The Austin Chronicle

The Luv Doc: Moby Dick McConaughey

People have been spinning tall tales about celebrities in Austin for years

By The Luv Doc, May 17, 2024, Columns

Dear Luv Doc,

My wife is a fairly normal person, but she has a weird obsession with celebrities. Specifically, she is convinced she is going to meet someone famous in Austin. She spends hours and hours on her little celebrity-spotting outings. Usually she posts up somewhere on South Congress because she heard that Taylor Kitsch used to live near there. I haven’t found any evidence that’s even true, but it doesn’t keep her from spending large parts of her weekend, and weekdays, hoping that she will bump into him or some other famous person like Matthew McConaughey or Sandra Bullock. I have asked her what she is going to do if she ever does meet someone famous and she says, “Nothing, I just want to see what they look like.” I can’t help but feel like this is a waste of her time – which she could be spending with me instead of drinking coffee for four hours waiting to run into Taylor Kitsch – so I’m wondering: Should I say something or am I just being a spoilsport and ruining her idea of a good time?  – Celebrity Stalker’s Husband

First of all, I want to say up front that what your wife is doing is pretty harmless. I mean, she is technically stalking, but it’s not the bad kind of stalking, and as hobbies go, you could do a lot worse. For instance: What if she went to the gym every day and then came home and told you about her workouts in excruciating detail? You can only listen to so much talk about reps and sets before you want to blow your brains out. In contrast, your wife’s celebrity stalking is probably fascinating – not because of the celebrities she never sees, but because of all the people-watching she gets to do while waiting for Moby Dick McConaughey. Why? Because unlike celebrities, people are fucking fascinating, and South Congress is absolutely lousy with them – probably because they’re all down there trying to catch some Kitsch.

It’s a good thing your wife isn’t easily disappointed though, because I know Austin’s dirty little secret: There are no celebrities here. Let me be clear, I am not implying that Austin is some sort of egalitarian utopia where all people are treated as celebrities ... or nobodies as the case may be, but rather that all the internet prattle about celebrities moving to Austin is complete bullshit. Be honest: When was the last time you saw a celebrity just knocking around Austin – riding scooters ... eating trailer tacos ... banging shots of T Dub at the White Horse? Exactly. The only time you see a celebrity in Austin is in a photo gallery from some 10-grand-a-table fundraiser you only heard about after it happened. Was it in Austin? I mean, the caption said it was held in Austin, but if they could fake the moon landing ... am I right?

People have been spinning tall tales about celebrities in Austin for years, but after a while they all just sound like the stories my brother tells about seeing wild bears in suburban Dallas: Dubious. Sure, they’re entertaining, but only in a chemtrails/Bigfoot/Loch Nessy kind of way. Has anyone ever actually seen Joe Rogan ... like ... waiting in line at JuiceLand, or have they just gone to the Comedy Mothership hoping to see Joe Rogan? Similarly, Walton’s has been open for 15 fucking years. How many times have you been there and seen Sandra Bullock? Or anywhere else for that matter? Surely she regularly goes to Sandy’s Hamburgers after a bracing dip in Barton Springs? If not, why did she even move here? Other than to stalk Bob Schneider?

It just doesn’t add up. Why don’t we regularly run into Meadow from The Sopranos or Dean from Gilmore Girls, or Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights, or at the very least one of Clint Eastwood’s kids? I’m pretty sure I know why: Fake. Celebrity. News. I’m sure it’s great for real estate brochures, but after a while it becomes tedious ... like listening to a detailed recap of someone’s workout routine. And look, I know there are going to be people who read this and say, “Oh, there are celebrities in Austin all right, they just hang out at exclusive places you can’t even get into.” Yeah, right. I’m sure they’re feeding the wild bears of suburban Dallas. As for me, I’d rather take my chances with the wildlife down on South Congress. If there actually are celebrities in Austin, that’s most likely where they will be.

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