Do you have a googleganger? Similar to a doppleganger, a googleganger is another individual who has the same name as you and as a result their records and/or internet history, pictures and stories always come up, mixed in with yours whenever you Google yourself.
Aside from receiving absolute proof that someone in this world is walking around answering to your same, there is also the possibility that (GASP!) said other you has a more awesome life than you you.
There are a few things that can get you into this predicament
1. When your parent/grandparent is your ganger. If you go by ‘Junior’ or ‘The Third,’ Google is probably not your biggest problem. I suggest you muddy the lines between you and your forbearer, especially if you look exactly like them. The Google machine will then meld you into one person. If that fails claim reincarnation. So their achievements are your achievements from a former life. Own it and hone your argument because people will try and punch holes into this sieve of an argument.
2. Coincidence… I think not, but have no proof to the contrary.
3. When you are named after them, things can go, one of two ways. If it is a kindly aunt who can barely use her pure water phone, Awesome! Continue to kick her Google butt. As long as she goes on to do unremarkable newsworthy things, like not inspiring an award winning book that gets turned into movie with a spinoff TV series, thus causing her to tour the world giving inspirational speeches, then you are safe. However if you are named after a celebrity, who shares your family last name, you are screwed. The only day you will top them in a google search would be on the one occasion when you are convicted of murdering your famous namesake.
A middle name helps provided you don’t also share your middle name and are hopefully not a three named serial killer.
Let me just take this time out for a Public Servie Announcement. My fellow country men and women, when you introduce yourself, please do not say “my names are,” because although your names are many (I have four names, five nicknames, an oriki and an oriki song. . . I’m not entirely sure what the song is about), regardless, the combination of names is singular and hopefully unique to you. The correct introduction is, “My name is…” and to the next dumb wiseass who invariably tries to tell me how wrong I am, know this:
1. I’m never wrong.
2. Whenever you introduce yourself by saying “my names are” I proceed to disregard what any of the yous speaking is saying.
3. At the end of the day, it does not matter who your googleganger is, all that matters is that when they Google themselves they are completely assaulted by the awesomeness that is you.
To further explain my point about the uniqueness of names, I once tried to reference how in magic, things have true names like in the Dresden files, but the only thing that achieved was people accusing me of witchcraft and a few requests for love portions.
Here are classic cases of people who will probably never out ganger their googlegangers.
4. All the Sarah Johnsons out there: 80 % chance. I know about five Sarah Johnsons and no right now it’s anybody’s game.
3. University of Texas student, Sarah Palin: 50 % chance. This lady has age on her side, she’s about 22 and given time and the right moves, fame or infamy might be able propel her over her namesis (name + nemesis)
2. American ornithologist, Caribbean bird expert and author, James Bond: .5% chance. In the words of Ian Fleming, “I wanted the simplest, dullest, plainest-sounding name I could think of. James Bond seemed perfect.” He found the name sitting on his bookshelf in the author of a book entitled “Bird’s Of The West Indies.” The best he can hope for is to be the correct answer on “Jeopardy”, “The weakest link” (is that still on) or “Who wants to a millionaire”. He passed away in 1989, so there is very little chance that he will ever out do his namesy. I mean cloning is an option, but in my book that makes whatever he achives the victory of the scientist who cloned him as well as his clone. #JustSaying. Besides 23 movies prove that even when you expect him to die, you can’t kill James Bond.
1. Daughter named by fans Oprah Winfrey: Her chances would be better in an alternate dimension. Why? Because Oprah is the gift that keeps on giving, eliminate her and you still have Oprah Winfrey Street, the National Child Protection Act, aka the Oprah Bill, not to mention “Oprahfication”, a term coined by The Wall Street Journal meaning public confession as a form of therapy. Plus according to futurama, “Oprahism” will be a religion 3000 years.
Baby girl has a better chance becoming famous for something that does not require her name. Her options include having memeiable (meme + amiable) face like ridiculously photogenic guy or being that kid named hash tag. (Wait her folks named her Oprah Winfery, so that is out)
It’s a well know fact that there are no streets that go by one name in whole of Lagos… probably. I came upon this fact when driving to my friend’s house. She used to live on Temple Street in Ikoyi but has since relocated to Olu Holloway. All without the inconvenience of packing a suitcase. And thus they retired one of the few remaining streets that went by one name. The unwritten rule that requires one name also stipulates that it be a person’s name. While it is not the newest way to suck up. It has proved effective over the years. Marwa gardens anyone? Oh I’m sorry I meant MKO Abiola gardens. When your usefulness has run its course the streets simply get assigned another name, much like Diddy.
I particularly mean to offend when I ask ‘who are these people?’ I believe that if you are so great just one of your names will suffice. I sometimes feel sorry for those American girls whose African boyfriends claime to be princes. In reality most of these guys are at best (the equivalent of ) a duke or sir with a bought title from a village and not an empire. Bringing me back to another difficult question for street namers everywhere. How do you decide if a street should go by a man’s first and last name, his title and last name or his first and last name preceded by his title? What next, should we create more states for this purpose? “Now boarding the 10am flight from Lagos to Seun Adekunbi.” This is why GPS doesn’t work, every upgrade would have to cover all name changes.
As for all you numbered and lettered streets in developing areas be warned, some apparently great man is walking around with your name on him. I say man because there are fewer streets named so egotistically after women. Then again I am female and therefore biased on this matter.
As a people we have a history of badly naming and abbreviating things. [e.g. BRAS: A car dealership, PISS: Plateau Institute of Secretarial Studies, Assfood primary school (I wish I was kidding)] I personally went to a school that was named from a composition of the first two letters of names of our principal’s kids. I’ve been thinking of starting a company that simply names products and other companies. Seriously, when we fail at original badness (see above) we branch into knockoff badness. [e.g Noreas: chocolate cookies with cream filling, Saddidas and Nikke: the joy of rhyming sports gear, TFC: Tastee Fried Chicken. Only in Nigiera.
Ironically we have deep and meaningful names with traditional roots. The problems arose when we attempted to speak only English in the quest to be modern. The names are still meaningful but lack cultural flavor. Hence the surprisingly fitting President Goodluck and First lady Patience. His luck and her patience brought them to office. Thought I think their names would have sounded a whole lot sweeter in their native tongue.