Being a celebrity look-a-like is not as fun as it sounds. Sure, you get the occasional free drink at the pub or a free hotdog from your local streetside vendor, but ultimately, I feel that it detracts from what I bring to the table as a person. I have feelings and thoughts of my own. But when you are the spitting image of a rock legend, all that fades to black.
I found myself at a local pizza eatery a few days back and had such an experience. I ordered the usual pepperoni, pineapple, bacon and onion special, and made my way from the counter to my usual seat in the corner. It was a typical pizza joint with tables that are too tiny and the place claims to be authentic "Chicago" style pizza, whatever that means. Personally, I like my pizza to be like me; greasy and Phoenician. None the less, I slid into my chair in the corner and as usual, I drew pictures with my finger in the table top pizza grease and began to silently judge the orders of my restaurant-going comrades. Mr "spinach, olive, zucchini and basil" was just asking for it. He really couldn't get enough of himself. My buddy, Brian from high school, who works behind the counter, turned to "check on an order" and shot me an exaggerated eye roll. And that's when it happened.
Zucchini's equally pretentious girlfriend saw me. I noticed her double-take and tried to make myself scarce.
"Not again..." I thought to myself. I wondered how quickly I could change my order to "to go" but it was too late. She tapped Zuchini on the shoulder and wispered in his ear while looking in my direction.
"wisper wisper wisper... John Mayer... wisper wisper wisper."
I tried to slouch lower in my already too tiny pizzaria chair and pulled my hat down. But I think my mesterious look only made them all the more convinced. Brian loved when things like this happened and took some time out of his day to confirm their suspicions.
"Yeah he eats in here all the time!"
She left the line to come over. I decided this was it. I am tired of playing second fiddle to John, its time for me to take mine. Some time in the sun was well deserved. So I played along.
"Excuse me," she said, her boyfriend on her heels. "Is that really you?" she asked wide-eyed.
"Of course it is," I replied. "It's me!"
"Ohh wow! We are such huge fans!" her boyfriend chimed in. "Your body is a wonderlaaaaand." He sang with a slight thrust in his hip.
"Yes. Its true. My body is a wonderland." I replied with a deep-seated resentment for the man who bears my face. "Like a resurrected Walt Disney but with more raw sexual magnatism."
"We have all of your albums! Even that one that came out after that other one that kinda sucked..." "I have that one too."
They looked at each other slightly puzzled, but continued. "What kinda pizza do you eat? They should give you your own item on the menu and call it the Mayer special!"
"I would agree with that. I pushed for them to name a pizza after me but the guy at the counter is a Sevendust fan."
"Ohh man, I can't believe we ran into you here! Are you from Phoenix originally?"
"Yeah I live here now actually. I stay with my parents right up the street."
"You live with your parents? Aren't you like, rich?"
"I don't do too bad. I've got a car now which is pretty sweet. And a blog! I even opened up a shop out of my house where I sew old patches to the tops of old tennis shoes. I sell them on ebay."
"What kind of a car do you drive?"
"1989 Mazda 323 hatchback. It can do 0-60."
"Alright, well when do you have time to write music? Don't you have a tour coming up?"
"I'm thinking about quitting the music biz. It's become so commercialized. It used to be about the rock. Now all it seems anyone cares about is pushing albums on 15 year old girls at the local Target. I'm more than just a pretty face, you know? But they make me feel so dirty and used, like a toy banana in a monkey prison."
"Wow," she said, "I had no idea."
"Well now you do. Sometimes I wish I could just eat a piece of Phoenix style pizza in peace, like everyone else. I'm just like everyone else, Guys. I ain't no different. I'm just waiting on the world to change..."
They called her number at the counter and she looked back over her shoulder, and then to her boyfriend who was clearly less than impressed with our encounter. "Well, it was good to see you." They gave me a nod and went back to the line looking very defeated.
Mission accomplished, I thought to myself as I finished my last bite. I stood up from my corner chair, wiping my greasy hands off on my denims. I headed for the door thinking of my good deed, giving that nice couple a chance to meet their hero. The bells on the door chimed as I opened it. I heard my buddy Brian yelled from behind the counter,