Perhaps you've heard: Famous Person Khloe Kardashian lives in Dallas now. She spent her midday hours today over at Dallas City Hall, collecting toys for Children's Medical Center of Dallas. Joining her were some 2,000 other not-famous people, all of whom stood in an enormous line for a very long time for a chance to meet her. At the very head of that line was Ally Cochran, 20, a cheerleading coach who drove two hours from Mount Pleasant to get here at 5:30 a.m.
"I love the Kardashians," she told us. "Khloe's my favorite. She's 110 percent real and honest. I tend to have the same problem." Cochran stood with Amy Landers, 33, who owns the competitive cheer gym where she works. Both of them clutched a stack of books, some paper airplanes and a Rubik's Cube. They informed us that Khloe has five sisters, a brother and a line of unisex perfume called Unbreakable (they'd brought a bottle along for her to autograph).
A few moments later, a crew member got on the mic to exhort everyone to "Be respectful" and "Move through the line as fast as possible." A snaking line of TV cameras and photographers scurried into place as Kardashian appeared at the top of the escalator, flanked by Mayor Mike Rawlings. As they descended, the lobby erupted into a chorus of ear-piercing, dog-summoning, glass-shattering squeals. Wearing a leopard-print top and leather boots, Kardashian made her way the front of the room, where a table had been set up for her.
"Thanks so much for coming down," she told the crowd, leading to another round of squeals. Dallas, she had "has given us such an amazing warm welcome. The mayor has opened up this amazing City Hall for us."
Rawlings, dressed in a dark suit and looking a lot like he'd just gotten a haircut, handed Kardashian a Dallas Cowboys Monopoly special edition. "We hope you have a great time here in Dallas," he told her. "Go, Mavs."
"I love you!" someone screamed from the balcony.
"She is so pretty," someone else said tearfully.
"She said hi to me! She said hi to me!" someone said breathlessly. The cheerleading coaches reappeared, fresh from their 30 seconds with Khloe and looking a little dazed. Dozens of people pressed up against the bank of windows behind Kardashian, cell phones in hand, busily snapping shots of the back of her head.
"This is gonna take until tomorrow," grumbled a camera guy. "They'll have to start serving hot meals."
But outside, there was bad news. A member of Khloe's crew made his way around the side of the building to inform the back of the line that they would likely not make in to see her. "The cutoff is up there," he said. A row of 19-year-old girls crossed their arms and stared at him silently. "Khloe appreciates it," he said helplessly. More silence. "This is all about the kids, right?"
Near the front of the building, the mood was jubilant. "I just touched Khloe Kardashian!" a teenage girl shrieked.
"I'm still shaking," confided her friend, wiping her eyes.
A bike cop rolled by. "If you find my IQ, let me know, OK?" he told us.
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"She's so skinny!" someone exclaimed, as they left clutching a photo.
Two or so hours later, Kardashian was still at it, looking only slightly wilted. Behind her, enormous wheeled carts had filled up with toys. "This is the best turnout we've ever seen," one of her crew members told us. He added that the Kardashian sisters have three books: Dollhouse, Kardashian Konfidential and a third whose title he couldn't remember. (We assume it's about macroeconomics.)
"Everybody cut in line," grumbled a long-haired, middle-aged dude in a Cowboys sweatshirt at the side of the building. He was there with his wife. "Just let 'em all come in and drop off their toy, so every kid gets to meet her and they don't go away disappointed." Nearby, a chant of "We want Khloe!" got underway. Someone waved a Texas flag.
Finally, when it was clear that there was no more Kardashian to go around, a crew member announced that Khloe would appear on the balcony of the building overlooking the fountain. People dashed headlong to get a good look; she waved a couple times and was gone. From the plaza, one last, long anguished howl of "Khloe!" went up from the crowd, before everyone broke for their cars.