Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Double Walker


I have a look-a-like in the small town where we do most of our shopping and business. My look-a-like (let's call him Paul) lives in the town, while I live far out in the unicorporated region.

He is a heck of a nice guy. The odd thing is, he's a science teacher also. We actually teach very similar course loads at two different schools in two different small towns. That's him in the picture above, clinging to the railing of the Seahorse Key lighthouse.

Paul and I both acknowledge the resemblance, but see it as more fraternal than identical. We find it amusing when we get mistaken for the other. The similarities are partially seasonal as he stays clean shaven with
a neat moustache year round, while I grow a beard each winter, which I gradually take off during the spring.


When I go into town, I am often mistaken for him. Here are some true examples:

Kids in the grocery store, " Hey Coach Paul...uh, oops, never mind"
He sometimes coaches youth league ball.

High school age kids staring at me and tailing me through the store. A few times, I 've stopped and said, " I'm not him, but I'm a friend of his." They looked relieved.

In the grocery store parking lot, his wife Martha comes running up to me and then stops, breathless, "Oh it's you FC, I thought you were Paul and I didn't see the kids with you, whew!" (They have 2 boys and Paul WAS home babysitting)

Last week, in the grocery store, I ran into an older lady who I had not seen for awhile. We had served on a technology committee years ago. She stopped to catch up and I was racking my brain for her name...only partially paying attention to her gab about what she was doing these days. All the while, her husband is standing patiently nearby. She paused, then said, " Oh, this is my husband John. John, this is Paul..."
AWKWARD... I had to correct her...I just had to. It was a weird moment.

My favorite example of this clone-confusion happened in the dentist office. I had a four o'clock appointment and arrived early. I signed in on the office sign-in sheet and noted the time at 3:55 pm. After that, I sat down in the waiting room and browsed a Florida Sportsman magazine.
Four o'clock came and went. Then Martha, Paul's wife, came out. She saw me, and sat down to chat. After a few minutes she left.
About that time, I hear the receptionist say, "Well, I don't know where that Mr. FC is, I even called and confirmed that he would be here for his four o'clock appointment.!"

WHAT? I leaned forward and said, "Hey, I'm here, I've been waiting for 30 minutes. Check your sign in sheet!"

A look of faux pas horror passed across the receptionist's face. "Oh, I'm so sorry Mr. FC. I thought you were Mr. Paul here to pick up Martha."

"Don't worry, I'm used to it."



I know if we lived in a large urban center, we might never know each other or not know the same people and so none of this fun would be happening. Just one more quirky thing about life in small communities.

It could have a bad side too. If either one of us were to indulge in unsavory activities, the other might suffer by mistaken identity.

They say each of us has a doppleganger, a bad twin who walks the planet with us. One thing I'm sure of is Paul is not my doppleganger. We may look similar, but he's a great guy. He's a ball coach, sings in his church choir, etc.
I don't do that stuff. He's much nicer than me...

Uh oh...

You don't suppose?...I couldn't be his...

...nah, that's not possible...

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Wayne said...

The photos appeared on bloglines before the text appeared on your blog, FC - so, I thought, thought I, where is he going with this? I might have known FC would arrange to have us RSS feedreaders squirming with anticipation.

Nice hat. I covet it. Question is, whose head is it on?

robin andrea said...

It is unusual that your "twin" does live so close by. Maybe you could get a photograph of the two of you together. That would really be cool. I've never seen my doppelganger, but I'm sure she exists. Interestingly, my real twin brother sent me an email with three webpage links the other day. He had googled his own name and found three men with his name who had webpages and photographs of themselves. His email said, here are your twin brothers in name only.

Floridacracker said...

Chapeau? Cest moi.

I googled my real name once and found this guru, crystal stroking, sensual healer guy out in California....where else?
...pretty much my alter ego ;)

threecollie said...

Now that is interesting! Both science teachers and enough alike that even his wife mistakes you! Does Mrs. FC ever mistake him?
Closest I have ever come is when I used to ride Magnum to the store for an ice cream cone (back in MUCH younger days). There must have been another blond girl with a little black horse around there somewhere because I was always being mistaken for her. Never came across either of them though.

Laura said...

No offense intended here, but I think you'd better sit down and have a talk with your Momma! :))
Very cool story, however. Does he also have a blog?
We have a good friend in G'ville named Paul and I am so relieved that he's not the same Paul that is mentioned here, LOL.

Mrs. S said...

Heh heh... sounds like you're the evil one in this case, FC ;)

You're a pretty watered-down evil, though, so you're probably still safe.

Deb said...

"He's much nicer than me..."

No. Definitely not possible. A guy who risks life and limb trimming trees for his parents could not be the evil one!

Interesting. I'm occasionally told that I look a lot like someone else, but I have never personally met anyone that could be mistaken for me.

Leslie said...

There was a *guy* at the last place I worked with the same name as me (first and last) and I used to get his emails sometimes. He was bad. Always in trouble for not turning in his paperwork and once he tried to submit a parking ticket on his travel expenses.

I'm definitely the nice one :)

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

You must really look like Paul for his wife to mistake you for him from a distance. And to both of you being science teachers and to have so many similarities...that's weird. Good thing he's a nice guy like you!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Yep. Alter ego.

vicki said...

I don't see it. You are ever so much more dashing, with that touch of salt and pepper. But I AM laughing at Hoss...

pablo said...

I've been told more than once that I have a double. Some movie star, I think.

Floridacracker said...

You know they were telling her, "hey there's this girl that looks just like you..."


Mrs. S,
I need to pick out an evil villan costume...

The trees think I'm evil...
I think a single feature...eyes for instance, can jog a memory in folks and then..."you look just like..."

You win! What a cheezeball to submit a ticket...weird that you both had the same names.

It is a string of coninkidinks, that's for sure.

See I told you.

A dash of salt, a dash of pepper. It's really easy to be dashing :)

Of course, we'll never know which one since we only see fuzzy distant shots of you.

Ava said...

Wow! That's crazy stuff happening there!!! You must have a good sense of humor!


Thunder Dave said...

I was wondering what that strange tilt in the earth's axis was from! Global warming is being falsely blamed on greenhouse gases, when in fact it's that you two have thrown off the ballance of nature. The only solution is that one of you has to move, to Alaska!

roger said...

hat is a nice hat, and sunglasses big enough for carol channing.

my datil pepper seeds are in starting pots.

rick said...

cool story,I saw a guy one time in florida city while on a 10 mph rail test car he was on the right away working for southern bell. As we passed we just staired until we couldnt see each other.It was weird, another guy on the rail car called me on my radio and said get your #^&*^%$ back on the train we gotta go.We were identical, wonder if mom had twins and one got lost