Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Man in the mirror

It’s a dangerous game to play, but we’ve all done it. Playing look-a-likes soon escalates. Oh, it starts innocently enough – a casual comment likening relative to relative, but before long it’s famous people you look like,, or your friends look like, or the new person in accounts, or the milkman. I have an aunt, for example, who in convinced that the fact that I have dark hair is enough of a similarity to make me the spitting image of Keanu Reaves – I’m not even close. A friend – a special case really, a man who read Nietzsche’s Superman (sorry) and proclaimed “that’s about me!” – was once told by another relative that he looked just like Tom Cruise. He doesn’t. Oh sure, he could pass for Tom Cruise if the “Cruiser” gained about five stone in weight, lost most of his hair and had his eyes replaced with peanuts. He looks more like John Travolta on a really bad day – but there you see, that’s how easy it is!

Of course it could be used as an insult. The old ‘you look like a movie star!’ ‘Really?’ ‘Yeah, Lassie!’ routine (for younger readers, Lassie is a dog – a pretty dog, don’t get me wrong, with a shiny coat and a healthy wet nose, but still a dog) but far too often it isn’t. Some of these people mean it. Which is confusing. Are they stupid? Do they really think that x looks just like George Clooney? Or have they just got really bad memories?

Where does it end though? Look a likes are a weird, strange breed, more suited to Louise Theroux or to Big Brother style stunts. They are to be shunned, laughed at for even daring to look a like anything other than strange little characters that heeded the drunken utterance of a mate or the misguided attempt of a relative to boost their ego. It may seem like a nice thing that the person who tells you that you look like Brad Pitt is doing, but they are just being cruel. If we are not careful we may find ourselves all falling foul of the spell of being told we look like someone that we blindingly don’t resemble, actually believing the hype. I did a job some time ago where a Michael Owen and John Terry look a like were needed. When the real Mr Terry appeared the look a like said to him ‘it must be like looking in a mirror’. Mr Terry smiled, but I could tell that he was thinking ‘piss off you chubby, ugly fool, I’m an athlete!’ But this guy really did think he looked just like John Terry.

Saying that though just the other day I walked past an alcohol-puffed, bloated, pasty man who looked just like Danny Dyer, could have been his brother.

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