The day I met Jack Black began as any other sassy, summer’s Saturday afternoon in London. After waking to the blaring sunshine through the window of my curtain-less share-house digs, I had seriously considered bailing on work so I could spend the day sipping cider and looking ultra chic with the best of them along the canals of Camden. But with every excuse under the sun already used up and the apparent need to be able to pay for those ciders, I decided to do the grown-up thing and go to that place they call “work”. 

The sports store that I worked at in London’s south attracted all sorts of people. The likes of your Yummy Mummy who has the one-handed pram-wielding skills of a Russian race car driver, who was also able to balance a mocha or check the quality of a running top with her other hand.

I had just spent the morning looking like Amy Winehouse at the bad end of a night out. There was a notoriously good fresh food market across the road from our store and they made the best brownies in London. The smells of thick caramelised sugar would catch and linger in the clothing of unsuspecting traffickers and slap me across the face as they walked by. I had it bad but one hit of those bad boys and I would be on cloud nine for the rest of the day.

I returned from my break, having just scoffed a whole brownie. I’d walked straight to the front of the store to torture my colleagues and halfway through a celebratory crow, I saw him. COULD IT BE TRUE? The Jack Black was standing like any mortal, looking at the frisbees with his mate, which I would soon learn was his stunt double. A reminder message flashed briefly before my eyes. It was written in my boss’s handwriting and it read: “You must always treat everyone who comes into this door the same, no matter who they are.” It probably should have also reminded me to also use my common sense but it didn’t. Shame. To remain professional I had to suppress the shivers vibrating down my spine, brought on by such beauty. I also had to flick out a neck spasm and a twitch of my left eye brought on by the copious amounts of sugar in my system. SIGN YOUR LIFE AWAY

And that’s where I go blank. Nothing. Nada. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I can’t remember anything after that until my colleague says to me later, “Alicia, you IDIOT!” Apparently I was on fire.  I served Mr Black with the highest level of customer service. We were laughing and on first name basis and seemingly even knew what each other was doing on the weekend. From what I hear, it all went really well until I took him to the till. I rung up his track pants and frisbee, put them in a bag and told him the price. Mr Black paid with his credit card and signed but quickly put the card away after he had swiped it. (This is where common sense didn’t kick in.) I had always been a stickler for the rules and I was brazen enough and on such good form that I asked Jack Black to pull out his credit card again, so I could make sure the signatures matched. You IDIOT Alicia.

I don’t remember and I refuse to pull the memory from the depths of my mind but Jack Black apparently told me I was the only person to have ever asked to see if the signatures matched between him and his card. I apparently looked so embarrassed, (noted by my glowing face) he must have felt sorry for me and made a joke about how I was doing such a good job, “just in case there was someone else out there pretending to be me and not doing a decent job at it!” Well, at least I gave him a memorable experience. It is definitely not one I am going to live down.