Saturday, April 22, 2006

A fan no more, Rick Mercer

So Rick Mercer walks into a bar.

That's not the beginning of a joke. On Thursday night I was in the hip little Elgin Street Freehouse with V when Rick Mercer walked in. Mercer, for those who don't know, is a comedy star in Canada. So popular in fact that in a recent poll 1 per cent of Canadians said he should be the next Prime Minister.

Rick Mercer walking into the bar - how cool is that? I don't remember what V and I had been talking about before he came in. After he was there all we talked about is ways I could get a photo of him on the cellphone camera, or what I would say to him if I could work up the courage to go over to where he stood at the end of the bar chatting with a couple of men.

I didn't want to just go up and say, "I think you're so cool, Rick Mercer. You're such a funny man." Then I remembered the newspaper poll. There's a conversation starter. He's always going on about politics on his weekly 'Mercer Report'. I'm sure he'd have something witty to say if I mention this to him.

My nerves twitching, I take the bill up to the bar and use this as a chance to stand beside Mercer.

"Mr. Mercer," I say. He turns and holds out his hand, which I shake.

"Nice to see you again," he says.

"Oh, we haven't met before. My name's Anita."

"You're sure we haven't met?"

"Absolutely. But I guess I have a dobbelganger out there." The waitress gives me the receipt to sign and Mercer interrupts her to order drinks for the two young guys sitting at the bar who he just introduced himself to.

"Did you hear that 1 per cent of Canadians think you should be the next Prime Minister," I say to Mercer. He mutters something in return.

"I think that's great," I add. "Did you read about that in the Globe and Mail."

"I did."

"What did you think?" Here's where he'll say something really funny, I'm thinking. I've set him up perfectly.

"Buzz off." Mercer says.

I'm so shocked I give a stupid smile and mess up my signature on the bill.

"That's right, buzz off," he says and turns his back to me, turns back to the young men.

I was crushed. Perhaps he thought I was a reporter under cover, some gossip columnist hoping he'd trash talk Harper or claim rights to the Liberal Party. But I was just a fan trying to make conversation.

A fan no longer. Mercer, you stink.

Take that.

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