THEY say you should never meet your heroes.
I would modify this slightly: never let your heroes meet you. Far, far worse than to realise the love of your fictional life is, in fact, an idiot is to meet said hero and discover they're everything you dreamed of and more but know they now think you're a chump.
Paul Noonan, from an Irish band you'll probably never have heard of, was the object of my fictional affections for many years. This led to a mild bout of stalkeritis that saw me find excuses to interview him in Dublin, The Hague, Slovakia and, a high point, Sauchiehall Street.
Mr E from the Eels (my taste could be described as "niche") was another one. I met him about 10 years ago and, such was the impression I made, when I bumped into him in a rainy field at T in the Park last year he remembered me. Not only did he remember me but he called the road crew and his session musicians over to meet me. "You're part of Eels legend," he said. This was not a compliment.
So, to my dilema. I was visiting my friend Zoe. Her husband Geoff was squirming in the corner. Turns out he was missing Swamp People on the Discovery Channel but was too embarrassed by his terrible telly predilections to say so.
"That's ok," I reassured him. "I can't miss Casualty."
"Oh," he said. "That guy Lenny something was on the Vegas stag do."
"Dr Lenny Lyons?" "That's him. He was on Chris's stag do."
"WHAT? I love Dr Lenny Lyons! You know Dr Lenny Lyons?" Geoff is slowing shrinking into the sofa. "Er, yeah."
It turns out I and Dr Lenny Lyons, over whom I have drooled for years, have six mutual Facebook friends. It turns out I have had access to Dr Lenny Lyons and no-one thought to flag it up. I am distraught.
Geoff tries to make me feel better: "He got married last year in Hawaii." This backfires: "I could have married Dr Lenny Lyons last year in Hawaii?"
Zoe pats my hand. "We didn't know, love. We didn't know." This will need a long recovery.
I console myself by thinking that not meeting Dr Lenny Lyons is a lucky escape. If my list of Celebrities I Love Who Hate Me stops at two that can only be a good thing. Can't it?
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