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An Incredible, Infamous Meeting with Christie Brinkley.
Question from Reader: Over the years, I have been a big fan of Bert & Barz. Do you have any behind the scenes stories about them to share?
Answer: I actually have quite a few, but unfortunately for a Bert & Barz fan the stories also include me. I apologize for that in advance. But, this story is so crazy it may make up for that fact it’s not 100% just Bert & Barz.

Before I get too deep into this story, I’ll address some information that’s key to understanding the background of the story… several years ago, Bert & Barz were a very successful writing team for TV & Radio ads and general entertainment. They were Bert Berdis and Alan “Barz” Barzman; both of Hollywood. Their most famous achievement was developing “The Energizer Bunny” ad campaign… a campaign many pundits consider the greatest ad campaign ever… it’s a campaign still going strong and active.

Bert & Barz were “heroes” to me because of their legendary success that helped them crossover into mainstream pop culture. Additionally, Bert was born and raised in Pittsburgh like me. I had the astonishing good luck to hook-up with them after appearing on an Advertising News speakers’ program in Orlando, Florida. We were buddies at first sight and shared an amazing chemistry that bonded us as both collaborators and friends. Bert & Barz were somewhat older than me so we evolved into “Bert & Barz” and “The Kid”.

They invited me to join them on at least a dozen speaking engagements (shows) all across the country. It was an absolutely incredible time in my career and life. I was completely blessed to have these geniuses change my life the way they did. If my Bert & Barz story interests you, please feel free to explore my site further as there are other references made to our marvelous relationship.

The three of us were in Boston for an ad convention and were sharing the venue with another group whose interest was mainly magazine publishing. The likes of Glamour, Life, Vogue and Cosmopolitan to name just a few were exhibitors. There were several famous models scheduled to appear for autographs and all the stuff that goes on with personal appearances. One of these beautiful models was the amazing Christie Brinkley.

I had a huge crush on her since the very first time I’d ever seen her. I didn’t exactly follow her… it wasn’t that easy back then, but any media that featured an image or two of her got my attention… usually my money too.

I totally loved everything about her. In my opinion, she was breathtakingly beautiful. And, I sensed she was just as nice and pleasant as she looked. I imagined she had an incredibly warm and friendly personality. I would say for a long time during those years… Christie was my dream girl.

I had no idea she was going to be there until I arrived in Boston at our hotel. Bert, Barz and myself were, as usual, in the hotel bar goofing off when I spotted a program promoting her appearance. My head exploded… “Jesus Christ! I’m on a program with Christie Brinkley.” For me, it was earth-shattering news. “Guys, Christie Brinkley is here! I gotta see her! I gotta meet her!”… I gushed leaping to my feet. (changing writing style to a TV script):

Bert and Barz

Barz (looking mostly unexcited): Yeah, she’s a nice girl. We’ve crossed paths a couple of times. She’ll probably give you the time of day.
Bert: I can never remember… is she single or married?
Barz: I think she might have a kid or two… that’s all I know.
Kid: So, you guys actually KNOW her?
Bert: We shared a cocktail and a half in Florida a couple of times. Yeah, she’s a nice lady. A funny lady too. She was fun to be around.
Barz: So, Kid… what are you?… in love with her or something?
Kid: Hell yeah. I think she’s SOOO gorgeous and so completely sweet looking. I bet she’s as beautiful inside as she is outside. I just love her eyes. It would be a real kick to meet her.
Barz: Her eyes!? That’s what your so hot on… her eyes? Man, you’re weird. You’re going to put yourself out there so you can hold her hand and look into her eyes?
Kid: Yes, totally. I can only imagine what that would be like. She can’t hate me too bad for feeling that way. I mean, I’m being very admiring…
Bert: (sort of sarcastically) Well, if it’s this important… we probably need a plan… an ingenious strategy to make this happen for the kid.
Kid: Guys… There’s no way I can be this close to her and not touch her hand.
Barz: What the hell is it with you and holding girls’ hands?
Kid: I’d love to hold her hand. I think it’s really intimate. You know… figure… everything she touches… almost every tactile sensation she experiences all goes through her hands and fingers… and that’s all cut off when you hold her hand. And then, she’s focused on feeling you in the same way.
Barz: (nodding at Bart) That’s perverted.
Bert: No, I get his point. It really could be very sexy. You could play finger games with her… make little figure 8s and little o’s on her hand… kind of like feeling her up… but politely.
Kid: Look. I don’t give a damn about your little digs and your jokes. I’m going to meet her with or without your help.
Barz to Bert: How long ago was it that we saw her in Florida? I can’t put a time to it.
Bert: I don’t think it’s been in the last year… maybe two years ago at the most… you know, I remember her having a kind of ribald sense of humor. She seemed to like being complimented in an off-color way. We might need to come up with a not-too-dirty joke you can tell her to break the ice.
Barz: No, no… I’ve got it. You know how she’s got those killer blue eyes. Tell her… you like how her panties match her eyes.
Kid: What!? What!? I’m going to walk up to Christie Brinkley and start a conversation with her talking about her sky blue panties.
Barz: Hey, listen, she’s got a sense of humor… and you’ll definitely get her attention and make an impression. I’m telling ya… I think you’ll get a great big laugh out of her.
Kid: (sighing and deflated) Wow. Great advice you guys give me. I have a chance to make history and this is what I get… jail time… like she’s going to be OK with talking to a perfect stranger about her panties.
Barz: Why not… you’re an OK looking guy when you’ve got the three-piece on… just smile a lot. But, don’t go for her hand too quick.
Kid: Where would I have the best chance of meeting her?… out on the convention floor? Or, maybe I could run into her in a more private place?
Bert: It might not make a difference. No matter what, you may not be able to get all that close to her.
Kid: Great… now I’m going from bad to worse.
Bert: Well, it could be that way, they sometimes put celebs behind ropes. (To Barz) What do you think? I don’t remember how this show handles celebs. Do you?
Barz: I don’t know either. But, you know, there’s the possibility if she asks for extra security she’ll get it. It might be a wait-and-see deal before we know for sure.

Agreeing that the mystery of how and if I would get the chance to meet Christie was something for the next day. We dropped the Christie gab, continued our drinking and eventually adjourned for the night.

The big next day… I took an early morning walk around the convention floor to see if I could get a feel for where the Christie action was going to take place, and how was it going to be staged. Yes, you’ve probably figured by now. I had it bad for her and I was getting worse. I was really getting concerned that I was growing way too obsessed… and seeing so many photos of her, so large… wasn’t helping at all.

I was coming to the conclusion that I was taking the opportunity to meet her far too seriously. How the hell did I get this way? I never expected this. Grown men don’t do this… or maybe they do. I mean… what’s the most I can hope for?… a hello and a hand shake.

I trudged on; optimistic that I found no barbed wire fences. In fact, no fences or roped areas anywhere at all in obviously secured areas that were anywhere near the area I assumed was the staging area. It was populated only by a lone chair and table. OK, I surmised… that’s where she’ll sign autographs.

Growing confident that I had it all figured out. I moved to the hotel lobby to meet with Bert and Barz. We enjoyed a delicious, exotic breakfast and mulled around the restaurant going over our show’s outline. Our shows were very ad libbed and rehearsing was dropped in favor of just going with the flow. As usual, there was a lot of goofing off and kidding and teasing mainly to make ourselves laugh. Getting loose was the goal.

The day moved on and as we we began our walk to the ballroom where our appearance was being presented, we encountered a sudden growing commotion. It was Christie entering the exhibit area. I got a distant glimpse of her and I was stopped cold. I could feel myself becoming amazingly articulate… “WOW!” It’s all I could say. WOW! She turned in our direction and started walking toward us. As she got about 25-feet away, suddenly a TV reporter stepped from the side and thrust a microphone toward her.

She stopped and smiled at the reporter. It was obvious she was going to be friendly and cooperative. The three of us just stood there… me especially… just drinking in the vision she was. I was speechless and in a kind of suspended animation.

Bert: We’re all thinking the same… she really is something… hotter than I remember.
Barz: Yeah, I would agree she looks even better than Florida.
Bert: What do you think, Kid?
Barz to Kid: Have you even breathed since she’s come out?
Kid: I don’t know.
Bert: I hope you have more to say if you get to meet her.
Barz: He’s not going to be able to even open his mouth.
Kid: I don’t know. So incredibly beautiful.
Barz: You got time to figure this out. What’s it gonna be?
Kid: I’m just gonna love her.
Barz: In public?
Kid: I don’t know.
Barz: C’mon, we gotta get going. We can’t be late.

We were complimented on presenting a really good show. It went long as everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves. We milled around an talked to the audience afterward. Even had a few autograph requests.

But, I had to get my focus back on Christie. Otherwise, I was afraid I might blow my chance and not make any kind of a good impression… that’s if I even got the chance. Bert and Barz disappeared as I was talking to an autograph seeker.

I figured they headed to the bar and slowly made my way there. They were nowhere to be seen. No elbow bending yet. And, not in the restaurant either. I figured I’d just sit in the exhibit area and ready myself mentally for meeting Christie. I needed to get psyched up. Although why, I suddenly asked myself… Why?… She’ll forget everything 10 minutes later. Now, I’m beginning to think… what’s the point of this?

Just then, I realized the Glamour magazine people were scurrying around and making ready for Christie’s autograph session. Is she going to be down here earlier than advertised? I walked over to the staging area… quite a few people in line already.

Maybe this is really stupid, I thought. Maybe, I’m looking totally “bush league” in front of the guys. They’re not stumbling around like the halfwit I am to see a real, live, glamour model. Now, I’m embarrassing myself. I should probably just leave.

Then I realize there’s a growing noise down the hall. I looked to the far end of the hall. I can start to see Bert & Barz making their way to the area where I’m standing. Lots of other people are coming this way… it was looking a like a mob was forming.

I’m starting to hear faint applause. I look in the other direction and there’s a golf cart with three women in it and it’s moving closer. I take a closer look, and I see it’s Christie in the cart. People are snapping pics. She’s warmly waving at some of the people who are beginning to recognize her.

Bert & Barz finally get in close distance to the autograph area. It looks like they’re going to get there just about the same time Christie does. The women in the cart all start getting out of their seats, and it looks like they’re going to walk the rest of the way to the autograph area.

Barz comes up behind me and motions to me… “Hey kid, are you ready for this?” Your girl is going to be here in seconds.” Suddenly, I’m feeling very weird and strange. Bert, Barz and Christie are going to be converging just feet and inches away from me.

As this great passby begins to form, I realize Christie appears to be looking right at Barz. I assume she’s acknowledging a known friend. Barz extends his hand toward my shoulders from behind and pats me as if it was a greeting.

I quickly turn to get my best view yet of Christie, and I’m startled to see that she’s looking right at me… full on eye contact. It’s a little unsettling to be acknowledged by her stare. I look toward Bert who’s on the other side of me to catch him glancing a pointing motion towards me.

Wait, I think. Just wait a minute. These guys are setting me up for something. I’m starting to see and feel it. They are actually pointing me out for Christie’s benefit. Then, I look back toward Christie and it appears for just a second that I’m catching her trying to get a better look at me… I think. No, actually I beginning to hope that’s what she’s doing.

Slow down, I think to myself. Is that really what’s going on here? Nah, can’t be, or can it? Maybe the guys are much better “acquaintances” of Christie than they’re letting on.

I look in their direction and they’ve got these mischievous grins they’re trying to hide while also trying to avoid eye contact with me. I look over to Christie who’s signing autographs and greeting people. I start watching her; not only because I can’t take my eyes off of her, but to determine if I’m going to pick up any hints as to what’s actually happening.

Bingo! I’m starting to see her looking at me quickly and then quickly looking away. As soon as she shifts her focus away from me, she smiles with a little nod. This looks very suspicious. It’s getting more and more obvious… this is a set-up and she’s in on it. As I’m able to move closer to her in the autograph seeking line, I’m thinking every glance from her in my direction is proof.

Within short order, I’m almost there. A couple of minutes and I’m next. It appears as though she’s smiling bigger and bigger as I get closer to her… as if she’s anticipating something. Finally, I’m directly in front of her and I’ve got those incredibly beautiful eyes fixed on me. I’m almost melting when…

Almost in a whisper she very softly says, “Hello”, and then flashes a big grin. Afraid that my voice is going to crack and quiver, I firmly answer back… “It’s so nice to meet you. You know, I’d be very content to kiss and lick every inch of you from head to toe… front and back… upside down and sideways… and then, if you liked it… I’d do it again… what do ya think?”

For a split second, I heard nothing but dead silence. It was like the world had been muted. Then, suddenly she reached up, grabbed and covered her mouth with both hands as her eyes soared… her knees bent and she started to double over… there was that great big laugh that Barz teased I might get if I did it his way.

She was almost falling forward as she grabbed for my hand. Cheers went up immediately… everyone in earshot had heard my punchline. (I’m big on punchlines.) The staging area of the convention floor erupted in laughter, screams and wows!. Somebody yelled, “Awesome!”. There were “Oh man!’s”… and just long and loud “Oooohhhhsssss!” and “Aaahhhssss!”. It was like everyone knew something was going to happen. It was just a matter of what and when.

As Christie struggled to regain her composure, and still laughing, she stepped toward me and hugged me. I was holding her as she pressed her mouth against my ear. She loudly whispered… “Oh my God! I didn’t see that coming. You were supposed to say something else!” Did you know? Did you know? That’s so funny! I just love it! Tell me what you said again?

She backed off her hug to “play slap” my face. “That’s so cute. That’s just really cute and funny!” she said through her amazing and beautiful smile.

I turned halfway around and looked at Barz and got a big thumbs up. Bert was bright red and crazy dancing with two thumbs up. People I didn’t even know continued clapping and gesturing all sorts of hand signs.

As it all began to quiet down, Barz reached out to me, “That was wild kid. You played it so right.” When did you figure that out?” Bert approached from the other side, “Man, did you ever do it. You got a lot more than a hello and a handshake.”

I was numb. It felt like shock was beginning to set in. I could hardly believe I was living through what was happening. Is this a dream? Barz leaned in again. “Kid, we really should have some introductions… What can I say, you wanted to meet Christie Brinkley no matter what. Well, here’s what you wanted so bad. Meet Christie!”

With that, she practically leapt into my arms. It was the most magical, magnificent hug ever. I was completely overwhelmed and so humbled that she put so much into it. I didn’t want to let her go.

She loosened her grasp just a little and leaned away from me. I wanted to say something remarkable and unforgettable to her, but no words were coming forward. I felt a strange sort of panic coming on. What in the hell do I do now?

She leaned forward again and retook her grasp. The people around us backed off a little as if to give us some privacy. Smiling broadly, she whispered, “It’s OK. You’ve got me. I feel the love and you’re wonderful and cool. So let’s just have a good time. OK? You made me laugh so hard.”

I was holding her so tight and so close. I’m thinking… does this look perverted at all? Then, Bert comes over as if he was going to pull us apart. Christie backs up a little bit, “Did anybody snap a picture?” A lady with Glamour magazine seems to signal she may have caught it on film.

I get concerned that maybe I’m really crowding her. I start to step back… almost pushing her away. Hell, I think. This ain’t the right thing to be doing. No pushing her away. Then, she moves toward me firmly grabbing my hand and pushing hers against it.

She makes a point of making sure I know she’s going to say something, “Well, Ron, what do ya say, can I buy you a drink?” I’m stunned. Did somebody just pull out a gun and shoot me? She’s squeezing my hand and propositioning me? Is this really happening? I look for help from anybody. As I try to collect my wits, I miraculously come back at her with… “how about I buy you a drink?” She winks at me and replies, “if that amounts to us having a drink together, I’m game.”

Like a couple of school kids we turn to start fast-walking toward the hotel bar… holding hands and swinging our arms. I turn slightly to look back at Bert & Barz. In complete disbelief, they pretend to faint… To Be Continued.

Previous Articles…
— Hot Dog Eating Contests and Other Marketing Ventures
— Promoting Yourself and Your Partnerships
— How Lauren Hutton Made Me Do It.
— Social Media Without Followers
— The Accidental Pornstar
— Pittsburgh Steelers Magic
— Music Video Samples

Please return for the next installment…
“Slow Dancing, a Candlelit Dinner and the Long Goodbye.”

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