Have you ever been mistaken for anyone famous? No, me neither. At least not in person. It’s not like I’m called David Jones or John Smith. Tom Rigby is a fairly unique name. Or so I thought.
Then I received an email from a young lad asking me if I would send them a signed photograph.
He said that he had recently been on a watersports holiday in the south-west of England and had especially enjoyed the surfing and body-boarding.
Now I’m not really a water person If I’m honest I hate the sea unless its less than four feet deep and about 20 degrees centigrade. I certainly don’t like waves.
Intrigued, I Googled ‘tom rigby surfing’ and low and behold there is another one of me. Equally as talented, just as good-looking, he could be my doppelganger, in looks and name. Scary.
No really, at a distance 400 metres of so on a dark foggy night and with a surfboard tucked under my arm, I could easily be mistaken for him.
So if in doubt, remember I’m a man of words and not a man of waves. Although, for a small fee, I will sign photographs of him or myself
This got me thinking. This can become quite a serious issue. As in The Big Lebowski, how many people go through hell because they have the same name as a conman, a love rat or an infamous murderer.
While I’m sure that I’ve disappointed one or two surfer dudes who thought they had tracked down god on Facebook, I haven’t been arrested or had my door broken down by the bailiffs.
But spare a thought for Croydon plumber Peter Sutcliffe, Norwich engineer David Cameron or Bath public relations executive Katie Hopkins. I couldn’t find a Donald Trump or Justin Beiber.
On the other hand, you might be called Mark Zuckerberg. Even if it didn’t get you into that exclusive restaurant at least your business’ search engine rankings would go through the roof.
With little else to do for the remaining hour of the day, my mind was racing. Bear with me.
What if you have a name that as far as you knew is exclusively yours. I’m sure that the Republican Senator for Colorado, Randy Baumgardner isn’t often mistaken for someone else.
How far could I take this premise? That’s a story for another day. Maybe. However it’s me, Tom Rigby the freelance copywriter.