Thursday, April 27, 2006

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Bridging the celluloid gulf

After attending another show biz party, my usual limousine failed to materialise and I was left stranded in town. What is a young luminary like myself to do when faced with such a predicament? Infra indignitatem aside, I decided my only recourse would be to phone for what the common people refer to as a 'cab'.

My butler is forever glued to that awful documentary revolving around the everyday lives of the *sniff* proletariat residing in cobble-clad Manchester squalor. 'Coronation Street' I believe it's called. One of the central characters, Steve McDonald, operates a taxi firm known as 'Street Cars' and I had seen his lackeys driving his fleet on numerous occasions. The phone number 0161 715 1515 is prominently displayed on top of each vehicle so unsurprisingly the digits had become firmly lodged in my psyche.

I tried ringing, but the number didn't seem to be in service, and after the sixth attempt I gave up. What kind of a taxi firm doesn't make sure their phone line is working on the busiest night of the week? A shoddy one! It will be an icy day in Hades before I call Street Cars again. Hmmff! I did get home safely that night, eventually, though wasn't best pleased at having to pay the pilot of my private helicopter double-time for dragging him out of bed to escort me back to the palace.

I'm not one of these poor deluded souls who can't spot the difference between fiction and reality so when Clark Kent's email address ( flashed on screen in an episode of Smallville I watched recently I didn't reflexively reach for the mouse to make contact.

If I was a bit feeble-minded and disposed to slipping into fantasyland I might have committed the address to memory and fired off a plea for help in the event of an emergency. It must be pretty handy to have a personal hotline to Superman after all. Say, just for example of course, my life had taken a literal downward spiral and I happened to have a wi-fi enabled Blackberry with me I could tap out a quick email like so...


I've got myself into a bit of a sticky situation and was wondering if you would mind lending a hand. What it is you see, I'm currently hurtling at breakneck speed towards the ground having fallen from the window of a hundred storey skyscraper and fear I could be in for a bumpy ride.

Anyway I'd be much obliged if you could see your way to catching me at the earliest possible convenience. I don't want to put you to any trouble of course, it's just that I'm wearing an expensive designer t-shirt and it would be frightfully disagreeable if I were to get it all blood-stained and messy.

Yours hopefully,


...and if I really had sent such a desperate message, which I definitely didn't, again just for example, I might get a response like...

From: Mail Delivery Subsystem To: Subject: Delivery Status Notification (Failure) Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2006 07:39:59 -0700 (PDT)

This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

Technical details of permanent failure: PERM_FAILURE: SMTP Error (state 9): 553 5.3.0 ... User Does Not Exist

You're not buying a word of this are you? OK, I confess; I did ask Superman to swoop to my rescue, and because he didn't get my message (probably because he's since switched to Gmail) I wound up splattered in a gooey pool of my own gore.

What you probably didn't see coming is that, in a Sixth Sense-esque he-was-dead-all-along twist, I'm typing this from the grave.

For anyone who hasn't yet seen The Sixth Sense, a major spoiler precedes this warning.
With hindsight I really should have emailed the original and best Superman, Christopher Reeve, whose email address ( was also revealed in the same episode of Smallville. He'd have known what to do.

Despite having joined the ranks of the unliving, which isn't as much of a handicap as you might imagine, I haven't entirely lost faith in celebrities and their ability to respond to their fans' correspondence.

Take Homer Simpson for instance. He has an email address ( and isn't afraid to use it. His courteous, convivial, wise and timely responses to fan mail bespeak a man of character esteemed with integrity and venerable lineage.

I think I'll add him to my AIM friends list.