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The Virtues Of Anonymity

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My brother is working in St. Andrews for a week at a trade show. I think the show must be in a hotel, because this story takes place in a hotel. A woman comes up to him and asks if the phones where they were could ring the rooms – he says yes. The woman dials a room number and says to the person on the other end “you’ll never believe who I’ve just seen in the gym…” a pause… “Prince William!”. (Note: the aforementioned Prince is attending St. Andrews University, and as I went to school there for 6 years I know what a miserable time he must be having – not even a single nightclub…). On hearing this, my brother went straight to the gym to confirm the facts. Lo and behold, there he was. So my brother’s colleague finds out and wants a look too. They go back, pretending to have a look at the equipment but really at him. (Turns out he’s a taller bloke than you might think).

The point of this story is that I’m not very good at telling stories. Oh no, that’s not it. The point is that I’m sure this happens to the heir to the throne all the time and it must drive him mad. He’s a smart lad, he’ll know that all the people “examining the gym equipment” are really just checking him out and doing a bad job of trying to be subtle. He’ll never be a normal bloke. That’s why I love being a nobody.

I can walk down the street and nobody pays me any attention. People don’t look at me, and they don’t care. If I get a new haircut (unlikely I know), it doesn’t appear in the paper the next day. If I have a late night on the town with a few drinks and a bit of bad behaviour (even less likely than the haircut), I don’t have paparazzi banging on my door with some cock-and-bull story about what I did the night before.

I remember watching a programme on the BBC when I was a kid about the Parachute Regiment training. The instructor (a rather burly, red-haired bloke if I remember correctly, or maybe I’m generalising – although I’m sure he had a moustache) kept shouting out to his poor recruits “don’t stand out!“. His point was that if he could single a man out then so could the enemy. In general life that’s what I try to do.

Maybe it’s my average looks, but I often find that I am virtually invisible to people. I almost never get recognised and I can speak to the same person several times before they realise that they’ve spoken to me before. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t want attention, I just want to get on with what I’m doing (living my life). I’m not famous, and I’m not going to be. And it’s great. Don’t take it that I don’t want to meet new people – I just don’t want to know everybody, or, more to the point, I don’t want everybody to know me.

In case you’re wondering, my toe is somewhat better. I can almost walk properly and the swelling has gone down a lot. I still can’t run on it, or even hop on it. While most of the discolouration has gone, some small patches of the darker stuff seems to be spreading away from the toe – which is unusual. I’m hoping to be back running within the next few days and I’m 90% sure it wasn’t fractured. And I was unable to not do anything over the weekend, I went biking, did some weights, and did a few miles of rowing. No rest for the wicked…

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Creator of John's Background Switcher. Scotsman, footballer, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.

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