Friday, February 22, 2008

Progress, of a sort...

I have had the perhaps odd experience of people - strangers - often remarking that I reminded them of a celebrity. (I don't know if this happens to others, too?)

The most...ahem...interesting thing is that the celebrity that I remind people of has changed over time. When I was in high school, quite a number of people thought I could have been a twin for actor Cary Elwes (of Princess Bride fame), pictured right.

But in university, that experience waned, the flower of youth somewhat faded. One summer I found myself working on a movie set (for The Babe), and was told that I had a more-than-passing resemblance for Charles Grodin (of Dave and the Beethoven series, um, 'fame').

More recently, this occurence has virtually disappeared. I have gone years on end without someone rumbling me as a celebrity lookalike. Until today.

I was getting a coffee at a great new shop in Cambridge called Origin-8. The shop itself is part restaurant, part grocery, and it specialises in local, sustainably grown (or humanely raised) food. A great idea whose time has come.

As I was struggling to get my money out of my pocket to pay, wrestling with my cumbersome coat, the lady behind the counter said in a friendly manner 'has anyone ever told you that you look very much like Bill Bryson?' At first I was touched, even a bit flattered. Bill Bryson is among my absolute favourite non-theological authors, I read everything he writes at least once. I thought of his engrossing books on the English language, and the American version of it. Warmly encouraged, I recalled his ever-growing list of humourous travelogues, of places such as Britain by (more or less) foot, America by car, Australia, Europe and Africa: there are few places in this world where he hasn't looked hilariously out of place and befuddled.

It was at that moment that I called to mind my mental pictures of Bill Bryson, which turned out to look something like this real life picture, to the right:

Bill is good-natured enough to be able to poke fun at himself - a tradition I hope I'm following through this ridiculous post - and so in one book (I think it was Notes from a Small Island) he introduced the term 'old flubba-wubba' which was his son's term for a middle-aged, out of shape, red-faced chap: namely his father!

It occurred to me that I wouldn't mind being compared with Bill Bryson at all, but would prefer that the comparison be made to his sharp wit, rich imagination, and formidable prose composition skills, and not his befuddled frumpiness. (Or more accurately, having my befuddled frumpiness compared with his.) Well, he is an American living here, who quite loves England, so the comparisons continue.

Looking back on it, I guess there seems to be a pattern to those celebrities to whom people have felt they can compare me. I'm not sure it's entirely encouraging, to be honest, but there you have it. It is progress...of a sort.

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Blogger Kristen said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Saturday, February 23, 2008 2:04:00 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

I think you are way, way sexier than Bill Bryson (especially in clericals, yow!). I love you not matter who says you look like who. You are a great husband, father, theologian, and priest.

Saturday, February 23, 2008 4:57:00 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

What can I say? It is...humbling...to be loved so much...and blessed.

Thank you - and I love you too.

Sunday, February 24, 2008 5:09:00 PM  
Blogger Philip Young said...

Jason, I think you should have posted pictures of how you looked in those referenced time periods so others could make that comparison themselves.

Sunday, February 24, 2008 5:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jason, I have now found my way to Gower Street and the unleashing of all your sarcastic wit. Hilarious post, this one! Look forward to browse about a bit. Also, how impressed was I when I realized you've been blogging since before I got a laptop (ok, slight hyperbole, but ou get the point)!

See you soon.

Andreas N

Thursday, February 28, 2008 4:49:00 PM  

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