Rant: The High Price of Fame

Many people strive to be famous, but don’t realize what a burden it actually is.  Being in the spotlight 24/7 is mentally and physically exhausting.  The worst part is that there are few people who can truly understand your plight.  As a world famous celebrity blogger I often only have one outlet I can turn to: my readers.

To get an idea of what I’m going through, picture this: you emerge from a public restroom when all of a sudden somebody recognizes you.  “Its Julian Wickers” shouts an amazed onlooker, followed by a chorus of agreement.  All of a sudden you are bowled over by a tide of people rushing into the restroom, trying to see if they can get a “souvenir” from the stall you just vacated.

Sometimes I conveniently forget to flush, just so there is a little something (or big something) for my adoring fans.  Regardless of whether there is a chunky surprise or not, they will tear the bathroom apart.  Everyone wants to own a toilet seat that Julian Wickers sat on, or a bathroom stall door that Julian Wickers touched.  Even if one of the jackals isn’t a huge fan, he knows he can get big money for it on ebay.

Obviously I don’t want to wait around, or I’ll be stuck signing autographs for hours.  Even at $20 a pop, double for body parts, there is still a mob of devoted fans.  Sure when I leave several hours later my jeans will be stuffed to the brim with cash, but is it worth a sore wrist?  Absolutely not.

Reader Tip: I only take crisp $20 bills for autographs.  Wrinkled bills will get you sent to the back of the line.

And that is what people don’t understand.  Sure, maybe I pick up 10k in cash from an impromptu autograph signing session in the park, but it costs.  My wrist is tired, my afternoon scuttled, and who knows what kind of germs I picked up from the unwashed masses.    

Cafe Problems

Public bathrooms aren’t the only place where my fame becomes a burden.  I used to be able to sit quietly in a cafe and get work done.  Who doesn’t like to sip an expensive coffee while enjoying the quiet buzz of activity?  The problem is, as soon as I’m recognized, that “buzz” becomes a stampede.  

Everyone wants to to revel in my presence.  For some that just means extending a tentative hand to touch my jacket.  More forward fans like to shake my hand and ask for an autograph.  The most devoted sit and watch, waiting for me to leave so they can lap up any crumbs I leave behind.

Last week, after being recognized at a local cafe, a half dozen people got up and ordered “the exact same thing as Julian Wickers” (for the record, double mocha cap w/ goats milk and flax seed sprinkles).  The rest of the morning proceeded as expected: a line of well wishers and autograph seekers extended out the door and across the block.  Gone was any hope of productivity.

Coping with Too Many Fans

I’ve certainly tried to deal with this in creative ways.  After all, I am a world renowned life coach and productivity expert.  For awhile I would read with one hand while blindly signing autographs with the other.  This blew up though when a woman thought that my random scrawl read “Go back to hell you hideous harpy.”  Informing her that people would pay big money for the error did not calm her unearthly shrieks.  

One way to alleviate the burden is to charge more for autographs, but I’m not sure I can do that to society.  The book that I sign will no doubt become an instant family heirloom, solemnly worshiped and prized throughout the generations.  Who am I to deny a family that joy?  

Reader Tip: To make room on your mantle for an autographed copy of my book, put the urn with Grandmas ashes in the attic.  

Another problem with charging more for autographs: where would I put all the extra money?  These plebs aren’t walking around with 100 dollar bills, it’s all tens and twenties.  My house is already full to the brim with cash, the drawers overflowing.  I told my maid she could keep any change she found in my pockets while doing laundry, she now drives a Lamborghini.

And that  is the heavy burden I bear.  It is my duty as a guru and cultural icon to grace these wretches with my presence.  Sure a morning spent working at Starbucks is important, but in the grand scheme of things spreading my goodwill is more valuable to society.  Luckily I am able to handle my burden with grace, and humility.

Perhaps the Worst Part of Being Famous

Another tricky aspect of fame is how it varies depending on your audience.  Out in public I am a god who can ignore stop signs and take liberally from the “tips” jar, but my wife and kids treat me like a commoner.  My house is the one place where I want celebrity treatment, but instead I have to bus my dishes and scold my own servants.

Celebrity Reader Warning: If you can’t handle stories of cultural icons being forced to do manual labor by the people who should love them the most, stop reading now.  I bear no responsibility for the deep psychological damage this could cause to your award winning persona.

My fans are nice, but most of them are weirdos.  I wouldn’t ask any of them to massage my back.  When I ask my wife, the one person I want absolute adoration from, she pretends like my words aren’t coming from an angel’s mouth.  Last time I leaned over in bed and asked for a quick thirty minute full body massage she laughed, and told me that she was going to sleep.  

Not only does my wife have the nerve to ask me to do chores around the house, the other day she complained about me leaving the toilet seat up.  I thought about telling her that falling in would be a privilege that many of my fans would sell a kidney for.  That the last time I got recognized coming out of a bathroom, fans came out with soaking wet shirts and water bottles full of gritty “holy water”.

In the end, I relented, and told her that I would try to put down the seat once and awhile.  And that my dear readers, is the true cost of fame.

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