten on during the layover, talking to him and pointing out the window. Dad had to do a double take to make sure he wasn’t still asleep and dreaming, because it was Jerry Garcia, his favourite musician then (and still is). All I really remember is he looked like Santa and was hella nice.
Fred Armison glared at me for blocking his way on the sidewalk near a bar while he was riding an adult-sized trike into a Portlandia set.
I bumped into Regis Philban at a CVS in the disposable razor aisle as he was eating an ice cream cone.
Circa 1969: I was a long haired hippie eating at a little hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant in Baltimore when Bob Dylan walked in. He went right up to the counter to either pick up or order some take out. Then he turned around to scan the place and made eye contact with me smiling at him. After that he just left.
Went to dinner at Buca di Beppo and at the table next to us was Alice Cooper with family and friends. We made a point of not staring or interrupting, but when they left right after we did, we decided to ask for a photo in the parking lot. I said, “I hope it’s not a huge intrusion,” to which he replied, “Fans are never an intrusion. People like you have made it possible for me to live my dream, and I’m glad to give back any way I can.” Damn if that didn’t make a lasting impression on me!
Neil Patrick Harris frequently visited the movie theater I worked at in Metro-Detroit. I was unaware his significant other, David Burtka, was a graduate of my high school. It really normalized celebrity status in my eyes to know he was in Plymouth/Canton, MI visiting his in-laws over holidays and popping out to catch a film for a night out with them. No limos or entourage or anything, just a movie night at the local theater like anyone else. Seems obvious that a celeb would do this, they are just people after all, but it was kinda cool that we’d see him every so often like our other regulars.
This past weekend I was in a movie theatre in Nashville and walked past Emma Roberts and Evan Peters from American horror story as my movie got out. She used the bathroom with me and I had to awkwardly hold the door for her and then proceeded to have a panic attack in the stall next to her. I’m a fan haha.
Kobe Bryant out side a pizza place when I was 8. Looking back I asked for an autograph probably at the worst possible time. He was walking into a Mexican style restaurant that neighbored the pizza restaurant. He stood their holding the door open for his wife who was carrying their young child at the time. He looked at me staring in disbelief and just started laughing shut the door and just asked if I had a pen. Even with the terrible timing on my part, he was the most genuine celebrity I’ve ever met and made my night very memorable.
Had to ask George Lopez to switch tables at a little bar because my band had to set up to play a show. He was nice, and we chatted about Thin Lizzy. He moved and he watched the set.
I physically ran into Stephen King in the Bangor Mall once. Didn’t realize who it was until he was past us.
My dad met Oprah and Gayle King at a Subway in Colorado. He said Oprah was really nice and complimented him on the personalized thermos my daughter decorated for him. Gayle just smiled a lot.
Someone also brought Ron Jeremy to a party at my dad’s. My dad still won’t tell me what he did on my sofa, but he snickers every time he asks if my mom still has it in her living room.
Was at an arcade-themed bar in Atlanta a little buzzed already when I looked to my left and saw Owen Wilson frustrated at a pinball machine. Didn’t register automatically with me who he was until a (doofus) friend of mine attempted to get a selfie with him without asking first. Owen Wilson was, understandably, annoyed at this. Sorry Owen Wilson.
Me and my family were at a food truck in Canmore Alberta ages ago, and met Anthony Hopkins. He was super friendly.
I played pool with Mads Mikkelsen at a bar here in Copenhagen.
My favorite local bar. Lived in Austin for several years, so you see celebs periodically but mostly during festivals.
But one night my friends and I were just out for a Wednesday night drink and ran into Drew Barrymore and Justin Long at our bar, in the area doing research for Whip It.
Drew wasn’t really interested in talking to anyone, but Justin Long was apparently a pretty friendly dude.
Went to see a show at smaller theater in Chicago and had David Schwimmer sitting directly behind me. Could not concentrate on the stage at all, was completely focused on “Ross’s” laugh.
In San Francisco I saw Robin Williams at a small store that sold Japanese anime toys and stuff like that.
I ran into Jamie Foxx at a Wal-Mart in Green Valley, Arizona on Thanksgiving Day, 2010. I asked as discretely as possible if I could shake his hand, and he was cool. He got swarmed shortly thereafter and left. Funny part – I was a Mormon Missionary at the time. White shirt, tie, name tag and everything haha. My companion at that time happened to be black, and when Jamie saw him, he said, “Oh sh*t, they got a brother.” Pretty hilarious for us haha.
I work at a tiny movie theatre in Dallas and my manager told me a story. One night, Weird Al randomly came in and went to the bar that we have. He came out of the bar and into the theatre side to use the restroom. He asked my manager where the restroom was and pointed him down the hall. Now, in that hall, you have to pass a janitor’s closet before you get to the men’s room and as Weird Al walked down the hallway, he opened the janitor’s closet door, looked inside for a second, looked back at my manager, gave an enthusiastic thumbs up and proceeded to act like he was taking a leak in the closet.
I lived in Savannah for a time and there are always movie productions in town to film. I ran into Johnny Knoxville walking quickly down the street with a young, Asian woman. Woody Harrelson came into the dive bar I frequented with a small entourage.
In that same bar one night a guy chatted me up for about 15 minutes. The topic oddly turned to his love for cats, then he left. Not two seconds after he left someone else sitting at the bar said, “Uh, you know that was Jason Statham, right?”
I was a bit surprised because he spoke with an American accent, but it did look like him. I later read that he was in town during that time, but I’ll never know for sure if it was him.
I went to see The Hateful 8 on Christmas Day at the Del Amo mall in Torrance. Quentin apparently grew up in the area and made an impromptu appearance in the theater to watch with us. Got to shake his hand and hear his comments on the film as he sat in the seat directly behind me. Terrified some alarm on my phone would go off or something.
I met the lead singer of Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant, at a cafe in East Nashville.
Ran into Lars Ulrich from Metallica at the movie theater I worked at in Tiburon, CA. Really nice guy. Robin Williams once told me that my boss was “f*cking stupid” for not letting us accept tips, at the same theater.
I went to undergrad at Cornell, and had a Carl Sagan moment in the elevator of the astronomy building. I’ll never forget what he said to me: “Four, please.” Surprisingly, he never recounted that story in any interview that I’ve seen with him.
Mark Ruffalo’s family is from my city, so he’s been here a few times low key. They used to give out full 12oz Hawaiian punch cans for Halloween.
I met Simon Pegg when I was working at Borders. I honestly did not even think it was him at first because it was like a Tuesday afternoon and he was just buying some stationery. We really didn’t say anything throughout the transaction, but at the end I asked him, “Has anyone ever told you that you look like the guy from Shaun of the Dead?” And he replied in a voice I easily recognized, “I am the guy from Shaun of the Dead.”
Julianne Moore was in town filming a movie and stopped by my job, Chuck E Cheese. I was he cashier and in charge of the salad bar. She ordered a plain cheese pizza, salad, and soda, and paid cash. Scored well on Skeeball, per my distant stalking observations.
Made Quentin Tarantino a mocha at my coffee house. He didn’t tip.
While shopping in Sam’s Club in Savannah, I met Paula Dean.
No, it wasn’t in the butter aisle.
One of my friends met Jason Bateman at a grocery store in Lake of the Ozarks while they were filming that new Netflix original Ozark.
Elijah Wood came into the theater I work at to watch a movie once. It was a little weird how normal it was to serve him.
I once bumped into Kirstie Alley in a tiny grocery store in middle-of-nowhere Oregon. (Literally. I came around a corner and hit her cart with mine.) This was in the mid-90s when she was still (kind of) a thing. I said “Sh*t, sorry!”, she said “It’s okay” – and that was it.
I met George H.W. Bush at my school one day back in 1992. He was picking up his granddaughter.
My sister met Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) at a bar in Orlando. Turns out he was was a groomsman in a wedding and they were out partying.
Went to work one day and David Tennant was there filming United on our pitch, he was so lovely.
Met Kirsten Dunst at a house party. Ran into (literally) Dikembe Mutombo at a Toys ‘R’ Us.
I work at a bookstore and Mick Foley was doing an author signing that our sub par events manager neglected to advertise. I was just sitting in the back eating lunch when he walked in. I didn’t watch wrestling but even I knew who he was
He asked for gum, I had none. I said that my (then) boyfriend loved watching his matches back in the day. He responded “I guess he liked watching me lose then” in a joking way. We made small talk before he went to sign.
Seriously the nicest author I ever delt with. So many have inflated egos but this big burly former wrestler was the literal nicest and most normal of all. That encounter was one of the reasons I’m so into wrestling today.
One of my dads friends is a police officer, and he met Rihanna because her driver was speeding. He pulled them over, and didn’t even realize who she was. She had to tell him and prove it. He’s now a fan of hers lol.
When I was being treated for cancer at vanderbilt, my mom and I got on an elevator after going for a walk. When the doors opened on the second floor the tall skinny guy from “American Pickers” on the history channel got on and I was like, man this guy looks familiar. I eventually figured out who it was and was like “hey are you that guy from ‘American Pickers?'” He said yeah and we talked about how my dad watched it constantly until he got off.
I ran into two members of Korn at my gym. They were playing a concert nearby and bought day passes to work out there before the show.
I watched Pat Sajak throw a fit in a chili’s in northern Virginia several years back. He even asked the waitress if she knew who he was. The whole thing was very strange.
My friend ran into William Shatner in a public bathroom once. He said it went something like this:
Shatner walks to sinks, friend is there
Friend: “”You’re… William Shatner.”
Shatner: “Uh… yep.”
Not “famous” I guess but I met Filthy Frank outside a McDonald’s once.
I bumped into Sandra Bullock in the mall back in the 90s. She was just really nice and genuine.
I was looking at a painting in the Museum of Modern art and Larry David walked up next to me.
Met Nikolaj Coster Waldau (Jamie Lannister) very early on a dark Sunday morning on my way out of my gym in Lyngby (Denmark).
Not sure if this counts as I used to work on film sets, but Tommy Flannagan in a golf cart.
I obviously knew he was on set but hadn’t been anywhere near him. Then we had to load up and go to the next location and up pulled a golf cart with him in the passenger seat.
Hopped in behind him and stayed dead silent for the whole ride. Eventually I got the balls to walk up to him and say hello and he turned out to be a really awesome guy. Respectful, great actor, and just overall a good fucking dude.
Brought my Papa on set a couple times and he got to spend some time with Tommy too. Fun guy to hang with!
Was at a mall in Houston when I was younger. Just walking around with my family.
Out of nowhere come these gargantuan human beings, so there’s 13 year old me mach 4 sh*tting myself at Brook and Robin Lopez.
Two 7 footers in the NBA just casually wandering into a Lego store.
Jimmy Fallon came into a restaurant I worked in a about 4 years ago in my tiny rural town.
Was bussing a table when he got seated a table away.
Chris Evans at a divey bar in Cambridge, MA. It must have been 2008ish cause it was post-Fantastic 4 but pre-Captain America.
Howard Zinn in line at a grocery store on Cape Cod.
Jason Siegel at a mediocre restaurant in Newport, RI.
I was in a shitty convenience store in a student-infested neighbourhood next to my university buying mix for a party I was heading to, and I recognized the guy in front of me in line buying milk.
It was Chris Hadfield, the astronaut.
I didn’t say anything at first and ran out after making my purchase to tell my boyfriend, and as I was Cmdr. Hadfield started walking down the street towards us. My boyfriend asked him for a photo and he was so nice and took one with both of us. I’ve actually read his book, so I was really pumped!
We hung out with the gran torino girl, Peta dude from Hunger Games, and Liam Hemsworth in a small, nasty a*s apartment party like 2012 while they were filming red dawn.
Encounter Terry O’Quinn (John Locke, LOST) in a small vegetarian restaurant/store on the North Shore of Oahu. He was there with a friend. Seems like a pretty cool guy.
I see celebrities all the time in NYC. Ian McKellen sat across from me on the train on the way to his Broadway show. I bumped into Julia Stiles in Union Square. I used to work at Midtown Comics and random celebrities would walk in all the time too.
Met Jon Bernthal curbside at the airport waiting to be picked up. He walks up and stands right next to me and we chatted for about 5 minutes. He seemed like one of the coolest dudes ever and was telling me some stories about his time doing The Walking Dead.
In a lift, at an airport, I worked there so was normal for me , then Elizabeth Hurley and her son got in my lift looking all glam and I’m standing there with a big bag of Maccy’s in hand
I met Billie Joe Armstrong (lead singer of Green Day) at a market in Costa Mesa, he was there shopping with his wife. We talked for a bit and we took a picture. He’s a cool guy.
I sat on Julia Child’s lap when i was like 5 in the early 90’s at a dinner party in Boston.
Walked by a gas station. Saw Donald Glover pumping gas. Said what’s up to him. Got a photo. Said bye. Nice guy.
I used to work at Canadian Tire, and John Dunsworth (Mr. Lahey) came through my line. I don’t remember what he was buying. I had been watching a show called Haven at the time, that he had a supporting role in. I told him that I was on the second season, and that I really enjoyed the show, and his work in it. He immediately lit up, He was so excited he was almost jumping up and down, and gave me an epic high five. I think he really appreciated being recognized for something other then the trailer park boys.
Saw Nathan Fillion at Disneyland last year on our Honeymoon, just hangin out eating an ice cream, having a great ol time.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was on the same flight as I was once. It was a very small plane and she was seated right in the middle. She was reading a pamphlet from a museum in Washington DC and avoiding eye contact with the other passengers.