I saw Tommy Lee Jones at Publix on Sunday.

Let me preface this by saying that I have met celebrities in the past. I once had my picture taken with Elliott Sadler, and when I put my arm around him I grimaced because he was so sweaty. So the only proof I have of my meeting Elliott Sadler is a picture where I look disgusted to be meeting Elliott Sadler.

That same day I met Ryan Newman. In my fervor to get his autograph I may or may not have nudged a child to the side. I tend to get tunnel vision when I’m in the presence of great men. Ryan Newman looked kind of surprised, but I thought he was in awe of my beauty. Upon returning to Candice and my dad, they informed me that the look on Ryan Newman’s face was a response to my “nudging” of a child … a child who was with a group from the Make A Wish Foundation. So I pushed a Make A Wish kid. Awesome.

Most of my celebrity experiences have been awkward. But that was OK, because for the most part those encounters were expected.

I did not, however, expect to see Tommy Lee Jones at Publix on Sunday.

Mr. Lee Jones looks doubtful as to his whereabouts Sunday afternoon.

I was in the bakery looking for strudel. Candice was looking for an ice cream cake, so I pointed to the corner of the bakery and said, “The free range cakes are over there.” That’s when I saw Tommy Lee Jones, because I think he thought I was pointing at him.

Mr. Lee Jones seemed to be wandering around, and I think he was people watching. In person he has a large head — not an insult, just a fact — and he was wearing glasses. As he walked past me, my thought process was as follows:

That guy looks familiar.
Is he famous?
He looks really familiar.
Is he a doctor? No … not a doctor.
Wait, is he Tommy Lee Jones?
But that’s silly. Why would he be at Publix? It can’t be him.
That definitely is Tommy Lee Jones.


In my head I was doing champion arms as I moved casually over to where Candice was standing and mouthed, “Tommy Lee Jones?” She looked around, found him, then looked back at me and said, “Been there, done that.” Working at Barnes & Noble in Wellington, she checked him out a couple times. And not in a creepy way, but in a cashier way. According to her, she asked him if he had a member card and he said no. But when his wife came in, Candice asked if she had a member card and she said yes. Candice took great offense to Tommy Lee Jones’ denial of Barnes & Noble membership.

Also, Peter worked at Barnes & Noble. He had nothing but nice things to say about Tommy Lee Jones. He even threw in a bit about how he renewed Tommy Lee Jones’ membership card. So I guess that’s something.

I think Mr. Lee Jones was purchasing lunch at Publix on Sunday. I’m not a very good member of the paparazzi.

One last thing: Peter’s favorite TLJ story is that once, while ringing up the U.S. Marshall, Peter asked the man if he wanted a bag for his books. TLJ told Peter to “keep the sack.” Peter still has the sack. Peter took it as a metaphor for manhood.

Update:  On Tommy Lee Jones’ IMDB page I found the following tidbit: “Plays polo and raises polo ponies. His team won the U.S. Polo Association’s Western Challenge Cup in 1993. Invites the Harvard’s best polo players to his ranch to practice each fall.” “The Harvard.” Hah.

One response to “I saw Tommy Lee Jones at Publix on Sunday.

  1. Haha!! Great story, Kris! Reminds me of the time I made Vanilla Ice mad while working at Cal Tort… I’m sorry Mr. Ice. I wasn’t finished adding the combo upgrades, that I was just explaining to you and your parents, to your order… you WILL have to pay the 40 cent difference per person if you want your drink, chips and QUESO!!!!!

    ps.. love the caption! ^_^

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