On Recognising The Famous
Make a habit of going to fancy London restaurants and you’ve only got yourself to blame if you notice some famous people from time to time. If you don’t want to notice them, if you keep your eyes fixed to the floor when you’re moving and fixed to your plate when you’re eating then what are you doing there?
I loathe the famous. They sit there being all famous and yet demanding their privacy at the same time, in public. What kind of fools bring that curse down upon themselves? They deserve all they get.
Their fame is bad enough but they are nearly always resentful if you so much as notice them. Noticing this resentment, however incipient or subliminal, is I suspect what makes a lot of people who are not usually craven morons actually approach the famous with some craven moronic remark such as, ‘Your work has given me such pleasure.’, or ‘Do your Michael Caine’, just to get them back for their resentment - sometimes the famous bring that kind of approach on themselves by their attitude. Then again, many other people who approach them like that, it has to be acknowledged, really are just craven morons.
All that would be fine. Avoid the places where the famous go and all will be fine. Except that it’s not. What if there’s a nice little restaurant or bar that you go to, been going to for years since they started up, your custom has helped support them through difficult times? You go there to relax, order your baked eggs and start the relaxing that you’ve gone there for. You look idly about the room. The part of your brain that comments on what you’re seeing at any time directs your gaze to someone it thinks you might know. You can’t instantly tell why it is you know them or from where and while you are working that out your gaze is left on pause. Too late, you know. Too late, because the object of your gaze, some oaf off the telly or the films, has now turned to meet it. And you, on your own territory, in your own place of habit, get ‘the look’.
If the look were a blank one or slightly mystified then honour could be saved by shouting across, ‘Sorry, thought you were someone I know personally’ and that might be that. But it’s not. The look is of sod-you weariness, hostility, hatred. They have already decided why you are looking at them. The frailties of memory, mistaken identity, the faulty processes of recognition and event-placement do not occur to their grotesque egos. No, according to them, you are fascinated by them.
The worst thing to do now would be to turn away fast, burning with resentment at your own folly.
Never do this. NEVER. This oaf has invaded YOUR TERRITORY. No, you must raise them to the point of emotional bankruptcy. It won’t cost you much. Screw your eyes up and scrutinise them like they’re a dodgy piece of fish that someone is trying to charge you for. Then, feigning realisation, set your look instantly to ‘desiccate’ and treat them to a nine-pointer on the Pinfold Scale of Utter Disdain. I once sent an especially loathsome ‘comedian’ back several paces, literally, and I know what ‘literally’ means, just with that look. You would know his name. That shitbag won’t come in to ‘my’ bar again.
The famous are like criminals, the recognisability of their faces is as initially arresting and then revolting as news of the most offensive crime. They have by their own actions abdicated many of the privileges of the honest citizen. They should be mug-shotted, then locked away, segregated, kept out of the sight of decent people who just want to have a drink or a meal in peace.