In the Ottawa terminal, on departure, I noticed a man who looked very familiar; I thought maybe I went to high school with him. He looked me straight in the eye without blinking or turning away, more than once, as I examined him to figure out how I knew him. He wore a flashy tan suit with interesting stitching and a straw hat. After the third encounter as I passed him as I boarded the flight, I realized it was none other than Northern Exposure's Rob Morrow. He is currently on Num3ers, a show I have only seen commercials for.
Weirdly, during my trip to Ottawa there had been a Northern Exposure reference to bad service in a store. The story told to me by a Canadian was that a shopowner (on the show) wouldn't put down her book when a new customer entered the store. This story was told to illustrate the way Canadians think of their country's notorious bad service. Frankly, I never encountered such bad service in Canada, it was always friendly and helpful but not intimidating or annoyingly clawing. And then, just a day after hearing this reference to an old tv show that I hadn't thought about in years, there he was, on our airplane going to NY. Well, almost going to NY.
The flight had an initial 1/2 hour delay but we did get on board and wait, and wait. Rob was sitting 2 rows ahead of me on the other side of the aisle so I had a very good view of his laptop. He was watching the most recent episode of Big Love and reading email. I couldn't read the content of the email, the type was too small.
After about an hour of being on the plane, they announced that the flight was cancelled and we would have to deplane. The colleague I was traveling with had her camera ready and we were planning to shanghai him at baggage claim to get our celebrity photo. But alas, my friend had purchased candy in the duty free shop and customs wouldn't let her out of the customs area until someone from the shop came to take away the candy. They said it would be quick but it turned into a 45 minute wait until someone finally came down. By that time Rob Morrow was long gone, and he didn't appear on our flight the next morning either. While this celebrity sighting pales in comparison to sitting one row ahead of Halle Berry on a flight from LA in April, it was still a fun diversion during a flight cancellation experience, which is never at all enjoyable.