Picture the scene, you are sitting at a dinner party, surrounded by friends. It has been going well. You feel you have been both pithy and interesting. Your anecdotes have been well received, with everyone laughing at the right moments, and there being a genuine sense of suspense in the room in the build up to the punchlines. You decide to take the plunge, and unveil your secret, your trump card - the surefire piece of dynamite that can't help but seal off a perfect night. You blithely whip out your phone and - interrupting another one of Ian's infuriatingly long-winded stories about his dog's illness - ask, "Hey, would anyone like to see a photo of me with H from Steps?"
A beat, as the room readjusts, and everyone tries to wash their minds of whatever boring thing Ian was saying about his dachshund's latest surgery, and brace themselves for the far more interesting story that you're about to throw their way. "Yeah, it was a few months ago now," you say, swiping through your photos until you find the right folder, marked 'Me + H (from Steps)'. The image flickers onto the screen, and you see yourself, smiling, an arm over the shoulder of H from Steps. "What dya think of that?" you ask, passing the phone around.
"Wow!" Mutters the first to look upon the photo.
"Cool!" Splutters another.
"...Is H from Steps okay? He looks a little bit... wrong." Says Ian. He's probably just bitter that you stole the limelight away from him and his dog's increasingly unviable colon.
"Yeah," chimes another, "His skin looks both sallow and wan, and... there appears to be a dent in his hand."
"Oh yeah, and his eyes are pointing in different directions... as are the fingers on his other hand."
You snatch the phone back. There does indeed seem to be a dent in the hand H from Steps is extending to do a thumbs up with. And, sure, you'd be among the first to admit that the fingers on his other hand have seen better days.
"Oh wait," pipes back Ian, "Is that not just a waxwork of H from Steps? It looked like it was in Madame Tussauds or somethign" Barely stifled laughter erupts around the room. "Why are you bragging about a photo of yourself with a bad statue of H from Steps?" he probes.
"I'm sorry Ian!? How many waxen effigies of celebrated members of early 2000s manufactured pop groups have you had your photograph taken with? Huh? None! That's how many, because you've been too worried about your damn dog to live your life to the fullest!" A silence falls over the room, you sense it is your times to go. You gather up the large serving bowl of chili con carne you'd brought for the pot luck and - having insisted that everyone scrape any remaining chili from their plates back into the bowl - take your leave, ashamed.
- Such is the only possible outcome when someone has their photograph taken with a waxwork statue. Waxworks seem fundamentally pointless on a profound scale.
They often, rather than resembling genuine likenesses of the person or character they are supposed to represent, appear to be little more than rough, unflattering effigies that have been assembled by an unruly mob for the explicit purpose of being suspended somewhere, pelted with rotten fruit, and set on fire.
With the last season of Game Of Thrones currently airing the waxwork museum in Dublin unveiled a new waxwork of Emilia Clarke's Khaleesi. Needless to say, it garnered a lot of attention online for its unsettling appearance.*
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The image of the waxwork, shared on Instagram, garnered international attention. This culminated with Emilia Clarke's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. When the photo was shown to the Game of Thrones actor, she described it as looking like 'her brother in mascara and a wig'.
*I would also like to make it clear that I am sure it is incredibly difficult to create any waxwork that even vaguely and harrowingly resembles a real person. My issue lies not with the craft of waxwork, but with the pointlessness of people clamouring over the supposed resemblances of celebrities, should there be any disgruntled waxworkers reading this who are currently baying for my blood.