Being mistaken for someone else is always an interesting experience. It’s only ever one of three things: super awkward, super annoying, or both.
That said, some of us are fortunate enough to not have to suffer the indignity of being mistaken for just some average Joe. No sir, we are “privileged” enough to be mistaken for someone famous. Contrary to what you might think, that can actually be a bigger hassle. No one is really ever disappointed when they mistake you for a regular person.
However, if you want to see someone go from excitement to disappoint faster than a Ferrari goes from zero to sixty, just hang around a famous person’s look-a-like when a fan finds out they’re not the real thing.
The exception to this rule are Asian tourists, they apparently don’t care. They are just happy to be in a different country, with a big camera, and people willing to pose for pictures with them. Am I Kobe Bryant? Yeah, why not. Jay-Z? Sure I can be him too. They are going to want to take that picture regardless of who is, or isn’t, in it.
A few years ago, in an era of my life when I had long hair, I would consistently have people come up to me and ask if I was Didier Drogba. I honestly did not see the resemblance, not to mention that I am significantly taller, but that’s neither here nor there. People swore I was him. In hindsight, I probably could have tried to milk it more to get free stuff and get into places, but I really had no desire to be “that guy.”
On this one occasion, I was on the Tube in London and this kid who was sitting across from me would not stop staring. He had that star-struck look in his eyes and I knew exactly what he was thinking.
He spent about five minutes trying to muster up the courage to say something, then finally he came out with it. “Excuse me,” he said, “Are you Drogba?” There really was no way to let him down gently, so I replied, “No, I’m sorry I’m not.” Needless to say the young lad was left disappointed.
Then to add insult to injury, this old man sitting next to me starts chuckling and says, “Son, do you really think that if he was Drogba he would be riding on the Tube?” Ouch! That’s what it had come to, me having to apologize to Drogba’s fans for not being someone other than myself, and then taking low blows from random old heads on the train. This is the price I pay for (almost) being a celebrity.
Bless their hearts, where are the Asian tourists when you need them….
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