Tuesday, April 13, 2004

No, really, what's your name

I'm on my way home from Kansas City this weekend (had a nice time, thank you for asking) and I stop at a McDonald's on the Kansas Turnpike. Someone approaches as I'm waiting in line so, naturally, I turn around to see who's behind me... it's a Greyhound bus driver. As I turn back around, his shiny, brass name tag catches my eye and I see the name engraved on it in capital letters: JOHN DOE.

I do a double-take to make sure my eyes are not deceiving me. Awkwardly, he notices me staring. "I was just noticing your name tag." He gives me a polite chin-nod and, realizing he's not the chatty type, I turn back around.

Unable to resist and not ask the obvious, I attempt to engage him by asking, "Is that really your name?"

Okay... in hindsight, that was probably the biggest dumbass question I've ever asked. For some reason, my mind told me, "Go ahead and ask. Maybe they all wear a name tag that reads John Doe. Maybe this guy didn't want anyone to know his real name. Maybe he's in the witness protection program!"

Okay, that last one didn't go through my mind but I did think the other stuff.

The bus driver quietly responded, "Yes, it is."

I attempted to engage him again with, "I've never actually met a John Doe before."

Another chin-nod.

I finished off by saying, "Now I can tell people I have."

"Yes, you can." came his reply.

I SO wanted to talk with this guy. It's like meeting a Walt Disney or a Bill Gates. I just wanted to know what it was like to have a "famous name" but he wasn't biting.

I did resist the urge to ask, "So, you related to that guy that died last week?"

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