Charles Dickens once said of Great Expectations: “It’s rubbish, don’t read it. I just write them for a laugh. Honestly, I don’t know why people keep reading this drivel.”*. And he was onto something, if you take the quote as ‘Charles Dickens once said of great expectations: “they’re rubbish.”’*. Expectations are another one of the stray breasts that life pops out in order to titillate and raise hope but that ultimately lead to disappointment for all concerned.
It’s that annoying but deeply necessary part of our brain that after the most beautiful day spent with friends and family, rejoicing in the warmth of shared love and mutual affection, says, “Could’ve gone to Alton Towers…” That bastard voice that always wants slightly more, to achieve this never ending level of perfection. It’s unsurprising great expectations lead to tears before bedtime, they’re all complete lies we make up in our head based on what it is we want or expect. They have no relation to anything that exists in the non-make believe world, if they did we couldn’t expect them. Or something like that. If you were expecting something from this note you’ll know what I mean.
The people who call themselves ‘They’ say that you should never meet your idols, you’ll only be disappointed. I’ve yet to meet anyone I revere so I don’t know if it’s true* but it wouldn’t surprise me given how much of what celebrities are is fabricated in ours heads. It’s this desire to see celebrities that led to my expectations being rather unfairly raised last night.
Now I’m not a big fan of this whole celebrity culture* but I do have to admit to getting some perverted thrill from seeing that bloke off telly wondering around the streets of Edinburgh like a normal fucking person. I’m not the kind of cock who’d go up to them and talk to them like I knew them or point obviously and whisper to my mates, I just like seeing them. Like an ostrich in the wild. I started off this Fringe strong too. Within five days I had spotted Paul Merton, Simon Amstell and Reginald D. Hunter having drinks like normal people. But then a sudden and terrible drought struck. Since then I have seen Dave Benson-Phillips and the Hamiltons*.
There was a high point today when Ewen Macintosh (Keith from the Office*) came to see This Lime Tree Bower*. But that’s only because he’s an ex-Bedlamite* and drinking buddy with Chris Mounsey who’s in the play. It’s because of Mounsey my expectations were raised so.
Mounsey has been drinking manically at the Fringe for the last ten years now so has drunkenly stumbled into enough people to be able to get passes for the Loft Bar. That’s right my friends, last night I left behind the common riff raff of the Fringe and ascended up those steps in the illustrious Gilded Balloon* to the exclusive, VIP with passes and everything, Loft Bar. Where the cutting edge minds and celebrities of the Fringe meet to laugh and lounge, discuss and partake in a decadent lifestyle where the drink and drugs flow, free from the oppressions of normal folk. This was my ticket into their world.
Fig. 3.1478578979823627 gives a rough graphical representation of my expectations compared and contrasted to reality. It was a quiet, empty bar with a rather useful roof to smoke on. Not bad, but no celebrities. No nubile young women. No free booze. Nothing to make me feel superior to everyone else. Frankly disappointing. I think I might have spotted Sean Hughes in a dark corner but that’s hardly the celebrity sighting of the Fringe. The only time I’ve ever been ‘backstage’ before was at a Papa Roach gig. I could think of a lot of negative things to say about it but I never want to think about it again*. So my expectations were a little high, but still, after all the hype I’d heard I was hoping for a little more. Sometimes I fear I’ll never get a sighting printed in Heat. Sigh…*.