Baby, You’ll Be Famous
I was on a flight and fancied a beer. Despite the selection being limited (two fucking beers; that was it) I figured I could stomach a few swallows of commercial filth while being whisked away to sunnier climes. The stewardess was a smart one: she opened the beers before telling me how much flesh she was going to extract in exhcange. Six quid for a beer I could down in two gulps. Six fucking quid! I was furious.
After necking ten of the bastards (sixty bloody quid, and I wasn’t even feeling merry), I decided to have a read. I figured I wouldn’t be able to get into a story, because of the internal rage I felt about the price of beer, but I was determined to give it a go. I went for a short by Ben Arzate and, interestingly, it sucked me in so hard, I actually forget about my moral outrage and ordered a few more drinks.
Before I go any further, here’s a quick truth: often, stories which have a twist signal the twist way too early, and every intelligent reader sees the twist from a mile off. It’s twisterama, and no mistake. The truth is this: twists are shit if you see them coming too early.
In Baby, You’ll Be Famous, we get the story of a typical tabloid journalist looking for a scoop on his famous prey. While the world of commodity celebrities might be worthy of scorn, the bin-raiding paparazzi in this short story is equally deserving of contempt.
Sub-titled A Tale of Tabloid Terror, our protagonist starts off raiding a celebrity’s trash. Finding empty pills bottles and soiled underwear, he starts to chase down a big story. If she’s abusing medication to the point of suffering a bleeding anus, there’s got to be a pay-day in there somewhere.
What Ben Arzate delivers is a twist, but one you don’t see coming from start. That, in itself, makes the story worth a read. It’s horror, but presented in such a way as to retain a level of credibility.
I recommend this book, specially if you’re furious at paying through the arse for the tiniest can of beer ever produced.