Monday, 22 January 2007

“Sign my eyeball!”

There are certain things we do in Hong Kong that people can only laugh at in other countries. We close the windows in summer and open them in winter (air-con, you see). Women carry parasols in summer to stop their faces getting attacked by dirty, dirty real sun (not me, I might add). We drive on the left (which, granted, is not strange at all) but everyone gives way to the gas man on his bike, delivering Shell gas bottles. And old ladies with hyowj fuck-off flatbed trolleys, pushing cardboard to the recyclers’. We go nuts at Chinese New Year (February 18th, this year) and expect the rest of the world to understand when the offices and factories (in the Mainland) close down for a week. It’s just what we do.

Another thing we do is Idol Worship. I know the rest of the world has this too – I’ve heard tales of stuff like X Factor and saw Ben Elton going on about it on Parky a few weeks back (via DVD from my friend’s parents. I was very, very grateful – it was the one with Daniel Craig and Robin Williams on it, too).

Hong Kong idol worship is a little different, I think. We have ‘official fanclubs’ and they’re told when and where their target is going to be – a shopping centre, a charity do – and we get mobilised to arrive and scream our lungs out to support them while they’re on stage and in front of cameras. Works a treat. We do sometimes have wee clashes between rival fanclubs (don’t get me started on Joey Yung fans) but on the whole, we’re a pretty nice bunch, really.

So I spent a few hours yesterday, listening to the same promo CD go round and round, watching the Kwokster on a wee stage in Tuen Mun, singing, joking, and just being devastatingly charming. No real hardship, really. Not having attended one of these do’s in quite a while, I’d forgotten just how lovely he is in person. He’s probably the only man who could stand there and take the piss out of the eight-year-old lasses trying to remember a poem for him (part of the show), and they get all giggly and red instead of greeting like their goldfish have just croaked.

So after all the shouting, waving and laughing, watching him sing two new songs (I’ve got to say though, his new record label is on the ball, alright. If he were still on Warner, we still wouldn’t have the music video DVDs from the last album, never mind this one) and generally being a complete star, we get down to the serious business of him parking his rather nice arse in a chair so he can sign nigh-on a thousand copies of the new CD (I shit you not).

And my mind drifts back, wibbly-wobbly TV style, to that day at least six years ago now, when me and my little sister drove to Heathrow, and the Radison Edwardian Hotel, to see Bruce Campbell do his very funny talky-talk-piss-take stand-up routine, and of course blag him into signing something for us.

We got in the car, me driving my red, G-reg Cavalier that, a year or two later, was nicked and burnt out (bastards!). Anyway, we left bloody early in the morning, and as we’d not turned in at a judicious time the night before, were just a little cream-crackered. An hour down the road and still only halfway to Heathrow, we realised I wasn't going to make it. We were running on nervous energy, giggling at stupid tiny things as are only funny when you're too tired to actually think about it. It was dangerous.

We stopped at a services and spied the McDonald’s sign. Yay! Hot coffee that could awaken the Kracken! We go in and “get some”, as Ash would say, and come out thinkin’ we’re sorted. Not so. Barely a sniff of the coffee through the tiny peel-away flap was enough to kick us both into Red Bull territory, and once we pulled out of that car park and back onto motorway, it only got worse.

One of the bloody funniest roadtrips of my life, by the way.

Anyway, we talked about what we’d get him to sign for us later. It went from CDs to items of clothing, and then to body parts (well, it was Bruce Campbell). And then, cos we both had eyes like dinner-plates thanks to the rush brought on by coffee fumes, we decided it’d be the funniest fucking thing since Monty Python to lean over Mr Campbell’s desk, fix him with our large, glassy eyes and boom “sign my eyeball!” at him in a hyowj Christopher Lee-type voice.

He did sign my DVD cover of “Running Time”, a fucking fab film: “Could you sign this for me, please?” ~ “Lady, if you bought that DVD, I’ll sign anything you want – except body parts!”. And then some boomstick-type jokes abounded as he signed something Evil Dead related for my sister.

All this lovely warm remembering and missing my little sister was suddenly interrupted by some organiser woman telling me to get my CD ready and get on the stage sharpish. I do, and shuffle along the long line of people having their CDs and inlay cards and whatevers signed.

I reach the table and realise I don’t have a clever thing to say. He looks up at me with those large, brown eyes and just cracks a smile that would’ve brought sun to a Arctic blizzard.
“Long time no see,” says he, and he’s looking quite pleased, I have to say.
“Aye,” says I, then realise it’s one of them times you really should think before you speak. “So, er… Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Chinese New Year for next month.”
“Oh, thanks. And you, too,” says he, and I tell you, butter wouldn’t bloody melt. He slides the CD back toward me and gives me a generous wink. “Next time,” he says pleasantly, and I’m motioned off the stage by two big organisers, and once again, he does that eyes-following-you trick that just makes you want to turn back round, sit down, and talk about his week.

So anyway, here’s me, wobbling and shaking my way off of stage and finding myself in a group of other, like-minded women and men, and we’re comparing signatures and just grinning the satisfied grin of another encounter with a god. Literally – he IS the God of Dance, you know.

That’s when I look at my CD and my name on the requisite post-it note slapped on top, so he could write it on there too. And that’s when I realise I spelt my name wrong (I know, I know, I forgot the ‘e’ – but where was my head?). But he’s spelt it right.

Peach and lube, then. Lots and lots of lube…


drunk punk said...

if he breaks into hollywood movies I can say "Hey I know someone who knows him before he was world famous". He is a good lookin' bloke though accordin' to Caz

Soupdragon said...

Oooh yes, he is that, and Caz is bang-ont money!

I'm hoping he never does go Hollywood, though ~ closest he'll get is John Woo or Chau Yun-Fat, LOL


Gina said...

Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Chinese New Year fer next month, like.

LOL!! That's one uniquely loooong greeting ;)

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