Fry me a river

Gah so this post will have to be super rushed as work to replace the college ethernet cable is starting in T-20 minutes! This will take 5 hours “if all goes to plan”, which in college/home-reno speak means I could be Internet-less for days. I will try to get through with minimal heart palpitations, but honestly this whole countdown thing is a bit too Diehard 3 for me, and I have none of John McClane’s cool-headed chutzpah.

Yesterday was a shock. A Rude Shock. Not just the kind of Shock that would take the last canapé at an under-catered cocktail party and pretend not to notice that you were eyeing it off, but the kind of Shock that would stay on the phone while being served by a cashier, steal coins from the collection bucket of Charity Santa, and refuse to stand up for a pregnant woman on a downtown bus ride.


Thing is, I thought I was a true Stephen Fry fan. I’ve watched every episode of QI, used the interesting tidbits as conversational fodder and pick-up icebreakers (surprisingly, ‘Did you know that brazil nuts have the only sexually transmissible allergic reaction?’ doesn’t inspire easy banter…), chuckled over A Bit of Fry & Laurie, pored over his autobiographies, been reduced to tears by his docos and position put forward in the Intelligence Squared debate… Dropping £121 on Oxford Union membership was pretty much solely to see the inimitable Mr Fry (ok ok, Alec Baldwin also featured heavily in the decision-making process).

After the whole Sir Ian McKellen debacle, the Union decided to ballot half the places at Stephen Fry’s talk (the rest allocated on a first come first served basis).


This is both the ballot form and my Christmas wishlist from the past 10 years!

But turns out I am a faux fan!


Seems like the true fans put in 480 ballots to my paltry 1 (though this Superfan was called out and shamed on FB) and started lining up at the Union at midday for the 8pm talk. Meanwhile, I waited for the ballot results to come out at 2pm, then went to buy snacks and smelling salts* assuming that a 4.5 hour wait would guarantee me a spot. So foolish!


Midday. I guess Fry > Gandalf.

Anyway, I missed out on #UnionFry (and instead had a #UnionCry). But at least there were Guy Fawkes celebrations last night, so I could stare moodily into a blazing bonfire and drown my sorrows in mulled cider. Also, fireworks!

*I could only assume that being in Stephen Fry’s presence would cause me to faint like a dipsy Southern Belle

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