I happen to know that I have a twin out in the world.
He's not from the evil parallel dimension. You know, the one Captain Kirk was accidentally sent to where all the evil counterparts of the Enterprise had a beard (I think even Uhura had one). He's not from the evil parallel dimension, though I might be. I'm the one with the beard.
I have never met my twin, but I know he's out there. I've been beaten up on his behalf. You know that episode of the Flintstones where those clones of Fred Flintstone go around and wreak havoc that he gets blamed for? It's funny because it's true.
It was at Columbus Boys' Camp. A bunch of us were hanging around the artificial pond where frogs, toads, snakes, and other things that the kids caught were stored. We were watching the leopard frogs (nicest looking, hardest to catch of the frog family), when I made some comment. It wasn't inflammatory or anything, just a general observation about the frogs. So innocuous I can't even remember what it was.
Another kid looked up at my words and narrowed his eyes. "Hello Mouthy," he said. This took me aback because I had never seen this kid before, and since my innocuous comment on frogs had been my only utterance up to that point, it was hard to see how this could possibly make me mouthy. Oh sure, I was mouthy in those days, and I am now. But my point is at the time I was being unusually quiet and there was no way for him to know this.
I wondered why he would call me such a thing. Then I wondered why he was hitting me. Then I wondered why I was on the ground. Actually, I managed to figure this last one out pretty quickly--I was on the ground because he was hitting me. Good, I was beginning to chain the causes and effects together, but I still had no catalyst for this whole affair.
The whole thing had developed so suddenly that I couldn't defend myself. I was stunned. I wasn't accustomed to fighting anyway. This kid was bigger than me and was getting in some pretty good undefended hits while I asked him what he was doing. He stopped long enough to explain that it had something to do with what I had supposedly said, me and all my "black friends."
This confused me because I didn't have any black friends (Oh yeah, I suppose I should insert something here about this being entirely circumstantial and that I am not opposed to having black friends per say. I should also probably explain that I still use the term "black" and not "African-Canadian" because I find the term generalizes the ancestry of people. And for my last disclaimer, I should explain I was not prejudiced against other kinds of frogs and tried to catch them as well as leopard frogs. I think that covers everything). When I explained I had no black friends, he didn't immediately believe me. I can't say I blame him. It sounds like a pretty weak and cowardly way to back out of something you said. My confusion must have seemed genuine to him, because he let the matter drop.
I've met one other person who has met my twin. This one fortunately didn't have a grudge against him. He was also able to realize that although I looked like whoever this guy is, it wasn't actually him. Unfortunately he didn't have a name to give me.
I would like to track this guy down. If people are going to make a habit of mistaking me for him, I want to make sure he doesn't piss off the mob or burn someone in a drug deal. I don't think crazed gangsters are going to buy the whole "it was a guy who looks just like me but wasn't me" routine.
Now that I think about it, I have two twins. I've met the second one. She used to work a drugstore in my old neighborhood.
That's right, it's a she. This woman looked a lot like me. Fortunately for her it was back in the days before I had a beard.
When we met a spark of recognition passed between us. We had the same complexion, the same eyes.we even had the same birthmark to the right of our lips. I now know what I would look like if I became a transvestite. If she was any indication, I'd be kinda cute. Provided I lost the beard of course.
I didn't talk to her or raise the issue of her appearance. If a man wants to endear himself to a woman, pointing out that she looks a lot like him is probably not the way to go. I suppose we could have compared personalities, inventorying our likes and dislikes to see if the similarities were only skin deep. Or maybe we could have done that Prince and the Pauper thing. I could have worked at the drugstore, she could have worked at the theater were I worked. What was to be gained by having her shovel out over-priced oil-covered popcorn while I was crossdressing and hanging out behind a drugstore counter remains to be seen though.
But I shall keep an out for other twin-hey, maybe I should have asked if she had a brother. I have to clock him one for our own good. Those crazed gangsters might spot her and think he's trying some kind of Some Like It Hot gambit to escape them.
So if any of you out there see me mouthing off, it's my twin, honest. Please get his name and location and send them to me. As for the beatdown, get in line. I've got the right of way. But don't worry, I'll share.