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So to speak, yes. Our doppelgangers walk among us.
Last week I examined two cases of mistaken identity: how I was confused with all sorts of other people who share my more common name, and what a reader called him Sherm Eagan was once mistaken for a suspected terrorist from Quebec. I asked: And what about you?
I’ve heard from readers who were confused with all of them Colin Powell To Jamie Lee Curtis, but I want to start with a lesser known example. About 40 years ago Bill McKay spent two days visiting friends at the California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita.
As Bill walked across campus, strange things kept happening. People engaged him in confusing conversations and made incomprehensible comments to him. Towards the end of the second day, someone asked, “Are you going to be at the party later?”
“So I played along: ‘Oh sure, see you there,'” Bill wrote.
Later he actually went to a party.
“And it happened to be the party everyone had been asking me about,” wrote Bill, who lives in Reston, Virginia. “And everyone freaked out when they realized I was a different person than the other guy they all knew. Who was at the party too?
A friend happened to take a photo of Bill standing next to Not Bill. Bill wrote: “That’s me, the slightly prettier guy on the left.”
Sometimes it’s not the face that falsely triggers an alarm. It’s the name. District Dale S. Brown is the author of “Learning a Living: A Guide to Planning Your Career and Finding a Job for People with Learning Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Dyslexia.”
Dale served on the Presidential Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities and went to the mailroom with one of her supervisors shortly after her book was published in 2000.
Dale wrote: “He introduced me to the postal worker. The clerk’s eyes widened and he asked, ‘Are you Dale Brown, the famous author?'”
Dale nodded, trying to appear humble as she swelled with pride.
The clerk continued enthusiastically, “Well, the part about sticking the knife in the person’s stomach was the best thing I’ve ever read.”
That’s when Dale S. Brown discovered that there was a bestselling thriller author named Dale Brown.
Robert Stonehill from Vienna, Virginia, was mistaken for a fictitious person. In 2010, Robert received a series of emails from parents desperate for his help in treating a genetic disorder in their children called Pompe disease.
This happened after a movie called “Extraordinary Measures” came out. Harrison Ford played a character based on a mix of real medical researchers. The character’s name? Dr. Robert Stonehill.
“That would be me too, even though my doctorate is in education and not biomedical research,” Robert wrote. “In the film – and in real life – the parents of children suffering from Pompe disease work with ‘Dr. “Stonehill and other scientists have taken on the task of developing a drug that can cure or at least alleviate the disease.”
Robert responded to all inquiries, pointing out that he was not that guy and that the character was based on scientists William Canfield And Yuan Tsong Chen.
Robert wrote: “I wished everyone the best of luck in contacting the real people who could help them and their children.”
Early 1990s Brian Knowltons Father, James Knowltonwas a professor in the education department at Indiana University Bloomington.
“Knowlton is not a very common last name, but at some point, unbeknownst to us, another James Knowlton moved to Bloomington,” wrote Brian, who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. “It turned out that this younger James Knowlton had a PhD in particle physics, but came up with the rather unlikely idea of producing a poster entitled “Penis of the Animal Kingdom.”
This was a poster of… well, the title pretty much sums it up. The poster was later awarded the Ig Nobel Prize in Art, a parody of the Nobel Prize.
Brian’s family was completely unaware of this parallel universe of James Knowlton until his mother answered the phone one day and heard the caller say he wanted to order a copy of Penises of the Animal Kingdom.
Brian wrote: “A very long silence followed on her part. It took a while to sort it out – I’m sure there was a pretty interesting conversation between my parents behind closed doors – but for a while we heard “sorry, wrong number” a little more often. ”
Morning: More cases of mistaken identity.
John Kelly’s Washington
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