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You learn a lot as a VIP

Chance to meet star proves to be a lesson in what not to eat

The Weekend Spin
(Port Huron, Michigan) Times Herald

March 2, 2007

By Bill Chapin

It's true. I met Sisqó.

This was Saturday during the reopening of Enigma Niteclub, now called Gruv Niteclub. The highlight was an appearance by the R&B singer.

I started off next door at Quay Street Brewing Co. My friends — even people who hadn't given a second thought to Sisqó since the days of “Thong Song” — kept looking out the front window. I mentioned that I was on the guest list next door and could take one lucky person with me. My friend Tara jumped at the opportunity.

While standing in line, a white, stretch SUV pulled up.

"He's totally not in there," I whispered to Tara. "That limo was here earlier. It's probably just to draw attention —

I was interrupted by the gleam of platinum hair.

"That was him, wasn't it?" I said. Tara nodded.

The club's new management did an admirable job of packing the place. It was hopping, and a small crowd was gathered around the VIP section.

I wanted to introduce myself to DJ Marquis Williams before we left. I'd interviewed him a few times over the phone, but I hadn't met him in person. So I made my way to the DJ booth, shook his hand and walked away.

About 10 minutes later, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned to see Williams pointing to an employee.

"He's gonna take you guys up to meet Sisqó!" he shouted over the bass.

Tara and I glanced at each other. Really? Us? In the VIP? Sisqó?

Just like that, seconds later I was standing face-to-face with Sisqó.

"I'm just a reporter with the local newspaper," I said, trying to explain why he was shaking my hand.

Tara asked him to sign her wristband, which he did in Japanese.

That's when I spotted the table of fruit. Tara and I already had our mouths full of strawberry and pineapple when a concerned-looking girl with a clipboard approached us. I couldn't hear the first part of what she said, but it definitely ended with, " ... and he doesn't like other people eating his food."

I was eating Sisqó's strawberry. I apologized.

"That's OK," she said. "Honest mistake."

I had some cheese and crackers in my hand. Should I put it back, I wondered. Instead, for some reason, I stuffed it in my pocket, and Tara and I decided we needed to leave. Now. Clearly, we had no idea how to handle ourselves in the VIP.

You know, I heard a lot of disbelief when I told people Sisqó was coming to Port Huron. Nine out of 10 responded by saying, "Has he sunk that low?"

But for the brief time I was in the VIP, the guy seemed happy to be there. He was just smiling and dancing with the girls in hot pants. He didn't care whether he was in Port Huron or Miami. Apparently, a party is a party.

What I'm digging: Well, I failed in my quest to see all five Best Picture nominees before the Oscars. Like everybody, I'm happy for Martin Scorsese, even if the end of “The Departed” left me scratching my head a bit.

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