Fighting my way up the escalator at my tube station yesterday I was relieved to be surfacing from the cramped underground despite the chill in the air. No doubt that summer is definitely over. Approaching the exit barriers, as my right hand rummaged for my oyster card I looked up to see a tall and skinny man standing directly beyond said barriers, leaning against an awkwardly placed pillar (which I’ve always thought it’s served no purpose other than to cause obstruction) and reading a book. Nothing unusual, until I thought I recognised him.
The following text is based entirely on speculation and pre conceived notions. Forewarned is forearmed.
To myself I suddenly thought, ‘It’s you!’ not having a clue who he was. It was like trying to describe colour to a blind person, but to myself. The inner monologue became a mash up of ‘you know the guy from the thing’, providing no useful clues as to his name, only verifying that I had in fact seen his face in a public forum before. I know he’s a comedian, and I’ve seen him in a music video (Dizzee Rascal of all people – how do I even know that?)and he’s prone to nail polish. That should narrow it down…
I then saw the book he was concentrating on – The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson, a book I have purchased, thoroughly enjoyed and loaned enthusiastically to friends. (Very good read) This made me feel slightly smug, since I appear to be a step ahead of a semi-famous person. Petty, but true. I trotted up the stairs to exit the station feeling a tiny bit chuffed, I have a famous person living in my area who reads the same literature as me. Does this make me one of the cool kids by proxy?
Then it struck me. Like a lightning bolt. This particular comedian’s demographic and the proximity of Stoke Newington to Shoreditch being taken into account, does this make me a hipster by proxy instead? This was not encouraging.
I immediately conducted a whats app poll of my friends in the know on the bus home. The consensus was not good. My sister got technical, she suggested to complete the picture I needed a beanie and some organic, fairtrade, free-range, low GI, carbon neutral coffee. Said comedian was wearing a beanie. I am in trouble.
The only hipster I can tolerate is Diane Keaton, well, strictly Annie Hall – the original hipster. But she is a figment of Woody Allen’s imagination, a place I don’t think would be safe to linger. Plus she’s imaginary!
Funny thing is, I can’t even guarantee it was even him. Nothing like some frivolous first world problem to start off your week…
I leave you with a link to a poem by the wonderful Neil Hilborn, describing his impression of hipsters in a hilarious way.
PS – the comedian’s name is Eric Lampaert. Uncle Google told me.