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By Carissa Sitki
This New Year’s Eve was not set to be an eventful one for me. I had no plans to attend any parties, or go out anywhere to celebrate. The lines must have gotten crossed somewhere, though, because I will never forget ringing in 2022 as long as I live. If you don’t believe this story, that’s okay because I’m not sure if I believe it myself.
My night was going to be rather quiet. I visited my hometown and got together with my best friend, Jennifer, and her kids for a little while. We parted ways just before 11 p.m. and I decided that, instead of going home, I would stop by a bar to toast the New Year.
I passed by several fun-looking spots, but since I was by myself, I decided to stop by a bar that my friend works at… for safety reasons. I didn’t really feel like hanging out around a bunch of strangers, so I drove by first to scope out the crowd. There weren’t many people inside, so I parked my car and skipped up to the door.
Upon my arrival, I walked up to my friend who excitedly said, “Chris Kattan is inside!” I’m sure my face was that of pure confusion. I think I said, “Nuh, uh, you’re joking.”
He assured me that he was serious and that he didn’t know why, but that Kattan was inside sitting at the bar. Now if you don’t know who Kattan is, he’s an actor, comedian, and author. He was a Saturday Night Live (SNL) cast member in the 90s and early 2000s and starred in numerous movies and other shows.
I’ve been a gigantic SNL fan since I was young and dreamed of being on the show… so as you can imagine, I was pretty nervous.
I wandered up to the bar and looked around. Not seeing him, I sat down and ordered myself a drink to toast the New Year. I looked to my left and then double-took that look to my left. There he was, Chris Kattan was sitting right next to me. Our elbows were practically touching.
The bartender walked back over with my drink and my hand was visibly shaking as I handed him the money. I had no idea what to do. I didn’t want to bombard this famous person, especially not on a holiday, but how could I let a once in a lifetime opportunity like that pass me by?
I decided to sit back and mind my own business for a bit and just bask in the fact that I was sitting next to a celebrity.
In the meantime, I bumped into my friend, who was coincidentally also named Chris. I sat there with Chris talking about how bizarre it was to see a famous person in our town.
I noticed Kattan was taking a selfie with a friend, so I leaned over and asked if they would like me to take the photo. That was my ticket in because they gladly let me snap the photo and thanked me for helping. I wasn’t going to bother them anymore, but as the new year approached, Kattan started joking around and counting down early. I chuckled and then found myself having a small conversation with him.
At this point, I felt pretty cool. Like I had worked my way into some kind of inner-circle. When it was time for the real countdown, we counted down and clinked our glasses together at midnight.
I waited a few minutes past midnight and asked Kattan if I could take a picture with him. He happily obliged.
The entire thing happened in the span of about 45 minutes, but it feels like it lasted five hours. I still can’t really believe that it happened. It was probably the funniest thing that’s happened to me in a long time.
Talk about setting a tone for 2022. Hopefully that was a sign that my year will be filled with laughter and unforgettably awesome experiences. Cheers to happiness, health, and prosperity in this new year… and let’s not forget to make a toast to those random celebrity encounters.