In a sleepy seaside village just nine miles from Dublin, a town isolated by pandemic faces an even greater threat—Matt Damon.
According to locals, Good Will Hunting himself has taken stalking the quaint streets of Dalkey, shuttered and dim due to covid-19 shutdowns. The New York Times reports that the “sightings...began in mid-March,” and left to roam freely, the local pest seems to be becoming more aggressive, interrupting phone conversations and attempting direct eye contact:
“On Easter Sunday, while on her afternoon stroll, the Irish novelist Denise Deegan realized she still had not yet called her mother. ‘Hello,’ she said cheerily into her phone. ‘Hello,’ a man on the street replied.”
Multiple residents of the gated community—reportedly one of the most expensive in Ireland—say they’ve been forced to feign ignorance of Damon’s international celebrity when confronted by his smiling visage. He’s said to haunt the beach, the pub, and the SuperValu supermarket, leaving wealthy people unsure of where and when they might next encounter the similarly wealthy person.
This uncertainty has left villagers understandably cagey, treating the Times’s inquiries as to how Dalkey tends to confront its Damon outbreak with considerable hostility, responding to a reporter’s comment on the town’s Facebook pages with 100 different fearful choruses of “Leave him be.” One resident, named Cornelius Hibernis O’Flaherty, seemed to believe that, given time, fresh air, and sunshine, their Damon problem could clear up on its own:
“Dalkey is surrounded by the sea and in these bright and sunny lockdown days with the air fresh and the birdsong everywhere, Matt and his family should be left alone to enjoy time out amidst the natural Spring splendour.”
A sweet hope, of course, but take it from an American, ignoring a minor-seeming Damon problem is exactly how one ends up with a much more serious Affleck situation.