Thursday, July 14, 2005

Almost Famous

Almost Famous

"Hello famous person"

"She's not famous, she's infamous"

Either way, this is the kind of welcome that I like. I'm quite impressed that some of my former teachers have cottoned on so quickly. A copy of the SSoB poster and a programme and they've already by-passed the 'future famous person' tag.

I popped back to my high school today. I'd heard through various sources that there were teachers who'd been asking about me so for the first time in nearly two years I made my way to the sixties building where I spent a good proportion of six years of my life. And, despite the fact that I now have to wear a visitor's pass and can't remember the room numbers, nothing much seemed to have changed. Even some of the art work on the walls was the same. Ok, to be fair a huge new technology block has appeared and the library has doubled in size. Both of which were the size of shoe boxes when I were there and I was only a little jealous of the new drama suite they're having built for September. Drama Suite. Do you know how magical those words are to me?

But everything still felt comfortable, complete with the added bonus that I'm 22 and not actually a pupil there.

That was, however, until I'd been there about an hour. I'd had the usual conversations, a tour around and more congratulations than is good for any one ego, let alone my ego. I was sitting on the desk in David's room - ah, I was never allowed to do that when he was teaching me - for about twenty minutes as we'd talked and the year ten class around us had continued their own conversations. Then he hit me with something I hadn't been expecting.

"Did you ring in a radio station?"

"Which radio station?"

"Five Live".

And I knew exactly what he was talking about. Because, let's face it, if he were playing a guessing game then he's done pretty well to guess the only national radio station I've appeared on. So the chances are that David heard the appearance in question. And if he heard it, then that also means that he knows. He knows about Griffin.

Now maybe I should break in here to say that I am certainly not ashamed or sheepish about the whole Griffin experience. Bloody hell, I've talked about it on tv, radio and on here. I threw my dignity and my shame away a long, long time ago. I think the last remaining shreds went some time around sitting on Griffin's knee in Birmingham Zanizbars. After that there was no way back. But that doesn't mean that I broadcast my propensity for stalking minor popstars amongst great swathes of people I actually know. Some of them get the idea, some have even heard the stories, some have gotten the edited highlights. Most, however, remain blissfully ignorant. And I think former teachers should be kept in that bracket. Especially this particular teacher because, frankly, he needs no more ammunition. There's more than enough to mock about me without giving him the Griffin thing too. But it's too late for that. And I'm incapble of damage limitation.

I put my head in my hands. David starts to laugh.

"You were saying you follow him round the country. Stalker".

And because there is no way to counter that accusation the immortal words slip out: "I'm not a stalker. If you asked him he wouldn't say I was a stalker".

"Of course he wouldn't - first rule, don't annoy your stalker. You'll find that out, when you're famous and you have a stalker. Don't annoy them"

And there is nothing I can say to this other than point my finger impotently at him. Because he's right. And a part of me wants to laugh. The other part wants to curl up and die that my talking to Griffin on Five Live about writing on his stomach and being thrown out of Nottingham Ice Arena had a wider audience than I'd ever imagined. But this means that I'm off guard.

And I'm certainly not ready as he turns to year ten, set one: "Did anyone here watch Fame Academy?"


Val said...

I've learned its something you just have to live with - the most unexpected people will turn round and say 'I saw you on the telly' (though thankfully they don't have memories as long as your teacher)and suddenly your professional reputation takes a nose dive.

I'm just pleased that no one I've ever worked with seems to listen to Radio York.

gayle said...

Conversations like that are the reason why, when I have visitors round, I usually hide a certain urine sample bottle that normally graces my bookcase. It makes life that little bit easier.