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 make tracking me down a frustrating but not hopeless endeavor, 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.

1 comment:

John Hornor Jacobs said...

I've never thought of the commonality of other folks names, just mine own. John Jacobs. My father is named John Jacobs. My grandfather was named John Jacobs. But I'm not a third. We all have our own, individual middle names. Hornor. Howze. Dee.

And there's the song, that actually states, "His name is my name too." That's depressing. I've got a song reminding me that there are a million other John Jacobs.

There's a famous golf pro, John Jacobs. There's a religious John Jacobs who rips telephone books in half for Jesus. I'm one in a million.

However, Maylene and The Sons of Disaster have a song called As Tough As John Jacobs, which is a nice counterpoint to John Jacobs Jingle Heimer Schmidt.

And brother, there's only one you. Ain't nobody like C. Michael Cook. You know, the one who writes the stories?