Our heroes are a very personal thing. We look up to them and strive to be like them. Sometimes they're athletes, actors, or other celebrities, and sometimes they're people in our own communities. Unfortunately, people's public faces aren't always who they really are.
Even though they're our heroes they're still human; they suffer the same human faults we do. Nobody is perfect, but some are definitely worse than others.
Reddit user just_add_bacon_7 asked:
Some responses edited for content or clarity.
Knowledge Isn't Conceit
Not a celebrity but when I was a teenager I wanted to join the military and become a pilot. They have recruitment tests for high school students for scholarships and stuff to the Australian Defence Force Academy. Took a whole day of school to do all the tests. I'd done some work experience on a RAAF base before and came across some arseholes but overall everyone seemed pretty chill. At this recruitment centre everyone there was pretty up themselves, like basically thought they were better than you because you wanted a job there and they already worked there.
Anyway I was pretty nervous and after all the tests and lectures we were taken for a one of one interview with one of the recruitment officers who would also go over your test results. He sat me down and was like “so do you have any questions, you can ask me anything, ask me why the sky is blue!" I was nervous but tying not to show it and so made a stupid little joke like “I actually now why the sky is blue, ha ha, but I did have some questions", after going through my questions he went through the test scores and said basically my scores would allow me entry as an officer and I was eligible to sit the pilots test.
Then he was like “I'm going to give you some advice, you come off as a smart arse and really arrogant", I was like “wtf? I've barely said anything all day?" He continued on “you don't need to show off that your smart saying you know why the sky is blue", I was stunned, I was 17 and nervous around all these stuck up d!cks and I made a stupid joke so now I was condemned to being an arrogant smart arse. I so wanted to say “great I'll fit right in then won't I?" It really turned me off the whole idea (plus the nurse was quite rude about my acne).
So I never joined, became an engineer and probably get paid a tonne more than I would have in the military. That guy probably did me a favour in the long run.
At Least She Found A New Hero
My sister's favourite hockey team has always been the Colorado Avalanche. They came to Vancouver to play against the Canucks and my mom got tickets for them to go to the game. My sister's favourite players were Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic. After the game my mom takes my sister to where the Avalanche board the bus to wait and ask for Joe and Patrick to sign her jersey.
As the players come out some of them sign her jersey as they board the bus, along comes Joe and flat out refuses to sign it, Patrick Roy comes out after and signs her jersey, my sister pleads with him to get Joe to sing her jersey and explained that they are both her heroes and the reason she started playing hockey. Patrick grabs her jersey goes onto the bus with it and got a few more to sign it and the coaches as well. She had every signature EXCEPT Joe Sakic, he flat out refused and it was his jersey she wore to the game. My sister was about 10 or so and was completely crushed. I mean she still got to meet her idol Patrick Roy and she's a goalie too so it was a big deal for her but my mom couldn't believe that he wouldn't sign her jersey, even Roy came out and kinda gave my mom a look like “yeah he's an a**hole but I tried".
Hillary Clinton. I was working in Washington D.C. for a non-profit connected to AmeriCorps, which was created by President Clinton. We had an event at the Capitol and she was still a Senator at that time. We organized everything and she came to speak. After she was done and waiting for the elevator with her aides, I asked politely for a photo. She looked at me and said "I don't have time for photos." She was just standing and waiting.
On the other hand, I also got to meet President Clinton after he had left office, and he was the complete opposite. Took a photo with me and asked about my background.
Not So Sly
Sylvester Stallone... my dad is a huge Rambo and Rocky fan. My parents had court side seats at a Lakers game once and he was sitting a few seats over from them. At half time they walked up to just say hello, he proceeded to hit on my mom, dismiss any attempts at a photo (which they weren't even asking for) and just be all around condescending. My dad was pretty bummed.
Arrogance Isn't Flattering On Anyone
Anthony Bourdain. His shtick that he popularized on TV, that sort of angry New Yorker with a heart of gold but wrapped up in layers of anger, cigarettes and traffic.....
... that was nothing compared to the real Bourdain. I met him at a gathering when I was an undergrad, probably 2 years after Kitchen Confidential. I think it was during his "Cooks Tour" days. The guy was supposed to be talking about the kitchen industry; instead, he talked about how everyone was going to fail, that he was a fraud, he took dozens of smoke breaks and berated one girl who had told him she was influenced by him. He was so rude and angry at such a well thought out and kind comment that no one dared say another thing. The event was supposed to be +2 hours long but it was done in well under an hour.
*Edit: I saw him speak at a university where none of the attendees were in the culinary arts, and he either had no clue, or had been told, but was too drunk to know/care.
Negative Effects Of Fame
Alex Rodriguez. My family and another friends family would stay at the hotel the Yankees would stay at when they would play the Rays in Tampa. The first year A-Rod was signed he was sh*t, and was the most humble dude. The hotels used to have signs about "famous guests are guests too" and have ropes, A-Rod saw my brother and I at the end waiting for a signature and he took us under his arms into the elevator and talked with us, super cool dude.
The next year he was absolutely tearing the cover off the ball and started hitting homeruns again. He was the last guy to enter the hotel lobby and had a crew of security escorting him. We didn't think anything of it. We were running around the hotel and just below the bar is a bathroom that my buddy had to use so I was sitting outside on a bench. And down the stairs comes A-Rod, I was stunned, I could talk to him. Except 2 seconds later the security crew came down and walked in the bathroom as A-Rod and 2 security guards stayed outside. The 2 that went it came out with my buddy behind them. Basically told him "hurry up someone has to use this." And then A-Rod went into the bathroom.
He was so worried about people asking him for his autograph that he cleared out the bathroom. When he'd go in the pool he'd have 3-4 guards standing on the edge of the pool with him watching him.
Hideki Matsui ended up becoming my hero after this, he was throwing a football around in the pool with us even though he barely spoke English. We didn't even ask him for a signature or picture because he's in the pool and a guest. A-Rod was just so paranoid.
Emotional Crash And Burn
When I was a young lad in the US Air Force I met Chuck Yeager. As a child I was obsessed with the P-51 Mustang--the premier WWII fighter. Chuck Yeager earned his Ace designation in the P-51, shooting down five enemy aircraft in a single mission. Chuck Yeager was also instrumental in the development of jet aircraft; he was an early pioneer in faster-than-sound flight, with most aviation historians crediting him as the first human to exceed Mach 1. During my childhood, I read everything I could get my hands on about Chuck Yeager.
I served as a Boom Operator in the USAF, and was stationed at Beale, AFB in the 80s. Chuck Yeager lived in Grass Valley then, and sometimes shopped at the commissary on Beale. I once saw him in the commissary while I was grocery shopping. I was a SSgt (E-5) at the time. I had just gotten off duty and was still wearing my flight suit. I walked up to him and introduced myself. I wanted to tell him how he had influenced my decision to join the USAF and pursue a career field where I could fly. While I was introducing myself, he looked at my name badge, looked me right in the eye with a look of disdain, then turned his back and walked away without saying a word.
A Little Too In-Character
When I was a kid (Around 6-7 years old, I think?), my parents took me to Universal Studios in Florida. At the time, my all-time favorite superhero was Wolverine. I was so PUMPED UP to meet him, and that's all I could think about as we tried to track him down in the park (At least, the guy pretending to be wolverine.). At last, we spotted him, back turned to us. I nervously approached him, autograph book in hand, and said:
"Excuse me, Mr. Wolverine?"
Wolverine snapped around to face me, while practically growling "WHAT!?"
I know now that this was some actor doing his best to stay in character, responding to a voice from behind. I grew up big for my age, so I'm sure my voice sounded older than I was. But to kid-me, Wolverine had just snarled at me, and was now looming over me, angry. I started to cry as I meekly offered up my autograph book, and he quietly kneeled down to sign it before shuffling away from that whole situation.
I left Universal with Spiderman as my favorite hero, after that.
As an adult, I feel terrible for that poor actor who was just doing his best to embody the Wolverine that the comics and movies present. But I had grown up with a kid-friendly introduction to him, so I had no idea Wolverine was known for his rude dude attitude. I was expecting him to be as friendly as every other superhero in the park.
Oh god this is so heartwarmingly embarrassing. Both of you walked away humiliated.
Eau De Tyson
Different twist on the whole thing.
I met Mike Tyson, by accident, in Vegas. He was in his way to an autograph signing, and his security detail and my group got stuck in a very narrow walkway. We had to lean up against the sides essentially to let them all pass. But, he stopped to shake all of our hands and say hello before he walked by, extremely friendly man, gave me one of those weird shake hug things.
But. His cologne. It was the most heavenly smell I have ever encountered. From that moment on, I could never look at the champ the same. He wasn't the boxing god that I used to think of him as anymore.
He was now, and will always be, the greatest smelling man I have ever encountered in my life. Anytime I smell something similar, I believe he is near by. Mike Tyson has taken over my olfactory glands, and I'm okay with that.
Edit: just want you to know, as weird as this may be. It's 100% true. Mike Tyson smells like an angel, and I hope on day you will have the chance to smell him.
Mr. T FTW
Jerry Lewis. Came to the Children's Hospital where I was a nurse. He wouldn't come up to our oncology unit. Wanted us to bring the immunocompromised kids to the lobby so the press would see him meeting the children. Sorry, Jerry I can't do that. F**k Jerry Lewis.
Mr. T, however, was the best. No entourage or cameras. This was during his A-Team peak. He spent as much time as each kid wanted. He was kind and warm to everyone on the unit.