Would I like to be famous? To be honest, I’m not sure. I would like to be successful. I would like to be able to do the things I like to do (which is primarily writing I suppose) well enough that I could make a good living out of them. I don’t need to be rich. And I certainly don’t have any desire to be mobbed by fans every time I go to the shop to buy a loaf of bread. So if that’s what being famous means, I’m not sure if it’s for me.
Sometimes, I like to reflect on those moments when fame has approached a little bit close. Being in Australia, I don’t often get an opportunity to have access to the most famous of the famous. But I have had a few moments.
A number of those have involved sports stars (and here in Australia, that’s kind of up at the top rung of famousness). As a kid, while shopping for a cricket bat, I was once served by a footballer who is often spoken about as the finest player of his era (yes, back in the ’80s, even the best Australian footballers needed day jobs). I never ended up buying the bat, but I did get to feel very connected to a genuine sporting great.
Speaking of footballers, one of my physical education teachers at school was the captain of one of the top grade football teams. And a hell of a nice fellow to boot. Years later, my family ambushed him at an awards night and even with the cameras clicking, he was happy to stop for a moment and say g’day.
I’ve had my moments in the writing sphere as well. I guess the biggest one was actually getting close to one of my real heroes as a writer, the late (and lamented) Douglas Adams. It was at a literary lunch many years ago and the highlight was definitely when I got him to sign my old and dog-eared edition of Hitch-Hikers Guide. It’s still a prized possession.
It’s nice to think that somebody like myself can have these little brushes with fame. Who knows, maybe one day people will be excited to have lunch with me, and they’ll line up to get my (admittedly rather pathetic and scrawly) autograph on their copy of one of my books.
Like I say, I have no great desire to be famous, but it would be kind of nice.
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