Monday, 29 March 2010

Don't stand so close to me

A few years ago at Christmastime, I was with my wife and a group of friends at the Old Vic Theatre in London, seeing Sir Ian McKellen's Aladdin pantomime. After the very entertaining first act, there was an intermission, and the amused audience squeezed out into the lobby in a (mostly futile) attempt to get a drink before the second half began.

It was a particularly bad crush as I recall, and I became increasingly aware of an above-average source of pressure on my left side, including hints of an elbow in my ribs. As this grew worse, I began to think, "Okay, who is this asshole?" and I broke off conversation with my comrades to look. I turned my head to the left to find myself eye to eye with a man I immediately recognized as Gordon Sumner, a.k.a. Sting.

He looked incredible, I must say, in spite of his elbow - I guess that's what good genes, a lot of money, and a bit of work can do for you. I attempted to locate my mobile phone and take a clandestine photo while he was still beside me, but my wife intimated that this would be a bad idea, so I abandoned that plan. Once in the lobby, Sting, Trudy, their kids and their discreet security escort set up camp on the stairs, six feet or so above the great unwashed.

I sort of liked this strategy. It wasn't so much that they wanted to be on display, I suspect, but more an acknowledgement to all present that Family Sting were in the house, and you can look, but don't touch. Plus it was a solid defensible position should anything untoward happen. In the event, all was peaceful, though many, including me, gawked a bit in spite of ourselves. Sting didn't look all that happy to me, maybe that's part of being the King of Pain, a title I could have usurped had his elbow action continued a few seconds longer.

1 comment:

Anthony said...


I was on the tube to work from Richmond to central London once. At Barnes two well-turned out young girls got on in pinafore dresses and straw boaters.

Following them was their dad. Bright orange puffer jacket, black lycra leggings, neon green trainers, bleached hair going in all directions and huge shades. Just a normal school run for Mr Simon Le Bon it seems....wouldn't want to draw attention to himself clearly.....