Friday, December 02, 2005

my ambition: to touch celebrities

Statistic of the day: At parties, men are twice as likely to ask for a pay rise, three times as likely to strip and five times more likely to be sick on a colleague than women.

But to business: Yesterday didn’t start well. An epic shower session from the Housemate Who Cannot Be Named meant that I stumbled into work late, with unwashed hair. Not the best day start to any day.

Things perked up a bit later, however, when Weave (she of never-updated blog Weave Ponders, see left) texted mid-afternoon to offer tickets to the League of Gentlemen panto, and aftershow party, courtesy of everyone’s favourite right-wing media organisation (no, the other one). I wavered briefly, until she clinched it with the un-turn-downable, “Derren Brown’s going”.

Well, that was always going to swing it. Many’s the time I have dreamed of nodding sweetly as Derren explains the finer points of Neuro-Linguistic Programming to me, before interjecting with an incisive, “yeah, but, it’s all old-fashioned slight of hand, at the end of the day, isn’t it?” How we would laugh together at the simpletons who follow religions and believe that men in shiny suits in Vegas can talk to the dead. I might have even touched his parrot.

Weave was late; I, as usual, was early, and had joined four other people at the prison-eating bench in Hammersmith station McDonalds to pie down a Nugget Happy Meal. Fellow diners included a six-foot woman wearing clothes of such consummate vileness she could only have been a model. I even became one of those people I hate by ordering a Diet Coke, to accompany my myocardial infarction and chips.

When we finally took our seats, I reflected that the experience was coming dangerously close to vindicating my choice of journalism as a career, especially as Stephen Merchant ambled past me for the second time this month. All the more so when Sean Hughes sat down next to Sarah, with a scruffiness that only the rich and Irish can truly pull off with aplomb.

Cursing myself for sitting on the left, denying me the chance to touch a celebrity (something I never turn down), I glanced round... to be confronted with Derren Brown, heading for the seat next to me. And all I could think at that perfect moment was: My hair! I hate my bloody housemate.

All my hopes and dreams of him pickpocketing my phone and putting his number in, before returning it without me even noticing (ooh, he's quick like that) - dashed. At least that’s what I’m going to blame it on in all future anecdotes about the incident. Weave's suggestion that I go up to him and say, "look into the eyes - not around the eyes - look into my eyes" was given short shrift.

There’s something odd about celebrities in real life: they look, well, not exactly glossier than us mere mortals - but somehow more in focus. (For the record, Derren had a strong, manly clap and was wearing very shiny shoes.) And there's nothing better than demonstrating to slebs how totally and utterly unimpressed you are with their proximity. And then running off and texting all your friends.

The show was good, if a little obvious - featuring lines surely stolen from Geoffrey Chaucer’s Panto Jokebook, circa 1380, along the lines of "are you enjoying it? well, tell your face". According to Gail Porter, who we collared at the after-party (yes, Grinch, she is still sexy with the slaphead), they only had a few weeks to pull it together.

I don't think she was impressed when in response to her assertion that, "we couldn't have done as well in three weeks or whatever," I replied: "Well, I'd like to think so, really." But she did not see my seminal performance in St Peter's College Blind Date (cruelly overlooked for a Tony, 2002) so I suppose she must be forgiven.

Anyway, the weekend brings the first Christmas party of the season (although I cracked on Wednesday and had my first mince pie). Let's hope I don't become another vomit-stained statistic.


Blogger Paul B said...

Christmas events seem to be earlier every year. For example, I went to the Merton College carol service on Thursday night (1st December) and then awoke to the sound of Fairytale of New York blaring out of Radio 1 the following morning. As soon as it's December, we have to become festive on cue, it seems.

Bah humbug, says I.

12/03/2005 6:03 pm  
Blogger galatea said...

still, there's nothing like your first mince pie of the year.

i also felt a but unseasonal when i bought this month's issue of Top Gear magazine (yeah, shut up) and received a calendar. It was terrifying - I mean, I knew next year was going to happen, just not so soon...

12/05/2005 12:25 pm  
Blogger Paul B said...

I just hope that the calendar features cars and not the modelling talents of Messrs. Clarkson, Hammond and May. The mere thought of any one of them sprawled 'seductively' across the bonnet of anything makes me retch.

12/05/2005 5:14 pm  
Blogger galatea said...

even more sadly, it's a supercar calendar. grr.

january is the pagani zonda f - like the original zonda, only better. it's the fastest car EVER on the top gear track.

however, i would love the modelling talents of messrs clarkson, may and hammond, personally. i would happily take any of them as my wife.

12/06/2005 11:16 am  
Blogger Paul B said...

Just imagine what would happen if Ellen Macarthur drove the Zonda F... it'd probably take off!

12/07/2005 12:12 pm  

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