I bumped into Lewis Pugh last week. Yup, he was practically on my doorstep. I’d gone for a walk, which is something you do instead of running when you are incredibly crap at running. He was surfacing from one of the subways that leads up from the tidal pool at Kalk Bay. Just, you know, walking his dog and not wearing his Speedo.
It was bad timing for me as he caught me mid rapper-move. I was busy doing the one where you pretend to swat away the snout of an invisible dog that’s at your crotch. Gold-digger was playing loudly on my iPod and I don’t know why but I can’t listen to Gold digger without doing rapper moves, especially when it gets to the We want prenup, we want prenup, yeah! part. I know it doesn’t really suit a white chick like me to get all gangsta but I can’t help it. It’s like hearing country music and not busting out a box-step.
Even worse than being caught mid rapper-move was that I didn’t have time to suck in my gut. This is something that’s almost become a knee-jerk reaction when I’m in the company of athletic, sporty people. I learned a long time ago, however, not to pinch in my butt. For someone with a round, sticky-outy bum like me it just makes it worse. So, I normally smile a shitload, hold my breath and keep the conversation short so that I don’t hyperventilate. Sometimes, if I’ve already had my morning Joe, I speak really quickly, like that bloke on Trainspotting who dropped some Speed before his interview. I find it rather effective as it takes the focus off everything visual and the exchange will only be recalled as an auditory one.
Of course, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen a celebrity. I don’t like to brag or anything but I’ve totally met Ryk Neethling, like, two whole times - though strangely he’s never mentioned it in interviews. The first meeting was at his book signing and I had to stand in line twice. Once to get a book signed for me, and once to get a book signed for ‘my friend’. He and I were both very nervous and we had sweaty armpits, which made us feel slightly shy. Also, I’d been a bit heavy handed with the lip-gloss and my hair was uncomfortably glued to my lips.
The second time we met, it went a whole lot better. Hoo-farking-ray for us being on the same flight from Joburg to Cape Town as I got to stand next to him on the bus that takes you to the aeroplane. His hand was resting on the handle of his wheelie-case and as his wheelie-case was on the floor and my foot was touching his weelie-case, we were practically holding hands. It was so romantic.
Anyway, I was really excited about seeing Lewis and was even considering concocting an elaborate story for the blog, like the one I did about Cirque de Soleil (sorry about the lie, but it was wicked fun.) But then it dawned on me that if I did talk to Lewis Pugh (even if only in my imagination) the conversation would be horribly short because other than the fact that we both have a body, head and some appendages, we have absolutely nothing in common.
Let’s see, for starters he’s trained SAS. The most stupid thing about the SAS is that it’s SECRET. What a waste. If I was to put myself through all that hoo-ha the first thing I’d want to do is tell everyone all about it. I’d go so far as to develop SAS swagger and cunningly drop SAS jargon into every conversation.
Secondly, he swims in arctic waters. Arctic waters I say! They call him The Human Polar Bear. The only time I’ve been mistaken for a polar bear was the time I fell asleep under a flokati rug at a party. I can’t see the point of swimming in cold water if you can swim in warm water. It’s just not reasonable.
Thirdly, he’s one of those non-quitter types. I have a deep envy for people like that which boarders on obscene-mistrust. How people can stick with something, even when they hate it, just because they told themselves they’d see it through is beyond me. Well it’s not really beyond me, it just makes me feel like I need a stint in a South Korean self-denial camp.
Initially I was upset that I hadn’t tried to catch up with him but in retrospect I’m bloody relieved. It would have been an awful encounter and he’d be blogging about how awkward it was instead of me blogging about how awkward it wasn’t. Besides, it might have made Ryk jealous.