When I met Kurt Russell, I was working a job as a cashier at a novelty store in the Los Angeles area. It was a busy day in the dark, dank and strangely decorated novelty and clothing store. The line for checkout was so long that the managers of the store had to start calling the shots to keep it organized as it weaved among the many aisles.
I had my head down, attention focused on the cash register in the midst of all of the retail ruckus, when I heard one of the managers, a particularly surly lady named Nancy who had just been promoted to manager, yelling at customers who had jumped the main line to get into one of the sub-lines that led to the two registers. Yes, it was confusing.
I looked up. The man she had yelled at got back in line. I thought “Gosh, that looks like Kurt Russell. No way he’d come in this place.”
As the long line shrunk up, the obedient customer approached, and I noticed that he looked a lot like Kurt Russell. Like a whole lot. He had piercing blue eyes and sort of a befuddled look on his face. After saying hello, , he set 3 copies of “The Book of Answers” on the chest-height checkout counter, and I started to sweat as I realized it probably was Kurt Russell.
The Book of Answers is a novelty divination book that has thousands of creative random answers. To get the answer to your question, you focus on your question and open the book. I have sold many of those books because the concept and creativity impressed many customers. Some customers liked the book so much they bought gift copies for friends, so it was not unusual for a customer to come up with a pile of them.
As I rang the books into the computer, I realized that new manager Nancy had probably just screamed at Kurt Russell to get back in line. I was choking on bated starstruck apologies for the rude service, apologies that should have come but never worked their way out. As he handed me his credit card, the last vestige of my doubt vanished as I viewed the name stamped into the card: Kurt Russell.
I smiled and nodded, not wanting to out his identity in a crowded store, not sure if he minded, and ran the credit card, collected his signature, and closed the transaction. The store was still swamped and the line was quickly regaining it’s length, so the exchange was slight.
As Kurt Russell left, a family stopped him to say hello, and he gave them a politely jovial greeting and exited the store slowly.
I have to admit, it was store policy to ask for ID, but I did not. And Nancy was later demoted, but not for yelling at Kurt Russell.