“I know you,” Bart Peeters said to me

“I know you,” Bart Peeters said to me
“I know you,” Bart Peeters said to me
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The year is 2015. For the first time, the Nekka Night did not take place in the Sportpaleis, but a good hundred meters away in the smaller Lotto Arena. I had just completed a year as a music critic for this newspaper, and a journalist friend of mine took me to the backstage area.

“Come Floor, let’s say hello to the artists.”

“Say hello to the artists? They have no idea who I am, do they?”

“We’ll know soon.”

The first enthusiastic person we bumped into was Bart Peeters. My fellow colleague introduced me to him. Bart shook my hand and said – I will never forget his words – “Ha, Floor Deckx. I know you!” I came home and said to my husband: tell me something, Bart Peeters reads me! The next few days I walked on clouds.

Fast forward to The perfect picture, the television program on Play 4 in which famous Flemish people are initiated into the art of photography. The candidates were assigned to take the perfect festival photo at Dranouter. Presenter Manu Van Acker took candidate Julius Persoone to the backstage area to meet the subject of his photo: Bart Peeters.

Three guesses what Bart Peeters said to Julius Persoone…

I read somewhere that actor Jeff Goldblum uses a similar tactic. “Oh, so you’re the (insert name). I’ve heard so much about you!” is his regular conversation opener. Damn, I thought, Warre Borgmans used that same trick on me once.

Gradually it started to dawn on me. It is undoubtedly a protective mechanism. With a familiar face you are approached more often than average. The people who approach you, with or without hesitation, invariably expect you to be sympathetic. As a well-known Flemish person, it is best to have an icebreaker ready, or a joke, or a compliment. In any case, something that makes the other person feel good.

I can tell you that such a good feeling about meeting someone you know can last a long time. Sometimes even nine years.

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