“I wish!” I replied, laughing, although inside my head a cheeky little voice was saying, “...do you think I'd still be coming here and getting change from a £20 note for a haircut if I had?” 'The Gruffalo', as I'm sure you're aware, is a famous, best-selling picture book, plus it's won several awards and sold over 10.5 million copies around the world. Life for me would be very different if I was receiving the royalties from that.
Or would it? As I walked home, it set me on a trail of thoughts which then led me to the notion of fame in general and how difficult I'd find it to cope with recognition. All these kids that say they want to be stars and celebrities... I just don't understand. I won't deny that the money would be lovely, but I simply couldn't bear the pressure. The lack of privacy would be my biggest problem. Then there are all the expectations, the critics, and the judgements from people who don't know me about how I look or what I wear, what I say. Oh god and what about the gossip? The possibility that a boy from a very distant and very dim past might want to tell tales about the night I let him put his hands up my jumper in my parents' back garden, you know the kind of thing. I couldn't handle it (fame, I mean; I'm not talking about the boy now...). It would be my idea of hell.
I'm quite happy to stay in the shadows of obscurity. Of course I wouldn't mind receiving the royalties on a best-selling book but, you know, I think I would still get S to cut my hair... I'd just be more generous with my tip.
(Thanks too to The Swede over at Unthought Of, Though Somehow, whose recent post was very timely!)