I hate it when this happens. An ordinary afternoon is broken by a phone call from my wife complaining that someone has sent us another "offer" to buy a headstone for a deceased spouse. The last time this happened was in 2000 when "one of my clones" lost his wife to cancer. This letter was addressed to the surviving wife, so I looked in the local newspaper's on-line obituary listings and found the following:
Mr. Thomas ********, age 45, passed away suddenly Tuesday, December 20, 2005. He was preceded in death by his father, brother, wife, and daughter. He is survived by his wife, daughters, son, mother, sister, brothers, his late wife's parents, and several nephews and nieces. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday, December 27, 2005.What a hell of a gift for Christmas.
So the young man who lost his wife five years ago has also died.
By "one of my clones" I am referring to the six others with my first and last name who reside in the metropolitan area, but have unlisted phone numbers. As a result I get lots of interesting calls from their creditors and I have to ask "which one" are you looking for? The young man who died was one who had creditors as a result of his wife's cancer, but he worked with them and had his accounts clean a couple years before this "sudden" surprise.
In addition to strange calls from creditors (and people trying to arrange high school reunions), we have also fielded calls from LEOs trying to chase down someone conning old ladies in mid-Southern states. I don't get around that much and my residence and phone number has been the same for more than 20 years, so the LEOs then have to dig harder than the phone book to find the person.
One of the more interesting clones was a resident at one of our local hospitals and would give out my number to young ladies in bars. True, it is a good way to brush someone off, but then I had to deal with my wife's anger and the questions about just who is "Mary" and why would I be "calling her back"? Fortunately I was home the night "Mary" met "Thomas" at the bar. Sure makes life interesting.