If you are 25-35 years old, from anywhere in the world that has a radio or MTV, you know the song title "Hit Me Baby One More Time". The song was iconic, if not for the lip syncing teen sensation that sang the lyrics, it was for the music video that featured a teenage something girl prancing around in her catholic school girl outfit. That young girl, was megastar (or former megastar depending on your definition) Britney Spears. Tonight, it came full circle, memories I had surpressed for years until this fateful night in a Sao Paulo Hotel.
Those that knew me in my teens know that I focused on basketball, video games, and school rather than chasing girls throughout the countryside. However when Ms. Spears hit the scene I was a bit smitten. So smitten in fact, a friend of mine who happen to be a few years younger stole a life size cardboard cutout (from a McDonald's promotional display) of her for me as my going away gift to college. I will call this friend "Zac" for disguise purposes. His gift graced my dorm room and apartment for 5 years until I graduated Grad School when I decided to throw her out.
For those that are not as familiar with the story of Brit Brit or as Brazilian Teens say "Brrrrrrrineeeeeeeeeee" (without the T) you know the tragic rise and fall of one of the earliest stars. She lived a fairytale life dating Justin Timberlake, then moved on to a path that seemed to eclipse early successes of Michael Jackson and the Beetles. However it was derailed over the course of a few bad years when she married Brazilian rap star Kevin Federline, because he had to have been Brazilian with his "hit" single "Popozao" right? That song was so bad you cannot even find its video online anymore, so try his first single, Loose Control. You can still see how bad he was. She then had two kids, walked barefoot in a gas station bathroom, and don't forget the no underwear getting out of the limo mishap. Her life had hit rock bottom, or so we thought, because you likely also know the story of her shaving her head to avoid a drug test that would force her to lose custody of her children. She didn't realize that hair on other parts of the body could be used. Issues with drugs and alcohol have supposively been conquered now that she is on her next world tour which just happens to be in Brazil at the moment.
One thing that Time Irado and the rest of the diners at Skyebar, located on the top floor of Hotel Unique, did not know when they scheduled a fancy dinner over looking the Sao Paulo Skyline, was that Ms. Spears, would actually be staying at the hotel tonight. When we pulled up the hotel there was a line of youngsters leaning across the gates screaming to get a glimpse of the pop star. We of course, work for Ernst & Young and do not speak Portuguese so we walked right on by security and headed to the elevator up to the top floor. I am disappointed to say that we did not meet Brit Brit at the Skyebar because she ordered a Hamburger via Room Service (that's right we have connections to the Restaurant Manager who filled us in) and her children ran amok up and down the halls. That could be the jet lag, the sugar from their fresh Brazilian juices, or it could have just been the drugs their mother used during their pregnancy. We had our dinner, reflected on our nearly ended Fellowship and listened to the madness from teens and a few adults on the top floor of the posh watering hole.
One the way out, I pulled on my black jacket and headed toward the line of teens with Ryan who was also professionally dressed. We walked over to the crowd and asked who spoke English and they all immediately looked stunned. One girl threw herself over the fence and begged to see Ms. Spears. At that moment, Ryan told the crowd that only the 5 loudest fans would get to go inside to see Britney and we would record a video message to let her decide who comes inside. The crowd immediately grew restless for their turn and one by one recorded their messages for Britney. When we were done, we turned around, hoped in a cab and left. Just kidding, we actually did not approach the crowd despite our plan to do so. Katie actually talked us out of it. Instead we got in a cab and screamed Britney back at the teens as we drove by. We did not turn around to look but we all knew they were chasing the taxi for many miles until they could run no farther. My crush has been over for many years, as has been her career. I wish her the best in her endeavors here in Brazil and may it treat her as well as it did me.
For enjoyment, I have included Britney's breakout single music video, Hit Me Baby One More time!