Human Behavior

Throwback Writing: Star Gazing

Another random one from the vault! I wrote this once upon a time as a way to figure out why people love celebrity gossip. Enjoy!

Ah, today is a beautiful day, so much so that I need to go out for a walk. As I step outside my front door and feel the midday sun caress the back of my neck, I see a flash.

What the hell? Did that guy just take my picture?

Guy: Hey! Mr. Griffiths! What are you up to today?

Me: What?

Guy: Any new projects you working on?

Me: What the..? There’s this book I guess.

Guy: Awesome!

The photographer proceeds to take several more pictures of me, hovering around and spouting random questions about my day’s activities. Whatever. This may be a bit of a departure from my normal life, but I’m not going to let one idiot ruin my day. Two idiots is another story.

What the hell? Did this lady just shove a microphone in my face?

Lady: Mr. Griffiths! Word is you just got a parking ticket in New York for being too close to a fire hydrant. Don’t you feel this shows a callous attitude toward the fire fighting community?

Me: W-what? No! Firefighters are cool. Except for the half naked ones on those calendars for horny soccer moms. They should probably put their shirts back on.

Lady: Well it’s obvious you condone such behavior.

Me: Relax, lady. What? Wait a second. Is that guy filming me? Really?

Now this is ridiculous. My day’s ruined; I may as well head back home. Apparently the cameraman has the same idea.

Me: Dude, stop following me.

Cameraman:

Me: Seriously, stop following me, man.

Cameraman:

Me: Son of a bitch… STOP FOLLOWING ME!

Cameraman: Make me.

You know what will make a man with a video camera stop filming you? Neither do I, but it was at this point when I landed the most precise, powerful uppercut known to man on this guy’s chin.

Me: That’s right, baby!

I proceeded to run to my house. I’ve had just about enough of this off-kilter day. Maybe I can simply relax with a cold beer and watch some television. There are worse things than maintaining a small buzz while slumped on a couch in front of the idiot box.

You’ve got to be kidding me.

Reporter: In breaking news, a few minutes ago it seems that amateur author Andre Griffiths accosted a local paparazzo. The entire ordeal was caught on tape.

Me on TV: That’s right, baby!

After seeing this shameless display, there was only one thing on my mind: Does my voice really sound like that? Weird.

Over the next few days I saw my name in tabloid magazines with headlines such as ‘Andre Griffiths Caught Popping the Paparazzi.’

Clever.

There were numerous pictures of me on my commute to work, coming out of the gym and going out on dates. My cell phone was hacked and nude pictures of me made its way to the internet. Entertainment reporters speculated on possible drug use in my life and conducted interviews with obscure people from my past who claimed to have some real insight on my character.

What the hell?

Do people really care about the exploits of a man they don’t know? What if I turned the tables? What if the cameras were pointed at all of my spectators? What if their sense of privacy was violated on an everyday basis as a means of entertainment? What if I ignored the truly important things in life in order to catch a glimpse of a panty shot while you were exiting a cab? What if?

I’m a private guy. Other than people that I absolutely trust, there aren’t many people with whom I feel comfortable letting them into my everyday life. Now, imagine if people intruded regardless of my personal feelings. And they had cameras. And they gossiped about all aspects of my life from the outrageous to the mundane. Fun times.

This is why I don’t understand the fascination with celebrity lives. I’m far from some self-righteous naysayer who condemns all those who can’t help but peer into the lives of celebrities, but let’s be realistic here; how would you handle it if the shoe were on the other foot? Ignore the fact that, ideally, people had better things to prattle on about; people should have a choice whether or not they want their lives exposed. Is it any wonder paparazzi may occasionally catch the world’s most precise, powerful uppercut known to man?

Peace out, party people.

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