Cheap Shot | The Taste of Fame: Friends of Vanocur eat at Baxter’s. 

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I must say I have a certain kinship to Ed Grimley. Played by Martin Short on Saturday Night Live in the ‘80s, Ed Grimley danced and pranced about jumping on furniture opining about what would happen if one day he could meet his idol—Pat Sajak.n

“Like, I suppose Pat Sajak doesn’t have over a million friends,” Grimley said, “But then again, maybe he doesn’t—it’s difficult to say.”

Just like Ed Grimley, I have my own celebrity crush. It’s Chris Vanocur. If you don’t know Vanocur, then I welcome you to join my Vanocur fan club. This club of fellow Van-o-Curious members meets at my house every night at 10 o’clock to watch ABC 4, waiting for Vanocur to come into my living room.

Every time Vanocur says, “ABC 4 News,” we say “ABC 4 new friends.” Because maybe Vanocur has a million friends, but then again, maybe he doesn’t—it’s difficult to say. A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Chris Vanocur hadn’t updated his blog in over a year and how this had made the refresh button on my computer wear thin. Because of his lack of blogging, even Vanocur’s fan club started to dwindle. There was a time when there were as many as one person in the club. But, lately, the numbers of the Van-o-Curious have dwindled to just me.

Well, oh heavenly day, Vanocur is blogging again. And, his first blog could have been about hard-hitting TV news like a house fire in Kearns or a dog nursing a kitten, but coming out of blog retirement, the title of Vanocur’s first entry is “Phil Jacobsen—Are you happy now?”

Happy? I was happy when Kerry Jackson said my name on X96’s Radio From Hell. Then again, I knew this was only a matter of time. Kerry, Bill and Gina have four hours to fill every morning. If they haven’t mentioned your name, yet, it’s only because they haven’t made it that far in the phone book.

Once, I was happy when I read City Weekly and Bill Frost ranked Phil Jacobsen as Número Siete in his Ocho column. Sure, the category was “Top 8 Reasons Why Newspaper Advertising Is Declining,” but at least he spelled my name correctly.

To get the first mention in Vanocur’s blog is like being the first entry in a young girl’s diary. You’ll never forget your first, Chris. I imagine that one day, we will be having lunch together at Tony Caputo’s Deli. Please don’t think it’s weird, Chris, if I order the Chris Vanocur salad. You’re so amazing, they named a menu item after you. The only thing I’ve had named after me is a lawsuit. After this story, maybe even a restraining order.

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This week, it has been difficult to get my head out of the clouds. After Googling my name and finding Vanocur used his right hand on his QWERTY keyboard to spell “Phil,” I’ve been seeing things through Vanocur-colored glasses. And, this is when I saw the marquee inviting me to sample a breakfast at Baxter’s Coffee (1615 S. State).

After finding my name on Vanocur’s blog, it didn’t really seem strange in my self-absorbed world to see a plastic-lettered sign outside of Baxter’s saying, “Phil Jacobsen—Please review our restaurant.” Honestly, their marketing genius is equaled only by Chris Vanocur’s.

I accepted Baxter’s invitation early one morning, and I could tell the person who was working behind the counter decided to play my arrival very cool. “What do you want?” she said.

“Obviously, I’m here for something special,” I replied. She must have been a fan, because she knew exactly what I wanted or needed even though she didn’t let on that she knew I was Phil Jacobsen. As in “the” Phil Jacobsen mentioned in Chris Vanocur’s blog.

After I finished my breakfast, the barista was still very discreet in handling my appearance. Sure, she asked for my autograph, but it was slyly disguised as asking me to sign my credit card bill. As I walked out the door, I took another look at their marquee, “Two eggs, hash browns and bacon, $3.99.” Sure enough, that specifically says, “Phil Jacobsen—Eat Here.”

And yes, Chris, thanks to Baxter’s, I’m happy now.

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Phil Jacobsen

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