Sit back for a moment and picture yourself on the bustling streets of New York City, when suddenly Ryan Gosling swoops you out the way of violent death by taxicab with his glistening man-arms. You two probably get handsy and kiss in the rain afterward, and who could blame you? You’re living the internet’s wet FROM THE RAIN dream. Now imagine you’re a sassy British journalist and this actually happened to you Tuesday night, minus the dreamy kissing bit. Please, repeat after a direct quote from an eye witness of the event: “You lucky bitch.”
Laurie Penny was about to step off the curb when Ryan Gosling yelled, “Hey, watch out!” and stopped her seconds before she was clocked by a taxi. (I know, I know, we’re all agreed that he should have yelled “Hey girl, watch out!” but maybe he’s trying to broaden his phrasebook to more than those two words.) According to Penny’s own account, her disorientation was caused by looking the wrong way for oncoming traffic, a symptom of madness commonly known as ‘being adorably British.’ She thanked him, the two parted ways, and that was that. The entire exchange took no more than a minute and yet people can’t stop standing at street corners yelling, “READ ALL ABOUT IT!” What’s the freakin’ deal?
Because Ryan Gosling is the internet’s Honey Bear Sweetie Pie (HBSP, for shorts). Whether it was the alignment of the stars or the magic of his face, he’s stormed the internet’s castle, and I mean that in the least appropriate way possible. With the spread of the “Hey Girl” meme and whole scads of skirts lining up to cry over The Notebook, he now has two entirely different kinds of fame: regular ol’ movie star and burning internet sensation. A video of Gosling breaking up a fight between two random men went viral last summer prompting a national rise in jokes about tank tops. As if that wasn’t enough (you know, on top of being TIME Magazine’s Coolest Person of the Year 2011) our HBSP is now being lauded as a taxi-halting hero.
All the romance-novel gushing is a bit of a mystery to me, though I’ll be the first to step up and admit I’ve had a good laugh at some ‘Hey Girl’ jokes. He doesn’t ring my bell loudly enough for all that. He’s like Ryan Reynold’s darling blonde skinny little brother! But buyer beware, I’ve been kicked out of the ladies room and had my tampons revoked for saying as much. He’s quite the hot ticket, especially with the mom crowd. Cool it ladies, I promise it just means there’s more Gosling to go around for the rest of you. I don’t have any hard feelings towards the dude, I just don’t get the hype. (I’ll be over here watching Blade: Trinity on repeat. If you need a safe zone because you didn’t cry during The Notebook seek me out. Solidarity.)
For her part Laurie Penny is nonplussed by all the hero talk. She admits that she was ‘a little bit swoony after it happened’ but asserts that, “in fairness, I’ll swoon over a cheese sandwich if it gives me a saucy look.” which is a statement I can get behind or in front of, whichever puts me in better position to kill the sandwich with my mouth. She goes on to detail that she found absolutely nothing about what happened remarkable, she may as well have been saved by a wandering cyclist carrying a bag of wooden nickels for all she cares:
Friends and complete strangers prevent me from taking the fast-lane death walk in New York City on a regular basis, and the reason that this happens is that people are actually surprisingly decent when you get down to it. If Ryan Gosling hadn’t happened to be the nearest person at the time, I’m sure the girl standing next to me, who confirmed Gosling’s identity, would have prevented me from meandering into an early grave.
Fair enough. He probably didn’t do anything that any other human wouldn’t have done in the same circumstance, including me (and hopefully my son), but could they do it while looking so handsomely dapper? Could they do it while also holding puppies and kittens?! Could they do it while fixing you a nice latte and rubbing your feet?! I DIDN’T THINK SO. Between the latest erotic novel sweeping through mom nightstands and Ryan Gosling’s Pinterest takeover, apparently mothers are more hot-to-trot than my Grandmother would’ve liked us to think. Just give us our vices, our dirty, filthy, mysterious vices.