Blonde's Eye View: Hey Joe
Angela Clarke is wondering who her husband really is
For the last two and a half years our local taxi company has called Mr Blonde, Joe. They greet him warmly when he calls, as he tends to two or three times a week. When his car shows up the driver gives him a friendly wave and an "all right, Joe?"
It's enough to warm the cockles of your heart. Except his name's not Joe.
Once gripped in that polite British way of not wanting to correct someone, Mr Blonde didn't say anything when they got his name wrong. But the person who did must have written it down on the system. Fed it into the computer and the radio. Spread the news. It's a Chinese Whisper of a name. Now he just goes along with it.
I mean what can he do? Years have passed - so many taxis, so many drivers, so many Joes. Maybe it'll spread further, catch on. Soon his friends will start calling him Joe; eventually his family will adopt it. Adopt the new him. Like the plot of an Oscar Wilde play, or a '70s farce, his real name will be erased.
At which point does something become truth? How many people have to believe it to make it real? You could easily set up a social media profile under a different name and create a whole new identity. If it sounds realistic enough do you ever question it?
This rechristening of Mr Blonde wasn't malicious, but imagine if it was? The realities of life, the things you're so sure of, your identity dissolving so easily.
I like to imagine one day Mr Blonde will lose his temper. Snap in the face of one too many Joes. Run about screaming that his name is Ben. Ben I tell you! Oh wait, that's not his name either. It's already slipping from my mind. I'll just call him Joe, it's easier.
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