The Frakes Story

Back in the 25 things post, I alluded to a long-ago encounter with Jonathan Frakes in Williamstown. This has led to a number of requests for the full story, which I will put below the fold, for those who care:

I stayed on campus for the summers when I was in college, doing research and hanging out with friends. This involved some small amount of drinking, as you might imagine.

Anyway, one summer– 1992, I think, but I’m not sure– I was headed home from some sort of party (somebody’s birthday, I think) with a couple other people rather late one night. We had been on Meadow Street for some reason, and coming back through Spring Street, we were a little surprised that Colonial Pizza was still open. We stopped in to say hi to Ted, who ran the place, and said he was just waiting for one last take-out order.

We were talking to Ted about inconsequential bullshit when I heard the door open, and turned around to find Jonathan Frakes and a weaselly little guy with a ponytail coming in to get their pizza. Frakes was in town because his wife was appearing in something at the Theatre Festival, and he was, of course, starring in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Anyway, he comes sauntering in to get his pizza, and suave guy that I am, I blinked at him a few times, and said “Aren’t you famous?” I had had a few drinks, in case that wasn’t clear.

I swear to God, he puffed himself up like Commander Riker at his smuggest, and said “No, not really.”

So I replied “Oh. My bad.” and went back to talking to Ted.

(He introduced himself after that, and we talked briefly (he remarked on a pair of safety goggles I had around my neck for some odd reason, and I claimed to have been working late at the lab). Then his weaselly little friend introduced himself as “Muhammed Ali,” with an aren’t-I-clever-for-messing-with-the-drunk-kid smirk. I replied “Damn glad to meet you. I’m Lawrence Taylor,” and then staggered home made a graceful exit.)