Exhausted and ready for home, I sat at a table across from Alfred at the Saskatoon airport this morning. As I nibbled on a Tim Horton’s breakfast sandwich and looked up to reach for my cup of tea, I noticed a striking woman walking towards the next table. She caught my eye immediately; tall and voluptuous, dressed in a black t-shirt, faded blue jeans and black Tory Burch flip flops. Her thick, luscious, cascading blonde hair fell below her shoulders and her perfect face looked like it had come right off a magazine cover. She sat down at the next table with a small group of people. I nudged Alfie and lowered my voice to a whisper.
“Hey! Do you watch Gene Simmons Family Jewels?” I asked, my eyes still fixed on the next table.
“The reality show?” Alfie asked, scrunching up his face in confusion.
“Yeah.” I continued whispering, without taking my eyes off her, “That woman over there looks so much like Shannon Tweed…you know, Gene Simmons’ woman? I think it’s her!” I didn’t want to point, nor did I want him to turn around in an obvious fashion to get a look, but I needed confirmation. The more I stared (yes, I have a staring problem…apparently it becomes a more serious problem when celebrities are involved) I became certain that it was indeed the 1982 Playmate of the Year herself. I just knew it was. I watch their show all the time. I love it, and I love her.
Finally Alfie was able to crane his neck around to get a glimpse without drawing any attention. “Yep, it’s her,” he said matter-of-factly as he turned back around to face me. He nodded his head with complete certainty. “She’s Canadian. It’s her.”
Since I never believe Alfie right away, even though he’s usually right, I quickly typed her name into Google on my BlackBerry. I discovered that she was born and raised in Newfoundland and that she graduated from Mount Royal Collegiate in Saskatoon. It had to be her!
A few minutes later an awkward, young girl in a Tim Horton’s uniform approached the glamazon’s table and held out a piece of paper and a pen. I could practically see the poor, young girl’s heart beating out of her chest. Shannon put down her iPhone, which she’d been busy texting on, took the pen and paper from the shaking girl, smiled graciously and signed the autograph. The girl walked away with a huge grin spread across her face.
Alfred dared me to go up and talk to Shannon, or to get my photo taken with her. “Blog material!” he teased. He knows me too well. I wanted to, but I also felt like an idiot. As much as I’m intrigued by certain celebrities, I’m just not one to go up and bother people. I shook my head and the two of us headed off through security.
It seemed that everybody in the airport was buzzing about Shannon Tweed. Even the security guys wanted to get her autograph and talked about what a fox she is as they scanned our bags and waved us through the metal detectors. I wondered if we’d see her again before our flight took off.
Photo: The Insider
Sure enough, about 15 minutes later, up the escalator she came with her travel group. They all sat down right at our gate. A few more people approached her for autographs and photos. Others just pointed and whispered and tried to sit near her. She didn’t seem to mind, but hardly put down her iPhone unless somebody came right up.
I sat there across the room star struck. I was tweeting and texting my Dad about my celeb sighting, and then all of a sudden I looked over and she was gone. “Damn it!” I said out loud, ” I missed my chance!”…even though I knew I wouldn’t really have done anything about it anyway.
Our boarding time was drawing closer, so I figured that I better hit up the ladies’ room before the flight. As I came out of the stall, it just so happened that Ms. Tweed was coming out of the next one at the exact same time. We walked up to the row of sinks and began washing our hands pretty much in unison. I glanced up at her in the mirror and she was already smiling back at me. Nervously I said, “Hi Shannon! I’m a big fan of your show…” or something equally dorky. “It’s a real pleasure to meet you.”
She thanked me and then we chatted back and forth for a few minutes (I’ll be damned if I remember exactly what we said) but I definitely did my nervous laugh at least a couple of times. She was so sweet and friendly and jaw-droppingly beautiful. She’s 52 years old and looks just fabulous. Glamourous…so, so glamourous. Clearly, there was no photo op, as I didn’t think it would be appropriate to whip out my camera in the bathroom, but I was secretly pleased that I got a chance to talk to her without feeling like I was interrupting or being intrusive. I came back to our seats in the waiting area beaming. Alfie didn’t even have to ask.
My real moment of glory came a little later though…
It turned out that she was on our flight. As we were getting ready to board the plane, a couple of people (who obviously didn’t know who Shannon was) tried to cut in front of her and her group in the lineup (we were standing right behind them) so I made a little joke about the “budgers” and Shannon and her whole crew cracked up. You see, it really doesn’t take much more than getting a genuine laugh to make me feel cool for a second. (Which is probably why I still dream of being cast on Saturday Night Live one day…or maybe I should just pitch my own reality show…)
So that, my friends, is the story of my Saskatoon celebrity sighting of the day. Conclusion: Shannon Tweed is one hot mama.