“Oh no, he’s like so sad…he, like, goes to the woods an’ dresses up like a wizard or something, with a load of other losers at the weekend…”
Thus quoth the Bristolian Sasquatch walking in front of me with her friend who was like a mermaid. And by mermaid, I mean one of the manatees that sailors deprived of female company for three years would mistake for such.
For a second, I will confess, I pictured a minibus full of social rejects in dressing gowns and Hobbit slippers feeling queasy en route to the Forest of Dean and had to suppress a little smirk of assumed superiority. Then a treacherous part of my brain asked me what’s the difference between running around the woods dressed as a wizard and pretending to be a rock star? Especially if it’s Roy Wood and Wizard.
Because let’s face it, je ne suis pas un rock star.
Even touring Europe, we weren’t rock stars, we were just pretending. We may have got a rock star reception here and there but we weren’t rock stars.
Or were we? What’s the difference? Money? We’ve been paid. Popularity? We have fans. Drugs? I just took a couple of ibuprofen. Is it a sliding scale?
I strongly suspect that any reasonably grounded person that walks out onto the stage in front of fifty thousand people for the first time probably feels like they’re pretending to be a rock star. I bet they know someone who should be there instead of them. The illusion is only complete when those fifty thousand people go along with the joke.
Of course, if you’re not reasonably grounded, then you can start to believe it and before you know it you’re booking into the Betty Ford and everyone thinks you’re a dick. You get about the same respect as the bloke in the rubber ears hiding in a bush outside Ross-on-Wye.
So I guess we’re lucky. Thanks to everyone who’s colluded with us for just long enough that we could feel like rock stars and then let us gently back down to Earth before one of us changed our name to a Sanskrit graffito and bought a trilby made from crocodile scrota.
So whether your hobby is pretending to be a wizard, a rock star, a footballer or someone whose opinions are worth more than fuck all on the Internet, enjoy it and don’t give funny looks to people whose hobby is a bit different. As I said to Eric Pickles after his pole dancing class.