Happy Canada Day, Leslie Nielsen! (I'm NOT Stalking You)
|photo by Alan Light|
|The man, the legend.|
I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone in South Florida a Happy Canada Day! Especially to South Florida's most famous Canadian, Leslie Nielsen.
I love Canadian-Americans. And my all-time favorite living Canadian-American celebrity has got to be Fort Lauderdale resident Leslie Nielsen. (Sorry, Shania Twain, Rick Moranis, William Shatner, Jim Carrey, and Scott Abbott and Chris Haney -- inventors of Trivial Pursuit.)
Of course you already know that Canada Day is our neighbor to the north's national day. It's a celebration of the British North America Act of 1867, the law that united Canada as a single country of four provinces.
Though I've never met the man, I've wanted to write a story about Nielsen for some time. I finally wrote him a letter last summer. Looking back, it may sound a bit creepy -- but in a friendly, journalistic way... I hope(d).
I'm not positive the letter ever reached him, since I never heard from him or his people. (On the brighter side, I also never heard from the police.)
Either way, the idea of hanging out, doing every-day, random things with him eventually turned into this story.
Jump to read the letter to Leslie Nielsen.
This originally appeared on New Times letterhead, addressed to his local residence:
August 14, 2008
Dear Mr. Nielsen,
I'm a reporter with New Times, the local weekly newspaper. I've been a fan of yours for some time now and I've wanted to write to you for a while.
I know this might sound weird (and random), but here goes: will you be my friend?
If you'd be willing, I'd love to write a story about hanging out with Leslie Nielsen. We can do anything you feel like, anywhere, any time. If, for example, you feel like eating pizza, I'd love to take you for pizza. Ditto for miniature golf, the movies, or anything you'd like, really.
Now to clarify, I am not insane. I am a professional journalist (believe it or not, I wrote for The Dallas Morning News before moving to Florida). Most of my stories are about sports or crime, but I'd love to write something light-hearted and fun. And you've always been one of my favorite actors.
The story can be about anything you want, limited only by our collective imagination. If this is something you might not hate, any response would be fantastic.
And I apologize if the oddness of this request has offended you in any way.
Michael J. Mooney