Friday, November 12, 2004
I would assume most people have “Googled” themselves by now, haven’t they?
I’ll admit I’ve dropped my line in the Google pond a few times, but to be honest, it’s not very satisfying. Oh sure, my name comes up. As a matter of fact, it comes up a lot. And by the way, I’m not a John Smith or anything like that. When you type in my name, you’re getting pretty specific results. The last time I checked, my name came up approximately 9,980 times.
Only it’s not me. It’s my evil twin… My alter ego… My doppelganger.
See, there’s another person out there with my name. The exact same name. And we once lived in the same town in the Pacific Northwest.
As a 20-year-old college student, I would get messages on my answering machine like, “Hey _____! I just wanted to call and congratulate you and your wife on the new baby!” You can only imagine how this went over with occasional co-ed I would bring home.
Later, I would get voicemails like, “Hey, _____. This is Mr. Jones over at Blankity-Blank Financial services. I need you to give me a call about what to do with your portfolio.” This was right before the dot-com bubble burst, so it’s probably best I didn’t return the call and give explicit instructions on how to handle financial affairs.
Now that we no longer live in the same town, I don’t get his phone calls anymore, but he still haunts me over the internet.
And I hate him for it. And by hate I mean pure, unmitigated jealousy.
This twin of mine is an often-published author with many books to his credit. He’s written countless articles for numerous periodicals. He’s a contributing editor for a major magazine. He’s an expert and authority on the subject he writes about and he’s readily found on Amazon.com. You can see how he takes up most of the internet real estate when it comes to our name.
I don’t think it’s the phone calls or even the Google bit that actually bothers me. It’s just that he’s always taking the glory of our shared name.
I shouldn’t be resentful. Even though we both make our living with the written word, he probably doesn’t even know I exist. Even though we once lived in the same town, we’ve never met. I’m sure he’s a nice guy with a nice family, and he’s probably had the name longer than I have.
That being said, I’ve decided to take back some of the market share of our name. I’m going to write more bad television than anyone’s ever seen. I’m going to hire a publicist. I’m considering robbing a bank, or at least committing securities fraud. I might even reveal my real name here so that when you type “my name + blog” I’ll get a few more hits on Google.
Wait a minute. If he writes a blog, I’m going to kill myself.