Thursday, May 15, 2008

This is Not Me...

...even though this little guy's name is C. Michael Cook. I found him while I was vainly Googling myself. Apparently this picture was taken right after his first communion, and I can't say he looks very happy to have just received the body and blood of Christ.

The blog I found him on is a little bit creepy, even though it's all about Catholicism. When I first saw it I thought I'd stumbled onto some kind of secret religious society, but it's really just a guy named Charles Michael Cook doling out Novenas and Hail Marys to the faithful on a daily basis.

Michael Cook is not a name like John Smith, but there are a lot of them just the same. Eight in Chicago alone, which would making tracking me down a frustrating but not hopeless experience, if anyone out there is entertaining the idea.

One Saturday night when I was fourteen and home alone, I decided to call directory assistance in different cities and ask for myself. I got in touch with one Michael Cook in New York. I explained to him what I was doing and he recommended I see a shrink. Not only have I taken his advice numerous times over the years, but I also wrote a one-man play about it when I was in college.

There's a Michael Cook in Toronto who's a photographer and designer, a Michael Cook in Texas who's big in real estate, a Michael Cook who's written numerous book on Islamic history, a Michael Cook who's fairly good-looking and sings Christian music, a Michael Cook who was a British playwright, and even a Michael Cook in Albuquerque who painted twelve portraits of men who are also named Michael Cook.

Having the name Michael Cook makes doing things like finding decent URLs a challenge. Or distinguishing yourself from the pack. Sometimes I get angry calls from collection agencies, because there's a Michael Cook who doesn't like paying his bills. He may be the same one who fathered and abandoned a son a few years back, who's name is also Michael Cook.

My friend Scottie used to live in NYC, and once when I was visiting him I overheard someone say, "Even if you're one in a million, there are eight of you in New York." But there are only six Michael Cooks in New York City, which I guess makes me one in 1,333,333.

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