The Sad, Lonely Life of Ed Sheeran’s Clone
By Mikki Halpin
What if you were a body double for a nobody?
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A-list celebs began employing clones many years ago. It’s the only way to deal with the demands on their time. They can’t be doing photo shoots, appearing on talk shows, dropping albums, and maintaining a strong Instagram presence in the same 24-hour day that ordinary mortals are tied to. So, clones.
Some clones lead fantastic lives. Beyoncé’s has one whose sole job is to get her picture taken on yachts. Yara Shahidi’s clone is going to Harvard with her. Channing Tatum’s clone loves showing up at bachelorette parties and freaking everyone out. Cardi B’s clone has a personal trainer in preparation for debuting Cardi’s post-baby body.
However, there is a dark side. Justin Bieber’s clone is sick of getting tattoos. Some conspiracy theorists picked up on Melania’s clone and she had to go into hiding. Anderson Cooper’s and Andy Cohen’s clones hate each other, but they have to hang out all the time.
Only celebrities who really need clones should get them, and yet there are those who overestimate their stature—and the desire for their presence—and hire a clone who ends up with little to do. Case in point: Ed Sheeran. Are there that many people who want Ed Sheeran around? Of course not. Nevertheless, when Ed saw his celebrity buddies and their clones, he had to have one. This is the story of that clone. His name is Other Ed.
Other Ed spends much of his time sitting by the phone, hoping the real Ed will call and give him an assignment. If Ed gets sick or busy, Other Ed is ready to go. He practices. Maybe being Ed Sheeran isn’t the best, but he wants to be the best Ed he can be.
Ed often sends Other Ed to concerts, to show that he’s just a regular guy. Other Ed likes these jobs—especially when it’s 5 Seconds of Summer, his favorite band—but he just ends up standing around awkwardly, hoping to be noticed. He usually isn’t.
Sometimes he will initiate contact, simply offering to take selfies with fans, who often comply, even if they have no idea who he is.
After the show, Other Ed always gives the driver his autograph, whether the driver wants one or not. “Your kids will thank you,” he tells the driver. “Your kids love Ed Sheeran.”
Other Ed faces a lot of emotional challenges in his life. When he hangs out with Harry Styles’s clone, the paparazzi ignore him. So does Harry’s clone.
When Ed Sheeran made an entire video with a lookalike, he cast Rupert Grint instead of his own clone. It hurt.
Other Ed dreamed of being chased by fans, but the closest he ever got was the time nine teens spotted him shopping at the Lego store.
Other Ed wants to quit smoking, but he can’t unless the real Ed does.
Ed Sheeran’s manager decided Ed should like sports, so Ed bought season tickets to the Mets. Other Ed is a Yankees fan.
Other Ed would have liked to play the Victoria’s Secret show, but Ed did it.
Then one day Other Ed’s phone rang. It was Ed. “I’ve been booked on Game of Thrones, mate,” he said. “Bloody dragons. Not for me. They film in Croatia. You have to be there next week.”
“Finally,” thought Other Ed. “Finally I’m going to lead the life I was meant to be living. In Westeros.” He threw his Rubik’s Cube in the trash to symbolize the transition.
Other Ed was so excited. The show’s strict secrecy rules meant he couldn’t have a script, so he carried around a blank notebook. He called it Other Script.
“I can’t tell you if Jon Snow is dead or not,” he told a woman who asked him for directions in the park. “I go to Westeros next week. But Highbury & Islington station is that way. Godspeed.”
Other Ed arrived in Croatia full of humility and excitement. He wondered whether he was going to meet Kit Harington or Kit Harington’s clone, and then decided he didn’t actually care which one it was. He was going to be on Game of Thrones!
But when he got to his hotel, there was a message waiting for Other Ed. Ed Sheeran had decided to do the show. “Sorry, mate,” he said. “Taylor told me dragons are fucking cool.”
Other Ed began to spiral. He was asked to leave the National Portrait Gallery when visitors reported his aggressive behavior. “You can’t force people to take your photo, Mr. Sheeran,” said concerned staffers. “Not that many people even want to see the painting.”
They weren’t so proper at Madame Tussauds, where Other Ed spent a lot of time with the wax figure of Ed there. He called it Other Other Ed and fantasized about being so famous he could hire Other Other Ed to stand in for him.
Other Other Ed would be forced to deal with Ed’s terrible hair choices.
Other Other Ed could try to explain this picture to people.
Or this one.
But Other Ed knew that hiring Other Other Ed was just a fantasy. He would be stuck getting on airplanes, waving goodbye to Ed Sheeran’s mother for the rest of his life.
Or would he? Back at the flat, waiting for Ed to call, Other Ed had an idea. He picked up his guitar and began to write a song. His record, Ginger Ringer, will be out this fall.
MIKKI HALPIN is the editor in chief of Damn Joan.
Images 1, 3, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 16, 20: Alamy. Images 4, 5, 6, 13, 17: Getty. Images 2, 9, 10, 18, 19, 21: Shutterstock. Image 22: Zuma