I’ve had my brushes with fame in the past. One time when I was a stupid kid, in about 4th grade, I was outside at recess in the cold South Dakota air, running and sliding on the massive skating rink that was out recess area. I slid once and hurt my arm. Nothing big, until later that week, on Sunday at church, I was outside slipping on a icy sidewalk, and for some reason fell down again. I probably looked like Bambi with my long gangly legs (speaking of Bambi, cause I’ve never seen this movie, is Bambi a boy or girl?) and fell down again. This time it was off to the hospital for a sprained wrist. The pain was tolerable. What wasn’t tolerable was the fame that came along with it at school the next day. “Oh my gosh, what happened?” said the first person. Story was given in great detail, from the epic battle with the ice beast to the downfall of the evil snow kingdom, because of the sacrifice of my sprained wrist. Thank goodness for me. Then another. “What happened to your wrist?” The regaling of the story, a little bit shorter this time, because class was about to start. Four days later, from a random 6th grader at the drinking fountain. “What happened to your wrist?” he asked. Me?”Fell down.”
Another 2 days of fame. I was deleting a bunch of emails at work in hopes that if I didn’t see them, I didn’t have to do them. I get one from WordPress. Congratulations, you’ve been Freshly Pressed! it says in the subject. Hi Ben! I hope your blog is ready to welcome some new readers — your post will be featured in Freshly Pressed as WordPress.com editors’ pick! Yes, I’m ready. I immediately go to the post and read it. Why? In. The. World. Did. You. Pick. This. One? I have about 40 other ones that are way better. I wrote this one as a last second thing on Halloween. I check the grammar and spelling. I constantly check Freshly Pressed to see if this is the day. It finally comes. I prepare for the flood. I get a trickle. People come. Most of them just hit Like, some comment, but they are mostly inane comments like “Congrats on being Freshly Pressed”. What am I supposed to say to that? Thanks? What a fascinating dialogue. I get some that say how funny I am and say they can’t wait to read more of my posts. I’m like, there’s a 140 post on my blog. How about you start now? They never come back. Two days later, still the same people that have always followed me. Return back from my 2 days of fame. Except with weight of higher expectations on my writing. On a blog about bitterness.
Every year, for one day, I become the most famous person in my universe of people I know. At midnight 01, on April 9th, Facebook starts telling people that it’s my birthday. You should write a note to this person you barely know. Because your birthday is the same week as the kids in town are off for spring break, someone else takes your birthday before you. So you get to spend it with the co-workers you despise and have to pretend that you’re excited that they told you Happy Birthday. Because they saw the streamers above you desk. Your boss pretends to be nice for one day. Buys a cake on company budget. Gets you a lame card that everyone is forced to sign. Everyone signs the same things that people on Facebook did. All 4 of your siblings and your parents call to wish you Happy Birthday. You go home and more cake, birthday wishes, a present or two you don’t deserve. You do your annual post on 42 Things you are Bitter about. Comments are all, Happy Birthday, just like the Facebook, and co-workers one. You get used to saying thanks for wishing me a Happy Birthday. One of the 42 things should be birthdays. Because a birthday is your day. But really it’s everyone else’s.
So, do I want to be famous? Let’s just say that Tony Stark had the right idea. Get trapped in a cave, create a suit of amour for protection, one that can fly away. Then spend all my time in my man cave with my electronics. No, I don’t want to be famous. When you are famous, you have to talk to people. When you are famous, you have to get stalked by people. You have to be admired by people. I mean, I only look at my face in the mirror twice a week and that’s only because I don’t want to involuntarily become a blood donor (I mean shave.)
The Loch Ness monster, Big Foot, and the Sasquatch seek fame more than I do. Become an athlete? And have the pressure of winning all the time in order to justify all the money I’m stealing to play a kids game? Become an actor, where my job is to memorize lines, act like other weirdos, and show up at awards shows? I can’t even memorize my wife’s one chore for me on a Saturday. I can’t even talk into a YouTube camera without being self conscious. I can’t even be bothered to wear anything but sweats outside of work.
I’d rather be ignored like my alarm clock. Holed up in a mansion created wealth I earned by being someone’s heir. That got wealthy from doing something boring like selling ketchup to women in white dresses. Or ice to people in igloo’s. Fame? Ughhh. No thanks because people.
Bitter Fameless Ben