Yesterday, like the majority of Wellingtonians it seems, I went down to Courtenay Place to see a piece of long red carpet. Not that I really got to see much of the actual carpet of course – standing several rows back behind layers of sweaty little hobbit fans, I mainly had a good view of the back of people’s heads. Nothing wrong with that, of course, the back of some people’s heads are quite nice. Especially if they have hair, and aren’t all warty.
Fortunately, standing behind one of the more enthusiastic hobbit fans on the carpet (14 years old, tears streaming down her elfin little face), meant that her incessant screaming summonsed over lots of the actors, so I had a good view of the proceedings. Thank you, nameless wee lass. Of course, most of the proceedings were waiting, but then when the “celebrities” came, they came thick and fast. We had the pleasure of seeing and screaming at a bunch of City Councilors, including Bryan Pepperel, Andy Foster, Ray Ahipene-Mercer, and the Mayor Celia Wade-Brown.
There was also the front bench of the Labour Caucus, with David Shearer and Grant Robertson looking confident, but Lord Voldemort Cunliffe nowhere to be seen. Perhaps Grant Robertson has spotted the Dark Lord on a nearby rooftop and is pointing him out: but no one cares. On with the party!
But from there the Celeb list went down hill. The Girls up the front put up a good range of screaming, even when they knew the person was a complete nobody. They screamed for a DJ from 1ZB, but no one knew his name. They screamed for Rodney Hide, but that may have been because of the frightening effect of the hideous colour of his skin, which has now turned a deep pumpkin orange, his noggin looking for all the world like a boiled penis. Well, not that I’ve seen one of those either, but hopefully you get my drift. You know: angry, and unpleasant. Much like Hide himself I guess.
They screamed a little for Cocksy, who counts as a Celebrity now that he is no longer just a carpenter. Nothing wrong with carpenters, Jesus was one, by all accounts, and look at him – he turned out alright now, didn’t he? Handy with a hammer anyway. And they even screamed for a whole range of people who nobody knew who the heck they were – Mark Dunajtschik being one such developer that I’m sure was well below the radar of the assembled screaming throng. Another developer, Rex Nicols, with his lovely wife as well, but no one knew either of them and they got no cheers at all. Three years is a long time in politics – and it hasn’t even been that long yet. Sorry Kerry, you’re gone and forgotten.
And then there was thingy, and whazzisname from the Telly. We did not have any idea who they were, or still are. Filmic types, I guess, looking wealthy, and looking tanned, hundreds of them – so obscure they could all be from Auckland. Sorry, I haven’t a clue. Oh, and John Key, who was grinning from ear to ear.
And finally, ladies and gentlemen, what you’ve all been waiting for, a bunch of tall dwarves. Names like James Nesbitt we already know (I bumped into him in a petrol station in Miramar once, but didn’t want to behave like a spotty teenager and bother him for an autograph – so settled for an “alright?” and got his famous eyebrow raise back in return). I’m looking forward to seeing the movie just so I can see if we can A) see that quizzical mono brow in action once more, and B) see if we can understand anything he says, cos to be frank, in Cold Feet I hardly understood a thing he said in that thick Irish accent of his…. And then Mark Hadlow, who plays, ummm, a dwarf. And the skinny guy with a big nose who plays another dwarf, although with less need for prosthetics, thanks to his genetic makeup. The other dwarves, of course, we didn’t really recognize, and no one much will, just yet, till we have all seen the film. And even then, not really. Except, perhaps, Gollum, who proved that he has legs and could run quite well….
For me, of course, it was a great day out, unchained from the chains of bondage for a rare afternoon in the sun: a Fish out of water. It was a curious lesson on the vagaries of fame and power: when the Governor General strode past, complete with Charge d’Affaire in full uniform, the assembled throng blinked not a glimmer of recognition. When Stephen Joyce, the most powerful man in the land (can force through roads in a single bound) walked past, not a peep of recognition. Yet when some Z grade doosie Shortland St “actor” stopped by, small girls screamed and fainted with excitement. Such is life.