The Strangest of Heroes

I’m sitting on the 1730 train, in soggy clothes. It’d started snowing hard as I wandered through the city on my way to the rail station. To make matters worse I was carrying a poster-tube (a nice abstract print of the New York skyline) and a bag of shopping, so my exposed hands took the brunt of the weather. I really should have left my gloves in my bag; knowing where they are in the wardrobe at home wasn’t much help!

Typing on my iPad is helping to get the blood recirculating to my fingers. Whilst I was in Tesco I bought myself a bag of Revels. I enjoy the excitement they provide, they are the Russian-roulette of the confectionary world. I give myself the same frisson of surprise with boxes of chocolates, I happily do without that little leaflet with the pictures and wordy descriptions of each chocolate. I just stick one in my gob and hope it’s pleasant. I think sometimes we feel the need to be too clued-up, part of life’s fun is leaping without looking – just to find out what happens. Thus far, in regards to the Revels, all my philosophy has provided me with is bloody Maltesers – but I live in hope.

The Further Adventures of an Idiot Abroad

My choice of book for the journey home, if I have time to read any of it after typing this, is Karl Pilkington’s ‘The Further Adventures of an Idiot Abroad’. The first book was hilarious, and this one is amusing me just as much. I’m rather in awe of the chap, a reluctant global traveller and bloody funny writer. I’d love to reluctantly travel the world and write entertainingly about how shite I think it is. Now, I’m not the sort of guy who idolises celebrities, I think that’s largely because I’m utterly hopeless at remembering names and faces. Ash will often describe the latest gossip about some famous singer or other and I’ll honestly have no idea who he’s talking about. It’s difficult to become a groupie when you struggle to remember the names of people in bands.

I don’t have aspirations to get a fleeting smile from an A-lister on a red carpet, or an autograph to prove that I annoyed someone whilst they were out doing their shopping. However, I do feel strong associations with celebrities that I think I would actually get on well with if I met them. The A-listers on my list are much more down-to-Earth. To fit the criteria for a place on my list they would first have to meet two criteria:

Q1) Would I buy them a drink without being miffed if they asked for something pricey?
Q2) Would they happily chip-in for the cost of a Chinese?

Strange requirements I know – but these two questions provide the answers to:

A1) Would I treat them like a friend?
A2) Would they be equally happy to slum it with a takeaway if I couldn’t be arsed to cook?

Under this criteria just a few of my chosen celebrities to buy a drink for (or share a takeaway with) are:

Karl Pilkington – I love his cynical glass-half-empty attitude, he very much reminds me of myself on a moody day. Actually, he just reminds me of myself as a whole. We could both moan about stuff, I imagine he has a lot of gripes about public transport too. He’d be fine with a takeaway I’m sure, he seems easily pleased.

Professor Brian Cox – He makes intelligence sexy, and he seems like a bloody nice bloke. He’d return the favour and buy a round. Interesting conversations would also be guaranteed.

Tony Colman – Unless you’re into Drum and Bass you’ve likely not heard of him. His podcast shaped my entire musical tastes, kept me the right side of sane, and provided the soundtrack to many memories. He exudes passion about his music, and I’d buy him doubles all night.

Sir Richard Branson – Even though he’s loaded I’d still insist on buying him a drink. I admire his belief that absolutely anything can be achieved… and I’m pretty sure he’d chip-in if I ordered Domino’s. I know a guy who has worked for Branson many times, and apparently he’s a top-bloke.

…So, if any of you chaps above are checking up on yourselves online there’s a here drink on me, and I’ll get all the takeaway menus out too!

(N.B. I’m frequently finding new inspirations in life, so expect this list to grow over time!)

***Additional Hero Added – January 2014***

Added to my fantasy evening-in with a takeaway is the legendary Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield. I’ve had an interest in the International Space Station for a while now and reading Hadfield’s book was an inspiration (check the review I did) so he got an instant invite! He seems a very nice chap, just like Brian Cox, and I’m sure if he wasn’t such a busy guy he’d definitely be up for a pizza sometime.


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