Why do people in general have a tendency to turn into stammering numbnutses when they meet someone famous? It doesn’t even matter if they’re extremely famous, or someone who they’ve seen on the TV a lot in some silly ad. But somehow I don’t think the reaction of most people on recognizing Canadian Tire Ted would be to stammer. But I digress. What is so special about famous people? When you get down to it, they’re just as ordinary as you or I. They still get up, eat, shower, piss and shit like everyone else. They were not dropped from the heavens as the chosen ones. They were born, just like the rest of us. Why do we treat them like some kind of gods?
I caught myself doing this the other day. I was standing in the lobby of a restaurant with some friends waiting for a cab. All of a sudden, this guy comes over to us. He says, “Hey guys. Did you have a good meal? I see you’ve got some food packed up to take home.” So we talk to him like normal. I just think he’s a friendly stranger or our out-going cabby. Then suddenly we turn collectively into a pack of either mutes or retards at the utterance of his next few words. “I’m Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party.” I’m desperately thinking of something intelligent to say, you know, like, “I voted for your party.” or “congratulations on getting a bunch more seats.” But you know what comes out of my mouth.? “Hi. Yeah I’ve seen you on TV a lot.” Ok, just hit me with the stupid stick. It seems fitting.