I'm An Idiot: The Time I Met Alice Merton

She's the best, I am an idiot.

October 1, 2018

Alice Merton by Mat Hayward


In the quest to always be growing, I'm taking a cue from Dan Harmon (Community, Rick and Morty) to work on story structure. Before I'm ready to tackle creative writing, I thought I might as well tell tales of the times at work where I've been left feeling like an idiot by my own doing. Enjoy my awkwardness!

"The Time I Met Alice Merton"
Backstage at Marymoor Park, Summer Camp  is underway and we’re doing the usual stuff - recording audio, doing social media, meeting our VIPs. We’re outside in the grass in a fenced-in area surrounding an old beautiful mansion where bands have their green rooms and dining. As a result, we’ll see artists all day wandering around, grabbing some shade or a nap in the lawn. That’s when I spotted Alice Merton, the person I most wanted to see!

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I’d love to say something to her to see if she’s as lovely as the images and music that to this point represent her in my mind.

I approach and say, "hello," explaining "I’m the giant dummy from the radio station, good to meet you.” An awkward moment takes on shape.

Luckily, I come armed with something to discuss. “We’re going to be hosting a wedding featuring two people in the crowd, on stage, right before your set. You’re welcome to participate or hang out or whatever.”

A confused smile from Alice as she indicates that she’s perplexed by the news but also she’s not too bothered - obviously she won’t participate, but how weird would it be for that to happen before your midday set at a festival without warning? Regardless, we’ve made contact. We’re good, right?

Read: I Married Two AWOLNATION Fans At Summer Camp...

I see her after the nuptials, after her set, and again when everything is pretty chill. Her song “No Roots” is a favorite of mine. It reminds me of this dumb sports chant. There’s a football (soccer) team called Queens Park Rangers who wear jerseys with stripes as I’d think of it or rings as they see it. When QPR scores a goal at home, the fans yell HOOPS duh duh duh duh.

Anyway, that song captured me with its already familiar-ish catchiness before taking a turn at our home. Now, we sing to SpaceBaby when changing a diaper… “I’ve got no poops”. My god, I feel so dumb/terrible for even re-telling this story. So rewind to me seeing Alice Merton after her set and feeling like I’ve worked up the confidence to tell her that we think of her constantly… when we sing her song… with different words… about a baby pooping his pants.

I am immediately so embarrassed.

Her reaction, though shocked that someone could treat her art so poorly, was positive-ish. My stomach sank. I apologized. She smiled and made a joke clearly not amused.

I return to work backstage, wander the ground to say hi to our awesome listeners, take a photo with the now married couple just like normal only with the looming dread leftover from my own stupid behavior.

After months of humming a song and finding a bit of fun in promoting a show every day, I learned that I am not as clever/cute as I think I am. Welcome back looming sense of self-doubt when dealing with anyone ever. Never have I wished I was the Homer Hedge gif more than then (or any time I think about it [now>).

Homer Disappears Into a Shrub

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