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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Beldar's most memorable elevator ride

My first trip to New York City was in late October 1979, when I was a third-year student at Texas Law School on a "fly-back" to interview there for a summer clerkship job for the following summer, between graduation and the beginning of my judicial clerkship.  After a day of interviews, I'd been to see A Chorus Line on Broadway, and then I'd had a drink and a snack in the Palm Court of the historic Plaza Hotel, where I was staying.  I was in a fabulous mood — New York was exciting, and the firms I'd seen had been enthusiastic in courting me.  Surely an exciting future lay before me, and as I stepped into one of the Plaza's elegant elevators to head for my room, anything seemed possible.

As the door was closing in front of me, I noticed someone rushing to catch the elevator, and automatically stuck out an elbow to hold the door for her.

It was Cheryl Tiegs.  Sports Illustrated covergirl Cheryl Tiegs, the hottest supermodel in the country — dressed to kill in a bejeweled evening gown and diamonds, perfectly made up, radiant, stunning.  "Thank you," she said breathlessly as she entered the elevator car with me and punched the button for the penthouse.

Supermodel Cheryl Tiegs, sans evening gownThe elevator began its ascent — just her and me.  My thoughts raced — I had to say something, but what?  We reached my floor, the elevator door opened, and I stepped out, but held the door for a moment while looking back into the elevator car at her. 

Panic-stricken, I opted for honesty, and blurted out, "Gee, Ms. Tiegs, I've always wondered what I'd say if I ever saw you on an elevator — something witty, something that'd make you laugh — and now I have no idea what to say, but I had to say something!"

She gave me a dazzling smile — the same smile you see in the adjoining picture — and with  a small, husky laugh, she said, "You could try saying ... 'Good night.'"

"Good night!" I stammered as the door closed a quarter inch in front of my nose.


If I had the chance now to debate Cheryl Tiegs before a national television audience, and if she claimed during the debate never to have met me in person before we went onto the stage, I'd have no pictures — except the one that's seared, seared in my own memory — to prove her wrong.  And she wouldn't be "lying" if she claimed that we'd never met or spoken.  She just would have forgotten her brief encounter with an awestruck young almost-lawyer whom she'd spoken to graciously but had no particular reason to remember.

I'm inclined to cut Vice President Dick Cheney some slack on not having remembered being in the general vicinity of, or perhaps even being briefly introduced to, Sen. John Edwards.  It's not so much that Dick Cheney and Cheryl Tiegs have that much in common; it's that John Edwards and I do.

Posted by Beldar at 08:07 PM in Humor, Politics (2006 & earlier), Trial Lawyer War Stories | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Beldar's most memorable elevator ride and sent a trackback ping are listed here:

» Beldar's excellent adventure from The Glittering Eye

Tracked on Oct 7, 2004 8:33:17 AM

» Don't you remember? I was the one with the great hair! from NDegrees.net

Tracked on Oct 7, 2004 10:34:27 AM

» Dick Cheney and Cheryl Tiegs: More Alike Than you Might Think from Amy Ridenour's National Center Blog

Tracked on Oct 7, 2004 4:47:47 PM

» Would Rush Limbaugh Remember Me? from Extreme Catholic

Tracked on Oct 7, 2004 6:39:51 PM


(1) Dan made the following comment | Oct 6, 2004 8:10:42 PM | Permalink

Ouch! ha ha

(2) Jeff Blogworthy made the following comment | Oct 6, 2004 8:23:05 PM | Permalink

Very good point. The "general vicinity" link is broken.

(3) Todd made the following comment | Oct 6, 2004 8:25:43 PM | Permalink

Bill, your picture of Cheryl's famous poster brings back wonderful memories from the "good old days."

(4) Beldar made the following comment | Oct 6, 2004 8:35:09 PM | Permalink

Link's fixed, thanks Jeff.

(5) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Oct 6, 2004 8:43:45 PM | Permalink

Did you sit next to Cheryl Tiegs at a prayer luncheon and did she acknowledge you in her remarks?

Nice attempt at spin (and a nice story) but it fails.

Cheney's statement was calculated as a political put down. Cheney showed AT THE VERY LEAST an extreme recklessness with the facts.

If you were going to make an accusation in front of 43 Million people, would you do 10 minutes worth of fact checking?

Either he lied or he didn't care about the truth. A familiar theme with this administration.

If Cheney was an opposing witness, you'd crucify him on this.

(6) MaDr made the following comment | Oct 6, 2004 8:50:27 PM | Permalink


Your memory always astounds me. Now I also find out that you really relive your memories.

"My thoughts raced — I had say something, but what? "

Notice "I had say something". Even today you become a hormone raging, tongue tied .......

Unlike Tiegs, who would expect empty suit Edwards to make an impression on anyone?

(7) Beldar made the following comment | Oct 6, 2004 9:13:33 PM | Permalink

*blushing cough* ... I knew I should have proof-read before I posted that picture. Post edited to read "had to say something."

(8) Joan made the following comment | Oct 6, 2004 9:14:58 PM | Permalink

Not only did I love this story, I also agree with your assessment of why Cheney said what he did. It's foolish to assign malicious motives; there's no question that Cheney believed what he said to be true. Or are we supposed to believe that he is simultenously the evil genius pulling the strings behind GWB and a witless git that lies on the record and in front of the camera?

I don't think so.

(9) LazyMF made the following comment | Oct 6, 2004 9:56:23 PM | Permalink

Cheney planned that quip before the debate. You know he did.

You would think the GOP staffers would do a little googling and fact checking before running with that canard.

(10) TxBear made the following comment | Oct 6, 2004 9:56:34 PM | Permalink

I expect that meeting John Edwards 3 time previously was so memoriable as to "sear it in his memory", that it only seemed to him to have never met Edwards before.

(11) Roundguy made the following comment | Oct 6, 2004 10:24:43 PM | Permalink

Your name says it all. Mary Beth Cahill says she never saw him in the Senate when she worked there either.

(12) MaDr made the following comment | Oct 6, 2004 10:37:25 PM | Permalink

I don't know which is sadder. That Edwards is so unremarkable, that he's unrememberable, OR that this is the only Cheney charge that KE04 can rebut. Why not any of these:

"you have a record in the Senate that's not very distinguished"

"You've missed 33 out of 36 meetings in the Judiciary Committee"

"[You've missed] almost 70 percent of the meetings of the Intelligence Committee."

"You've missed a lot of key votes: on tax policy,"

["You've missed a lot of key votes:] on energy,"

["You've missed a lot of key votes:] on Medicare reform."

"Your hometown newspaper has taken to calling you "Senator Gone."

"You've got one of the worst attendance records in the United States Senate."

(13) David Blue made the following comment | Oct 7, 2004 3:21:05 AM | Permalink

Your point was well made, nicely and humorously. This is such an outstanding blog.

(14) Beldar made the following comment | Oct 7, 2004 7:02:02 AM | Permalink

Lazy, that's a fair point. You're probably right that it was a planned quip, and that more checking should have been done before it was made. I don't contend that it wasn't an error; and I'm not a proponent of the "fake but accurate" defense. Still, I'm still inclined to cut Cheney (and his staff) some slack for it on grounds that it was at most a minor exaggeration and the underlying point was a valid one; but of course that's a judgment upon which folks can and will differ.

(15) peg made the following comment | Oct 7, 2004 7:51:02 AM | Permalink

I wondered whether Edwards remembered the encounters as I would think that he would have challenged Cheney in one of his responses. If he did remember, perhaps the reason that he did not challenge is that he calculated that having met only three times (one a media event) over a four year period is also a statement.

(16) Birkel made the following comment | Oct 7, 2004 8:19:25 AM | Permalink

Senator Kerry made all sorts of statements that weren't true during his first debate. However, the press and lefties didn't make much of that. No "Liar Finger" pointing. And, there wasn't that much from the right although they certainly happily exposed every falsehood. But all of the incorrect statements of Kerry were basically ignored after one 24hr news cycle. BTW, the $200B comment from Senator Edwards was essentially swept from view as well. I'm proud to be part of the VRWC and proud not to have to call names every time I cannot make a cogent argument. That, in and of itself, is enough for me to be a 'captial-C' conservative

(17) kimsch made the following comment | Oct 7, 2004 10:39:50 AM | Permalink

I have a similar story. My late Dad and I were at the mall just outside the Gloria Jean's Coffee Bean Shop and he said to me "Isn't that Bill Kurtis?" I looked and said, "Naw, that's not Bill Kurtis." The object of our interest must have heard us because he turned around, held out his hand and said, "Hi. I'm Bill Kurtis." He was very nice and shook our hands. I remember this very well, but I don't know if Bill Kurtis remembers. If I ever meet him again, he might remember if I recount the story.

(18) Palooka made the following comment | Oct 7, 2004 12:09:21 PM | Permalink

Now, does the fact Cheney thought he had met Edwards, even though he had, make it even worse for Edwards? I think it reinforces his point--that Edwards is unaccomplished Senator Gone.

(19) CERDIP made the following comment | Oct 7, 2004 1:48:06 PM | Permalink

Beldar you lucky dog. Trapped in an elevator with Cheryl Tiegs. Sure you just let her leave... uh-huh. Right * wink wink *

I had a similar occurence while mountain biking in Durham Forest in Ontario. I had stopped after a fairly hard 2km climb punishing my 45-year old body, and was just re-hydrating, when a large pack of riders came up the same way and decided to stop and grab a few drinks at the same spot. Eventually, a gorgeous young lady parked her bike next to mine and said "Hi!". After chatting a bit about the trail, I thought to myself, wow, this one could be a supermodel, she looks like one, maybe Rachel Roberts who I'd just seen in the movie Simone. I was just about to tell her that she reminded of the girl in that movie, when someone interrupted us, and I never spoke to her again.

Anyway, I continued on my ride, on a different route, and when I got back to the parking lot later, there was that big pack of riders, several big pickups with bikes (very expensive ones) in the back, a few vans and a motor home, all obviously together. I saw the young lady again, surrounded by people and giving out photos and autographing them!

I went over, and on the side of the Motor home was this name painted by the door: "Monica Schnare". I didn't get one of the photos.

At least Beldar knew who he was talking to!

(20) Scott P made the following comment | Oct 7, 2004 2:24:52 PM | Permalink

Great story. The point that the Kerry people miss is that okay, they might have met. But it wasn't in a work context. Edwards has been a senator for how long and they haven't had some business of any kind?

By nit-picking they only drive the point home- John Edwards has had no impact during his time in the Senate.

(21) Patrick R. Sullivan made the following comment | Oct 7, 2004 3:20:44 PM | Permalink

Scott is right. The point is that he didn't meet him in a substantive position: "I'm up in the Senate most Tuesdays...."

Anyway, I doubt Ann Coulter would remember me either. And I made her laugh.

(22) antimedia made the following comment | Oct 7, 2004 3:31:13 PM | Permalink

Let's see. John Kerry spent his "most terrifying night" in Vietnam on a boat with two other people and (if you choose to believe his version of the facts) received his first enemy fire and his first combat wound. Yet when Patrick Runyon walked up to him at a political gathering, he had to introduce himself and remind the Senator of their fateful night together.

Seems relevant to me on several grounds - brief encounter, less important figure remembers, more important figure does not, etc., etc., etc., blah, blah, blah.

Somewhere Shakespeare is smiling.

(23) GT made the following comment | Oct 7, 2004 7:45:42 PM | Permalink

Nice spin Beldar.

But Cheney lied.

He lied about not meeting Edwards.

And he lied about presiding the Senate every Tuesday. In fact, the official records show he did that only twice since he became VP. The same number of times Edwards presided.

Cheney is a liar. He lies because he knows there are people who will believe his lies.

(24) Kent made the following comment | Oct 8, 2004 9:38:46 AM | Permalink

"Nice spin Beldar. But Cheney lied."

If you're going to assert that Beldar is wrong and Cheney really is as bad as, say, Dan Rather, you should speak to Beldar's argument rather than just dismiss it as spin.

I'm guessing your reasoning goes something like:

M. All Republicans are liars.
m. Cheney is a Republican.
E. Therefore, Cheney is a liar.

Or did you have something more substantial?

(25) addison made the following comment | Oct 8, 2004 4:08:10 PM | Permalink

The Left are so quick to impute ill motives to others. And they have seemingly no understanding of the actual definition of the word 'lie' (or 'racism', 'censorship', 'Nazi', or 'fascist'), as they throw it about if someone says they remember leaving home at 6:30AM and they actually left at 6:35AM. Any disagreement is a 'lie', not a point of debate, a forgotten mmemory, a mistake...no, a 'lie'.

Also of great import is that the "defense" of Edwards is achieved by attacking Cheney, not countering Edwards' abyssmal Senate record. There is no answer for his past. Therefore, it is ignored and Cheney is attacked for not remembering sitting next to Edwards at a breakfast. To 'lie', Cheney would have to know that he met Edwards and told the opposite. Why would he conclude a truth-laden point of attack against Edwards with a lie? It is non-sensical. Why would he not simply say "And before tonight, I cannot recall ever having met you"? Why? Because he did not remember meeting him.

I would not call SC Representative Joe Wilson for not remembering meeting me on three separate occassions two years ago.

This is the same manner in which John Kerry is promoted--by bringing down George Bush, not elevating John Kerry.

(26) Chris Arndt made the following comment | Oct 9, 2004 1:59:20 PM | Permalink

John Engler would never remember meeting me...

and I met him twice. I have the photo to prove the first.

soon I'll have the photo of me and Barbara Bush

(27) jack risko made the following comment | Oct 9, 2004 5:42:45 PM | Permalink

Great story. Thank you for it. Jack Risko

(28) Lord Floppington made the following comment | Oct 10, 2004 2:18:39 PM | Permalink

So maybe it comes down to the definition of what "met" is. When does meeting someone count as "meeting" someone? Does being in the same room at the same time count? Does sitting next to someone at an event with lots of other people count? Maybe that's for each of us to decide. Maybe it's just a matter of opinion. And that's fine. But consider this: apparently Edwards agrees with Cheney's characterization, or else he would have called him on it right there. The fact that he didn't leads me to believe he didn't think he had met Cheney either. Can we honestly blame Cheney for getting it wrong if Edwards thinks Cheney got it right?

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