I am disgusted by Andy Rooney.

I don’t usually use this space to call people out but given that he’s spent most of his overpaid years on 60 Minutes telling us about his various grievances, I thought it only appropriate that I follow his lead – but that’s where it will end.

I don’t like him. And the reason I don’t like him, in the shortest possible explanation, is that he not only refuses requests for autographs when approached on the street, he will rarely respond to mail — calling anyone who would request his autograph or write to him ‘an idiot‘.

This is not rumor. I heard it with my own ears as he all but bragged of it in a farewell interview.

At first I thought he was just trying to be humble, as in ‘my autograph is really nothing special and I am no better than another’ – but it quickly became apparent that he not only lacks humility, he lacks grace.

Idiots! He said it more than once.

Tick Tick Tick….

Recently, my mother had the opportunity to spend an evening with Phillies all-star Jimmy Rollins – her favorite baseball player. I’m guessing he is approached for an autograph more often – and has many more fans – than Andy Rooney.

But, here he is hangin’ with my mom.

Afterwards she would tell me, ‘He’s ten times the person he is the ballplayer.’

It was the greatest night of her life – and I’m including my wedding.

Tick, Tick, Tick…

When someone angers me, as Rooney has, I try to use it as an opportunity to learn something about myself.

I spent this past weekend signing autographs at an NBC Connecticut event. Although I am embarrassed by the fact that my job has a tone of celebrity to it, I feel fortunate to be in a position to make so many people happy with a simple hello.

We all look up to someone. And someone probably looks up to you. Just be kind.

Tick…tick…tick…

Dear Mr. Rooney:

I don’t know who would take the time to write to you or approach you for an autograph — but I do know that they are not idiots.

They are simply people who have not been as fortunate as you have been – in work, in health, in life.

They are your audience.

And if you cannot find it in your heart to take two seconds out of your day to make theirs, then you didn’t deserve 15 minutes of fame…. let alone 60.

Tick, tick, tick…

Have you ever had an encounter with a celebrity?

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