Did Michael Phelps pull a Vinnnie Chase?

Read in the Baltimore Sun this morning, that the New York Times was reporting, that they heard…(wow, can this get any more passed along, he-said, she-said, heresay?)….that Michael Phelps was paid $100,000 for appearing at a (presumably)big party thrown by a tv network head’s wife, and all our boy had to do was show up, and swim a few laps in the pool. Hmmmm. Has Michael Phelps pulled a Vincent Chase?

Vinnie didnt mind making a few extra bucks....

Vinnie didn't mind making a few extra bucks....

Those of you who love  the HBO show Entourage like I do, will know the episode I’m talking about. It was the season finale last season, where movie star Vincent Chase was down to his last dime, literally, because of a run of bad luck and bad movie choices, and to make a quick few bucks, accepts a gig at a man’s opulent bat mitzvah  for his very spoiled daughter, for a few hundred thousand.  At first, they want him to sit in the pool dressed at Aquaman, his famous movie character. He is understandably humiliated by this and says no way, that he will come to the party and sing a little love song to the bratty daughter, but that’s it. No costumes. If you haven’t seen the episode yet, I won’t spoil the ending for you, but his brother Johnny Chase really makes the party one that people will talk about for years. And years. I’ll say no more.

So, did Michael Phelps decide to make a few quick bucks at a party doing what he does best….swim? Dunno, the Sun says his rep didn’t return calls. That isn’t surprising. And if he did, so what? Not a lot of people will laugh off 100 grand, and maybe, he was also doing it as a favor to the network head. That’s not a bad friend to have on your side, even if you’re Michael Phelps….hey, especially if you’re Michael Phelps.

And confession time.  I actually stumbled over Michael Phelps just this morning. Well….practically. It was a total accident…I had gone downstairs to the accounting department to ask them for something, and I glanced into the lobby and there stood someone who looked like a delivery man…kinda…dressed in a baggy hoodie and baseball cap, but he also looked like Michael Phelps. I opened the door to say, “Hey, does anyone ever tell you you look like Michael Phelps ?”, when our lovely receptionist Gwen put her finger to her lips, “Ssshhhhhhh. He doesn’t want anyone to know he’s here.” ….so I know it’s him!!  Like an idiot, I ask my question anyway….and he said people do actually ask him that all the time, and he usually says, “Yeah, I get that a lot.” So in a moment of celebrity to celebrity commaradarie, I admitted that I get asked that too. Not that I look like Michael Phelps, but that I look a lot like Donna Hamilton.  He smiled and was very kind. That was about it….Michael told me he was headed up to radio for an interview, and I moved on to accounting…for some non-glamourous paperwork.  But I really thought I’d had been pretty cool about the whole thing. You know, not too gushy…not too friendly…didn’t ask for an autograph…nothing like that. And then I remembered that I had been so…starstruck, it must be said..that I forgot to ask him about pulling a Vinnie Chase, as this blog was already half written when I ran into him. Did he go to the party, dressed as an Olympic swimmer, for 100 grand? Alas, we may never know….


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