Google has brought in a number of well-known dignitaries over the years, and I've gotten used to seeing them around campus. But on Tuesday, in the bathroom adjoining the gym, I experienced a heart-stopping brush with celebrity.
I was washing my hands when a tall woman in a black sweater walked past me. She looked like Gates McFadden. Then I looked at her visitor tag and it read "Gates McFadden".
I experienced a jolt of adrenaline.
Gates McFadden is the actress who played Beverly Crusher on "Star Trek: The Next Generation".
This was very, very exciting for me.
I watched a lot of Star Trek growing up. Dr. Crusher was a fascinating character: cold and a little aloof, very professional, very beautiful, with an interesting past.
My friend Laura walked through the bathroom door, and I waved her into the locker room next door. Then I said, "OhmyGod, Gates McFadden is in the bathroom!!"
Laura said, "Who's that?"
I pulled us both back into the bathroom. As the Gates McFadden-like visitor headed toward the door, I stopped her and asked, "Are you the actress who played Dr. Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation?"
During my entire question, she peered down at me through large sunglasses, with no facial expression. I began to feel pretty foolish. Then she removed her sunglasses, and said, "Yes I am."
I should've realized the answer would be yes, because who besides an actress would wear sunglasses in the bathroom?
I presume it's to avoid being dogged by persistent Star Trek fans, like me.
She had read a flier hanging around, and she asked me, "What's a changelist?"
She asked Laura about her work, and told us the reason for her visit. Then she said Google was a great place, and very "Star Trek-y". I presume the last part was to humor me. I enjoyed it very much.
Then she left before I could start in with, "Hey, in that epispode where you're psychically bound to Captain Picard and you discover your feelings for each other..."