“Hey looky-here!” I screamed out to husband-head the other day. “I just got an e-mail from someone who Googled herself!”Husband-head raised a questioning eyebrow.”Ummm, she did what to herself?” husband-head asked politely. “Exactly which Web sites are you surfing?”I explained to him that I’d received the e-mail from a woman who said she had been on the Internet and typed in her own name.”It seems that she ended up on my Web site,” I said. “Apparently, her name is ‘Heidi Rice’ as well.”Husband-head rolled his eyes.”Oh, for the love of Pete, please don’t tell me there is more than one of you out there,” he groaned. “That’s a really scary thought.”But it got even better.”Not only is her name the same as mine, but her husband’s name is the same as yours,” I continued. “And they also have a cranky cat and two dogs.””OK, but if you tell me they have the same birthdays as us and we all wear the same shoe size, I’m not going to believe you,” husband-head warned.”No, but it does sound like they’re about the same age as we are, and they’ve been married the same amount of time,” I informed him.For some reason the whole thing was starting to remind me of that old 1969 movie, “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,” which my mother wouldn’t let me see because I was only 8.But the e-mail made me wonder what the advantages might be of having the same name as someone else.”Just think, maybe the credit card companies will make a mistake and send our bills to them,” I daydreamed.”Yes, and just think, maybe the IRS will confuse us all and send them our income tax refund,” he retorted. “Or what if they OWE taxes and they send us the bill?”Then husband-head thought for a moment.”On the other hand, did you ask her what their credit score was?” he asked. “That might come in handy if it’s better than ours. …”But then I considered that there very well could be disadvantages to sharing the same name and other similarities with people you don’t know.For example, if both people with the same name were in the hospital at the same time, it could confuse the medical personnel.”What if they, like, tried to give you an enema and you were in there for tonsilitis?” I mused out loud to husband-head.”Or even worse, what if they did a lobotomy on you when you were only in there for a wart removal?” husband-head mused back.We began to get a little concerned.”I know a former judge around here who has the same name as another guy, and the judge told me he always had to pay the other guy’s late video return fees in order to rent a movie,” I told husband-head. Needless to say, this would be embarrassing for the well-respected judge if the movies were, shall we say, not the type you would want people to know you rented.”What if the person had a bunch of delinquent fines or lots of parking tickets?” husband-head offered. Or what if the person had multiple DUIs or was a pedophile and their – and your – name was splashed all over the news?”Maybe I’ll change my name to something different that’s more unique,” I suggested to husband-head.”And what might that be?” husband-head asked curiously.”Levitia Letishski,” I said simply.Husband-head just laughed.”Yes, ‘Fried Letishski’ would be a good name for your column,” he pointed out. “It sounds like a good old-fashioned Polish dish. …”But curious, I decided to go on the Internet myself and see how many other people shared my name.”There’s all KINDS of people with the same name!” I informed husband-head. “Do you want me to Google you?”Husband-head just smiled and lifted a questioning eyebrow.Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.
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