I’ve never met anyone famous. I don’t want to meet anyone famous. I’ve met lots of semi-famous people most of whom are beset with multiple personality disorders and would strangle twenty kittens in a row if it would get them a five-minute interview on prime-time television.
I am removed from fame and those who have it by many degrees of separation, but of course when I’m shitfaced drunk and trying to impress people I’ll delete as many degrees as I can. This means that the true story of my mother being helped by Mick Jagger’s brother when she fell in a hotel in Dublin, gets abbreviated to DID YOU KNOW I HELPED MICK JAGGER WHEN HE FELL IN A HOTEL IN DUBLIN? Similarly, I once knew a guy who dated a girl who had a friend who sat on a seat in a pub that Colin Farrell once sat on. After three whiskeys this becomes COLIN FARRELL SAT ON ME – and then I’ll fart out my nose and add that he wasn’t heavy.
Polish people often ask about U2 or Bono and are surprised when I say I’ve never met him. I have however met the security team who guard his house in Dublin. Ah, what a morning that was. Gather around my friends and let your resident Irish columnist tell you a tale…
It began with a friend of mine, calling and inviting me to her new home in Dublin. I hadn’t seen her in years but heard she had married a very wealthy man. Her invite coincided with an interview I had to give on The Gerry Ryan Show on Irish national radio. I was excited, more so when her driver, picking me up from the train station took me to her house in Killiney and commented that Bono was her next-door neighbour. I imagined Bono calling in for a cup of tea, complaining about the trouble with Lear jets and how to get your bass player in the recovery position when he’s overdosing on Afghan brown heroin. Maybe my Polish neighbours have similar problems, but seeing as they never call in for random chats, I’ll never know.
Anyway, I met my friend and her ludicrously rich husband. I told them a taxi was coming to pick me up very early for the radio show, and could they give me the code to open their three-metre high gate so I wouldn’t have to disturb them? Of course. And several hours later, at six am, I was at the end of their driveway, typing in the code. Nothing happened. The gate wouldn’t open. The taxi was going to arrive, but it wouldn’t see me behind the huge wall and I was going to miss my interview.
This is what would have happened if my monkey genes didn’t kick in. We Irish are great climbers, which is weird considering the English stole all our trees 800 years ago. Nevertheless, I scaled the gate with all the vitality of a frisky teenage macaque, only somehow I managed to get disastrously stuck. My foot. It was wedged firm. There I was on top of the gate, balancing lest I impale myself on the gate’s razorsharp points. I gazed down into the neighbouring gardens. Bono’s garden. Inside it was a smaller house and two men were coming out with walkie-talkies. ‘What are you doing up there?’ they asked as I suddenly started to realise what they were seeing. ‘It’s okay,’ I told them, ‘I’m staying with…’
Ah shit. I blanked on my friend’s name. And her husband’s too. ‘Yes?’ they asked again. More security men were appearing, probably one of them in the trees, lining me up in his crosshairs.
‘We’re calling the police,’ they said. Ah brilliant. Now I’m going to be famous like Mark David Chapman is famous. Like Charlie Manson. Travis Bickle… Speaking of which…
The taxi appeared. The driver jumped out, trying to compute the sweating man on top of a gate. ‘Are you robbing Bono’s house?’ he said in that subtle way Dublin taxi-drivers are known for. ‘No…I’m the guy you’re meant to take to the radio interview…’ And I told him the only name I could remember. Mine. ‘Now help me get off this gate.’ And he did, even if my pants got ripped in the process. He drove me out of there, stopping only to give way to the police cars speeding in the opposite direction.