Tuesday, June 27, 2006
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...
You don't suppose?...I couldn't be his...
...nah, that's not possible...
Posted by R.Powers at 7:09 AM