Sunday July 26 2009
We were deeply entrenched in our infinite game of spot the celebrity lookalike and points were crucial. Keep in mind points count towards a scoreline that is never maintained and will never bear witness to a final result.
It is both meaningless (in the grand scheme of things) and utterly essential (for one's pride) this game we have but whenever we resurrect it, it is battle stations. Friendship is thrown out the window and any trace of kindness in a weak suggestion is erased.
I had just spotted Eric Bana's doppelgänger in a pub in the Temple Bar district and Gillespie didn't agree.
And I was outraged.
The celebrity spotting game was introduced to us by our mutual friend and my former housemate Ian. The game was simple but came with a few caveats. For example, just because a man was of Asian descent didn't make him Jet Li. We had similar rules: entitled the Sam Jackson Protocol and the Rosie O'Donnell Method. I guess you can see where I am going with this.
I had reignited our floating game by spotting a Bono lookalike (circa Pop era) at Croke Park before the U2 concert on the Friday night.
Clearly the guy was a frontman for a tribute band (there were plenty of them playing in town this weekend) but the point counted regardless (or did it? My memory of the weekend is blurred somewhat due to the dazzling effects of the contents of my pint glass).
A little aside on the concert itself (seems that was the reason we were in Dublin in the first place). Quite frankly it was brilliant with the whole band sounding great. Bono's voice sounded a little high (even nasally) to begin with but it was unclear on whether that was the fault of the sound mix or not. It got clearer and stronger not long after and we were treated to some awesome performances. My top three were 'One' (with the bonus "Do you here us coming Lord?" coda), 'Ultraviolet (Light My Way)' and the showstopping 'Bad' - the performance of which you can see here:
Seeing U2 in their hometown was something else and a concert I will never forget.
After the concert the game continued well into the next day and night. We had a hilarious debate over a gentleman in a restaurant at dinner on Saturday. Gillespie thought he looked like Billy Bob Thornton but I said only in the mouth and chin region. Desperation is a stinky cologne and Gillespie countered with another selection on the same person, this time Gary Busey. I once again denied him his pick but it did conjure up the rare double spot possibilities afforded to anyone resembling Gary Busey because they also look like Nick Nolte by default.
In a cruel act I took a stab at the gentleman in question and came up with perennial 4th billed (and usual villain) Bruce Greenwood. My pick was denied both on the basis that Bruce Greenwood wasn't known to the majority of our dinner companions and that I was more than likely wrong.
So here we were in the wee hours of Sunday morning at a bar that either started with an O' or a Mac and I thought I had spotted our very own Eric Bana. Now let me qualify by saying he had more of a mullet than what the real Eric would sport nowadays but if anything it was a throwback to his time on 'Full Frontal'.
So with Gillespie giving me a clear no, I boldly approached the guy that looked like the guy that played "Uncle Chop Chop" and asked if anyone had mistaken him for Eric Bana before.
I quickly discovered that he and his friends were from Holland. Shite, this was going to make things difficult to explain. They didn't know who Eric Bana was and at that moment my brain locked up on all the American movies he had been in. His most recent movie was Star Trek I told them but they responded by asking if he played Darth Vader.
I let that one go.
Knowing that Chopper was a cult hit overseas I gave that a long shot. They muttered that they were aware of the movie but as Bana was unrecognisable under the tattoos and sliced ears it was of no use. I gave up on my quest and skulked back to our table resigned to the fact I was not going to get the point.
A half a pint and a shot of sambucca later, our new Dutch friends attracted our attention from their spot across the room. This is it I thought. They have cleverly worked out who I was talking about, perhaps remembering his wooden performance in 'The Hulk' or his commanding role in 'Munich'. This was to be the comeback that people (and by people I mean no one) would be talking about for years to come. Lazarus had nothing on me.
And that is when they yelled out: "Eric Bana! From Flying Doctors!"
I didn't get the point bur points for trying to our brethren from The Netherlands.
They also won the award for the most random thing ever yelled out in a Dublin Pub.