Apologies to anyone who tried to come down to the gig in Soho tonight. It was cancelled for some reason, but no-one thought to let me know. So I was as disappointed as you.
Actually I was glad of the night off and it meant I could have a drink with friends without having to subject them to a 20 minute monologue about why I think the magpie reward system is wrong. But I did the monologue to them despite this. Ha ha that will show them for being my friends.
As you will know if you read regularly, I very rarely get recognised in public situations these days. This is my favourite instance in recent years.
As I was coming back from the loo in the pub, I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a young woman clock me. I kind of hoped she was thinking, "Who is that extraordinarily handsome elderly man? He is so beautiful I have no choice but to stare at him."
But then I saw her conferring with the man beside her. Alas she was obviously thinking, "I recognise that bloke from somewhere. But I have no idea where. Is he that bloke off of Trigger Happy TV
who does that weak badly-written column in the Independent on Sunday? I'll ask Simon."
Now the etiquette in these situations is that in order to look cool, I must pretend that I have not noticed the minor commotion I have caused and carry on walking, almost as if I am a normal person, rather than a "celebrity" as proven by my taking part in both a "celebrity" boat race and a "celebrity" poker yournament. It makes me look good if I pretend that these facts are insignificant and almost embarrassing. Because one in a thousand people will know that that is not the truth. That I am better than them. But false modesty must prevail.
The upshot is that I should leave them to their excited conversation which I imagine is proceeding thus, "No, it's the funny bloke from that thing about the priests who went on to do that mainstream rubbish about the ordinary life of a superhero, the writers of which do not seem to realise that every superhero comic in the world already details the amusing irony of a person with superpowers having to live an ordinary life and disguise themselves. As well as not realising how you are meant to write funny jokes. It's definitely him."
I almost pulled the whole "cool" act off, but as I got back to my table I made the kind of faux pas
that clearly marked me out as someone who is not a celebrity and is not cool and modest about it. I looked round to see if they were still looking at me. Which would have been OK if they weren't. But they were. So now they could see that I was looking round to see if they were looking and the whole carefully crafted cool facade I had created, now crumbled into the dust, like a big ball of dust that has been stuck together with a child's saliva, but which has now dried out and is being crushed in another child's hand and the second child is laughing at its destruction of the careful dust and spittle work of the first. And the first child is watching and crying and thinking, "That dust and sputum ball took me ages to make and yet look how it is destroyed in but an instant. Now I see the ultimate cruelty and unfairness of the world that til now I thought was fair and safe. When I look back on this day I will see it as the moment that I lost my innocence." Like that kind of dust.
I could see in their disappointed reactions that they had been impressed that I had initially ignored them, but now had revealed that I had seen everything and wanted the satisfaction of looking back to check that they had noticed me. It was a look that said, "Oh yeah, it's that bloke off that thing from Sunday mornings, six years ago, that got taken off for being shit. No, not the good one who directs opera. The fat one."
Being someone who was on TV six years ago, but isn't anymore is the hardest job in the world.