My friend once saw Jarvis Cocker outside Greggs on Portobello Road. I have a much better Jarvis Cocker story, although I very much like that hers puts her coming out of Greggs. Imagine that day- a sausage roll and Jarvis Cocker. Fantastic. My Jarvis Cocker story is somewhat different. I am in Paris, at a bar which is either tremendously cool or utterly horrible. I am trying to decide when I see Jarvis Cocker leaning against the bar. ‘Oh my goodness look it’s Jarvis Cocker!’ I shout indiscreetly to my friends. ‘What?’ ‘Yes, look, by the bar. Next to those drunk girls, but I don’t think he’s with them. I can’t believe it!’ My friends are excited, but in a more discreet fashion. In fact one of them tells me to be quieter, because he’s looking at us. Which is clearly ridiculous, given my shy reticence, so I ignore her robustly. ‘I’m going to go talk to him,’ I announce. ‘Oh God please don’t.’ ‘I know what you’re thinking,’ I say, ‘But he’s married. It’s all going to be very innocent.’ ‘That wasn’t what I was thinking at all,’ she grumbles, but I have already walked away.
I want to play it cool, obviously, so I meander sneakily around Jarvis Cocker. I prop myself casually at the bar. I drum my fingers nonchalantly on the bar, and then turn towards Jarvis Cocker. I stare at him, and mumble something incomprehensible. ‘I’m sorry?’ he says politely. ‘Oh HELLO,’ I say, ‘Do you come here often?’ ‘I like it here,’ Jarvis Cocker says quietly. ‘It’s nice and laidback.’ ‘I LOVE THINGS BEING LAIDBACK,’ I shout excitedly. ‘THAT’S THE BEST. I’M REALLY LAIDBACK TOO.’ I am quite delighted that me and Jarvis Cocker have so much in common.
I look round to make sure my friends can see me and Jarvis Cocker getting on so well. They are pointedly ignoring us. I try to subtly gain their attention by raising my left hand (the hand furthest away from Jarvis Cocker) up and down. They don’t look up. Jarvis Cocker looks a little startled. ‘IT”S SO GOOD BEING LAIDBACK WITH YOU,’ I tell him. ‘Thank you,’ he replies bemusedly. We stand in silence for a few seconds.
‘WELL,’ I shout, ‘I’M ACTUALLY NOT HERE ALONE.’ Jarvis Cocker’s eyes widen. He says nothing. ‘I HAVE MY FRIENDS. THEY’RE OVER THERE.’ I point to my table of friends, all who continue to pretend they do not know me. I’m not sure I’m convincing Jarvis Cocker of my popularity. I am aware, however, that the one thing celebrities hate is clingy fans. I therefore decide to take my leave of Jarvis Cocker. I want to stroll away in a laidback fashion, but I can’t help myself. ‘DO YOU COME TO THIS BAR BECAUSE YOU WANT TO LIVE LIKE COMMON PEOPLE?’ Jarvis Cocker smiles ruefully, and I wish suddenly that I had a sausage roll to distract him with. ‘It was very nice to meet you,’ Jarvis Cocker says politely. ‘ME TOO!’ I shout, thrilled. ‘I MEAN, YEAH, COOL. I MEET LOTS OF PEOPLE. I’M VERY LAIDBACK.’
I return to my friends. ‘HE SAID IT WAS NICE TO MEET ME!’ I tell them. ‘YEAH, ME AND JARVIS COCKER ARE FRIENDS NOW.’ I wave at him to show my friends. He doesn’t wave back, but that’s clearly just because he’s so laidback.