January 23, 2012

My meeting with Marlon Brando

"Hi, Mr. Manzo, would you mind coming up and saying 'hello' to my wife's boss, he's a really big fan."

Let's rewind, since you have no idea what I am talking about.  (Maybe I should have started from the beginning, but that was what we call 'the hook', it gets you, the reader, to want to keep reading to find what it is all about...however, it wasn't a very good one, so you probably aren't even reading this part.)

But, it makes one ask a few questions:
Who is Mr. Manzo?
Who is Shannon's boss?
Why is Shannon's boss a big fan of Mr. Manzo?
Why are you still reading this blog when there are dishes to be done, dinner to be made, laundry, or removing that uncomfortable zit you weren't sure if anyone noticed, but we all did.

The answers:
Mr. Manzo is Albert Manzo, and is married to Caroline Manzo, who just happens to be one of "the Real Housewives of New Jersey."
Albert Manzo showing off his famous choke hold on Caroline.

Shannon's boss is Jay.  He is the owner of the salon she works at.  Let's take a few seconds to discuss Jay, shall we?  First, a really smart business man, he owns two salons and does a great job with both.  Second, don't screw with him.  If you go to work, be prepared to work.  Do you know how much drama this man has to deal with? (I mean two salons and dealing with the wall to wall of estrogen, now that takes a strong man.  Trust me, I had a peek into his world.)  Lastly, When Jay is done work and ready to have a good time he's gonna try his hardest to make sure you do too.
Not Shannon's Actual Boss - Just I googled the word Boss and thought this picture was funny.

Cue story : Shannon's Work Holiday Parties

or as we like to say where I am from...
one hundred dollars, (I guess we never really had another name for it, we weren't very original.)

Sounds good, doesn't it? One hundred dollars.  And it's easy enough to get it too.  All you have to do is introduce Jay to one of the cast on the Real Housewives...and he's gonna make it easy for you too.  First, he'll rent a limo to take you to The Brownstone. (Think ritzy, glamorous, elegant...I know what your thinking those are also all words that describe Bill, but we are still talking about the Brownstone.) But, here is the easy part to making the one hundred dollars: One of cast members owns the Brownstone.  The kazoo sounds: da da da da...Mr. Manzo. (We are a cheap blog and can't afford a trumpet.)

We had to look spectacular,  (See* You Can Put Lipstick on a Pig) Jay, the stylists, and I arrived at the Brownstone...All of them looking foxy stepping out of the limo as they entered.  Shannon was looking mighty  beautiful, and I was looking like a Caucasian James Brown.
Not Bill
The room inside was magnificent.  There were large, round tables surrounding a colossal dance floor in the middle.  The room was filled with stylists from all over New Jersey...and me.  I didn't own a salon, I didn't work in a salon, I didn't even go to salons (Shannon cuts my hair in front of the TV at home.)  The room was dimly lit by the glow of the stylist's cellphones.  Facebook was on overload from all the uploading coming out of the room that night.
There were so many women there, an abundance of high heels, up-dos, and tight dresses saturated the area.  Hundreds of ravishing women, ready to have a good time.  (and ten or so men...and I'd bet a hundred dollars, most of them didn't notice there were any women there.) Now, I have no real statistics, but did you know that 99% of stylists are women? You did.  Good.  Now, I know you already know that all stylists have "that look".
Oh yeah, she is a hair stylist.
So just being there, I felt like I stood out more than Kirstie Alley in a room full of anorexics.
"That look" they have, I don't have that.  No, not me, my look is more the "bloated look" usually reserved for corpses found drowned in a lake.  And quite a few people got confused and thought a celebrity had graced their event, but were disappointed when they realized that I was the "Puffy" they were all talking about.
So, I didn't fit in with the stylists, but I did fit in with some of the other people there that night.
The owners?  No, of course not, apparently you have never read me before, because that was a terrible guess.
No, the staff.  Come on, that was easy.  You know, the guys serving the dinner then clearing off the plates and disappearing into the back.  Those guys.  So, while the chicks decided to go out and dance, I slipped away to find someone from the cast of the show.  Now, I had never seen the show before (and actually, still haven't) but that wasn't about to hinder me from finding them and  I would have stayed and danced, but two things were stopping me.
1.) I wanted $100.
2.) My dancing reminds people of a electrocution gone horribly wrong, somewhere between seizure and convulsion.  Dancing was off the list.
"Someone call 911, that inflated man looks like he is going to croak!"

"So, I hear someone from the Real Housewives owns this place," I said to one of my new busboy friends.
"Yup," he he replied and kept walking away.  I could tell he wanted us to continue this conversation while strolling around, so I followed him.
"Is she here?" I asked trying to keep up with my buddy, the busboy.
"Is who here?" he asked, now putting silverware into a tub.
"The lady from the Real Housewives."
"Caroline Manzo?"
Sure.  That sounds good.  "Yes, Caroline Manzo," I said.
He so kindly told me to see another staff member.  "Ask him," he said, pointing to someone across the room.
"Is Caroline Manzo here?" I asked the new fellow.
"She never comes here," he answered.  "Her husband does."
"And he is on the show?" It was a question that I tried to make sound like a statement, but still raising me voice at the end, just enough so he would have to answer.
"Yes," he replied.
"Is he here?"
"He might be."
Things were looking promising.  I could just think of all the things I could do with ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS.
One night at the movies.
Get dessert at Cold Stone Creamery.
Maybe even fill up the gas tank...that's right...I could almost see the attendant's face when I told him to "Fill it regular."  Are you sure, Mr. Uses Change In the Seats?  Fill it up?  Did you strike it rich? 
"Yes, Habeeb.  Let's see what this old Malibu can take." I would say.

Mr. Manzo was there.  In his office.  In Meetings.
I began to talk to more and more of the Brownstone's staff.  Finally, I hit pay dirt.  Mr. Manzo's personal assistant began to hear my story.  His eyes widened when I told him all about the cold cash I was about to make.  He must have thought that I was pretty cool, because he told me that "Mr. Manzo, has a few minutes in forty-five minutes.  You can come to the office and meet with him then."

I thought I could almost smell the money (although looking back it might just have been my cheap cologne.)
I told Shannon and forty-five minutes later...

Inside the office of Mr. Albert Manzo:
It was like walking inside to meet The Godfather, only I didn't know who this guy was, and of course I knew who Marlon Brando was.  This would have been such a better story if it was about meeting Marlon Brando.  Plus, it would have easier to write - because of course, you would have known who he was and I wouldn't have to do all that explaining.  Plus, Brando oozes coolness.  He did so many great movies and was fantastic in all of them.  I am such a big fan.
You know what?  I am changing this.  Let's pretend that instead of Albert Manzo (yawn) I introduced Jay to Marlon "The Godfather" Brando (wild applause).

So, here I am in the office of Mr. Brando:

"Hi, Mr. Brando, would you mind coming up and saying 'hello' to my wife's boss, he's a really big fan."
Adding, "I can make one hundred dollars."
That guy from Apocalypse Now was so cool, he said, "Sure, I would love to say 'hello.'"
And that is just what he did...
and Jay was so excited to see the guy from On The Waterfront, he gave me a crisp, clean one hundred dollar bill.

So, if you don't think that you will ever get to meet a legend, an icon, a star...think about the time...I met Mr. Manzo...I meant Marlon Brando.  It can happen to you.
Actual photograph, no Photoshop here.
Rolling in the dough,
"One Hundred Dollar" Bill

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