I’m trying to coin a new phrase; AA-list celebrity. It means a celebrity who is so unknown that they’re even below Z-list. The origin of the phrase is a little nerdy. In Microsoft Excel, if you’ve got a really big spreadsheet with more than 26 columns, the next column after Z is AA.
I’ve submitted it for inclusion to urbandictionary.com – a website devoted to recording new words. Urban Dictionary haven’t got back to me yet. The main rule of joke telling is that a joke that takes ten times as many words to explain it as it takes to tell it, is unlikely to be funny.
The phrase came to me as I sat in the St Patrick’s Athletic dressing room before a celebrity charity football match. The celebrities – Breffni from the Apprentice, Yer Man from Fair City, Him Off The Telly, His Nibs That’s On The Radio – struggled to ‘place me’ and I had to explain who I was. The main rule of celebrity is that if you have to spend a long time explaining who you are, chances are, you’re not a celebrity. Or you’re AA-list.
It’s a pity – I have the potential to give really good value as a celebrity. I’m unpredictable – once I’ve got my scarf and woolly hat on, there’s no telling what kind of media-storm I might generate.
When the news about Johnny Ronan broke last week, I smiled a smile of recognition. Ronan, a wealthy businessman, was out on the town with Rosanna Davison (former Miss Whatsit) and a few others. On the spur of the moment he decided to book a hotel in Morocco for that very night and fly them all there in his private jet. It cost him €60,000 but Johnny didn’t care. Hang the consequences. I could identify with that. One day, years ago, we were hanging around the Model Village in Dripsey and I just thought “Here’s a crazy idea, why don’t we just thumb to Coachford to play pool in Dineen’s pub?” Even though Coachford was three miles away, we didn’t care, we just did it. Because like celebrities, I didn’t live my life by the normal rules. I lived for the moment, although I did go home a little early because I would have gotten into trouble if I wasn’t home for supper. I wasn’t an eejit.
Back at the charity football match, – Celebrities versus the St. Pats Legends – I was struggling to get a game. The manager – Yer Man – had wisely decided to play people who would get some murmur of recognition from the crowd.
When the bench had all but emptied, I eventually got on. Thankfully Michelle Heaton – Her from Liberty X – who was doing the commentary didn’t announce the substitution. Nobody wants to hear a crowd ‘Who-ing’.
My soccer career thus far has been undistinguished. Two years at Coachford Youths yielded a goal in my first game and another in my last game. Also in that final swan song – an 8-1 drubbing in Mayfield – I was booked for hacking down someone more skilful. Coaches and supporters alike at Coachford recognised my limitations early. When the ball found it’s way to me, people would scream at me “Get rid of it” as if I’d just turned up at their house, Pulp-Fiction style with a dead body in the back seat of a 1974 Chevrolet Nova.
But that doesn’t matter now. Last Sunday, when I arrived (out of breath) at my position of full-back, I was marking none other than Oooh Aaah Paul McGrath. I say marking, I mean ‘being in the vicinity of’. The Black Pearl of Inchicore may no longer possess any knees but he still has a first touch. I have a first touch too. But it’s typically more of a rebound. At one point I even tackled him. It felt strange tackling Paul McGrath. Like teaching the Pope the Hail Mary. In fact, unlike the Pope, I almost apologised.
Of course McGrath is properly famous. He got famous by playing professional football at the highest level for over 16 years. I don’t have that kind of time so I’ve come up with some ideas for reality TV shows to bolster my profile. In Colm’s Kitchen the cameras follow me around as I cook food for celebrities (provided all they want is spuds, beans and sausages).
In It Would Be More In Your Line To Hold Onto The Job You Have, The Way Things Are These Days – the cameras follow me around as I go to work and just do my job. I am set tasks like “Sending An Email To Explain What Went Wrong This Time”.
I’m also looking ahead to next winter’s schedule with my proposal for Driving on Ice. Each week I’m set a new challenge including “Taking It Very Handy” and “Avoiding any Unnecessary Journeys”
So watch this space – who knows, this time next year it could be goodbye Colm O’Regan, hello… That Fella Off the Telly.