Do you prefer to be left alone? Do you wish for smooth, easy travel? Would you like to think that you can have an innocent conversation in the privacy of your home without worrying about who is listening to it?
There is a simple way to accomplish this. Get your name legally changed to Fitzblik Spixwallet.
Think I’m kidding? I am not kidding.
Ask anyone with a last name of Smith. Smiths deal with mixups all the time. All sorts of name-related problems crop up – reservations are mysteriously changed or deleted, people call looking for somebody else, all sorts of small inconveniences magically appear, to make life just a little more difficult. All it takes, for example, is for a person with the same name as you to wreck their credit rating — and you will have a harder time getting credit.
Your name is an index, and when that index is not unique, secondary information is necessary to discriminate between duplicate instances. Sadly, that secondary information is often not asked for, not accessible, or simply ignored, and in those cases, instances of an index are treated interchangeably.
“So what?” you may say. A few messed up restaurant meals or a few extra phone calls are hardly worth the hassle of spelling out ‘Fitzblik Spixwallet’ 10 times a day.
In these days of fear, however, taking the time to cast suspicion on the correct person is unfashionable. All it takes is a name collision – possessing the same name as a suspected terrorist – and you cannot bank on any of the simple things that many people take for granted today. You may be barred from air travel. You may have your conversations monitored. In extreme cases, you may be arrested and held for an indefinite period. Sound unlikely? Well, let’s just say that a simple name collision increases the odds significantly.
“That’s crazy!” you might say. Well I agree with you. It is crazy. The best part is, it provides brilliant camoflage for the bad guys. The bad guys are the only ones who CAN dodge things like the no-fly list, because they’re the only ones who have no scruples about flying with fake passports!
Case in point: Edward Allen.
If you have this name, change it. Whatever you do, if your surname is Allen and you have children, avoid ‘Edward’ at all costs. Why? That is the name of a known terrorist. That name will ring alarm bells in all sorts of places. People that you really don’t want to be showing an interest in you, will be. Now – maybe you figure – that’s ok, I’m not doing anything wrong. You may be right, there may be nothing to see – but they will have to watch you to find that out. The idea makes my skin crawl.
This poor kid found out early what kind of reception he will get every time he interfaces with the government:
The moral of the story: Names are a ridiculous way to determine whether or not a person might be a terrorist. Unfortunately, the gov’t is willing to use names as a crude blunt object to bludgeon the populace with. Perhaps they will get a few terrorists in there – but if you can stay out of the way of the caveman’s club, you will ultimately live a happier, hassle-free, simpler existence.