Friday, April 28, 2006

My Secret Life (34)

Last Saturday when I was supposed to be getting ready for work—who says men can’t multi-task? -- I caught part of a news segment. Maybe you saw it. It was the one about living a secret life.

Exhibit A: Your average everyday housewife with three children and one (apparently clueless) husband. This young and attractive woman is a PTA member, church choir leader, a hospital volunteer, who in her spare time, holds down a full-time job as a legal secretary.

What “secret life” could she have? Well, you could have knocked me over with a birthday balloon: she is a prostitute. She looks like the girl next door, which would be the title of the Lifetime Movie that’s sure to be made about her except they have already used it 7,000 times.

The working title is said to be: My Secret Life as a Call Girl: A Moment of Truth Movie in Which the Heroine Carla Luanne Smith-Siddons Makes the Startling Discovery that it was Her Husband’s Fault.

It seems she was getting bored with being your average everyday housewife. Glenn Campbell was singing throughout the segment; he later complained while riding a horse that he was “getting cards and letters from people I don’t even know”.

This was such a great news video that I tried to track it down on the Internet, but nothing came up. I regret particularly the loss of the very helpful list of hints that you, the viewer, might be having a secret life without even being aware of it.

I’m sure I have a secret life; I probably just haven’t told myself about it. Inspired by this great piece of TV, I decided to do a little research in my very own billfold. (It beat getting ready for work.)

First thing I did was to check my photo ID only to discover that it was obviously a picture of my Dad. Whoops! It’s me. Could it be I’ve gotten old? Is my Secret Life that I’m now masquerading in broad daylight as one of my parents? Shocking isn’t, it?

I’ve noticed that for some time now younger people (defined as practically everybody else) actually call me Mr. Perhaps this is my secret life: I’ve been pretending to be an adult for many years, so long in fact I’m now passing myself off as two weeks short of being a geezer. This is absurd of course; it’s hard to be an adult when your actual age (six) keeps tripping you up.

My secret life really comes home when strangers draw a bead on me and claim me as one of their own. They are usually rather old looking people. I listen intently while wondering, “Who are these people and why are they talking to me?”

They think they know me, even call me by my first name as though we are bosom buddies. (I know, I know—poor word choice since you are now thinking of Tom Hanks and that other guy.)

This used to puzzle me, but I’ve decided that there are people who apparently know someone who looks like me, probably my exact double, but who keep coming up to me by mistake.

Frankly, I’m sick of it. If I had wanted to be an old person, I would have been born at the end of WW II, would have graduated from high school when The Beach Boys were on the charts, and would have voted for the first time in 1968.

Oh, crap. That is me.


gloria said...


Oh crap, that's me, too.

There are so many funny lines in this one, but I think my favorite is, "Frankly, I'm sick of it." One that might be missed in the long list of others--because of its subtlety.

I don't know why, but lines like this crack me up.


Danny Dunne said...

Gloria: Thanks for writing. Glad you can identify with this--otherwise it might just be the Rhinestone Cowboy and me.

I will try not to get too swollen a head over your judgment that "Frankly, I'm sick of it." is a subtle line.

Very nice to hear. In my actual "secret life" I've wanted to be a humor writer with a subtle line here and there.

Just call me Calvin Trillin, Jr.