I work at King's Barbecue, at 2910 South Crater Road, Petersburg, Virginia. It's rather famous in the Richmond area, for what is considered to be the best BBQ around (which it is, most of the time). From time to time, film crews swarm Petersburg to use some of the many, many old buildings for some purpose or the other, usually to portray either something horrible and decrepit or to portray something grand and magnificent, never anywhere in between.

So, being one of the few places to eat of any reputation whatsoever (even as a meat joint) in the Petersburg city limits, Kings gets its share of famous, or at least people that are theoretically famous. Some of the celebrities I've personally waited on:

  • Jesse Helms, that wacky and lovable gay-bashing tobacco-loving North Carolina congressperson. Comes in every once in a while, and leaves a nice crisp one dollar bill, such a generous soul (notice the sarcasm leaking from my voice). He even has weird special requests, too. He asks for coffee, but he wants it in a plastic soda glass instead of a mug, and he wants a little cup of water and two slices of lemon to mix with it, along with a whole bunch of cream and sugar . . . what the hell is that?!
  • John Grisham wandered in once, and I recognized him because I'd seen him on the Today show a week or two ago. Very kind and courteous, as was his accompanying lady. They gushed over the apple pie. I seem to remember a pretty decent tip.
  • Recently deceased VA 4th district representative Norman Sisisky
  • Ohio 7th district (yes, I had to look that up) representative David L. Hobson, who was obnoxious enough to point out who he was to me in a manner that was about as un-subtle as it gets. The conversation went like this:

  • (me) "So, do any of y'all want to have some pie and ice cream today?"
    (mr. ohio) "What kind of pie?"
    "We've got apple and pecan today."
    "My wife back in Ohio makes a really good pecan pie. I always try to convince her to make them when I have politicians over. You know, I'm the representative for the 7th district in Ohio, so that happens fairly often."
    "Oh, er, that's . . . nice. So do you want any or not?"

    Very tacky, If I do say so myself. I think he thought I ought to be impressed, but, no.