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Other Lives

In a surprising, but gratifying turn of events, I'm pleased to announce that I am, as of this morning, a qualified heavy goods vehicle driver. My certificate arrived this morning.

There are only two problems with this, my new career. The first being that I can't legally drive so much as a moped, let alone an HGV, and nor do I have any intention of doing so (as Coastalblog passim readers will be aware),the second being that the Matthew Fallaize who is, I imagine, currently wondering where on earth his certificate is lives in Queensland, Australia, Where he has doubtless studied diligently for the qualification of which I am, currently, the possessor.

(I should point out that this juncture that I've already let them know their mistake, can't have my Aussie namesake going without now, can I?)

This sort of thing happens to me surprisingly regularly. You'd have thought that, being possessed of a relatively unusual surname, cases of mistaken identity are fairly thin on the ground, but it's here that the surname has worked against me to an extent as, being a relatively early adopter of most information technologies, it means that I've got to the name first. So, my public email and my twitter are both my actual name, without any numbers appended. So it follows that people, when dealing with one of the other Matt Fallaizes out there, simply assume me to be them, after all, how many of us can there be?

Well, judging by the various communications I've received down the years, at least another three. There's my truck-driving Aussie iteration, a young chap making his way as an actor in London (for whom I've had to gently suggest to various agents that it's really not me that they want at the call-back and no, I won't be attending that audition, but I know of a chap who probably wants to and, most famously, the bloke I've come to think of down the years as The Continuity Matt Fallaize (with me taking the role of the Real one, obviously, nothing like a bit of an Irish Republican Army gag to brighten up a Thursday afternoon, as my dear old Nan always used to say).

This Matt Fallaize, who I have mentioned in passing before, is something of a big noise in Guernsey politics. I know this as I've had emails asking if I want to join various committees and whatnots (I'll be vague on the details, this is a public forum, and I have no idea how politics works in the Guernsey, I'd rather not land the poor bloke in trouble), offering me various positions and, most entertainingly, a persistent and charming young woman from ITV news who didn't seem to understand why it wouldn't be a good idea for me to come on and be interviewed about the Island's tax systems.

(I mean, I was sorely tempted by that one)

This Matt Fallaize is, I presume, the reason that I have a few Twitter followers from the Channel Islands. Which is something which always amuses me, as I suspect I may give them the false impression of their politician as being a bloke who spends most of his time putting pictures of food up and being rude to Nigel Farage. I also think they may wonder why he swears quite so much, but hey, maybe that's part of the appeal. Possibly were I ever to run for office in Guernsey, I could run an incredibly foul-mouthed campaign (Slogan: "Fuck this shit") and I'd be swept to power, It's a beguiling image. Though of course then I'd run the risk of going head to head with the Continuity Matt Fallaize, and it'd be like Thunderdome. Two Matt Fallaizes enter, one Matt Fallaize leaves. There's only room for one Matt Fallaize on the Island, that sort of thing. The whole thing would be a farce, so I suppose I should take the opportunity here and now to categorically rule out a run at the Guernsey Presidency or whatever it is (A quick google reveals it to be a Lieutenant Governor, which does sound pretty cool, but I still think not).

I do occasionally wonder if something I've said or done on the internet caused someone to think ill of him, but it's not like I ever set out to pretend to be him, my bio makes it fairly clear that I'm not, unless he's taken a late career swerve into cooking and risen through the ranks remarkably quickly. I pointed out the error to the first few, but after a while gave up.

I find it interesting, this bleeding of other lives into the outskirts of one's own. It's a semi-regular reminder that it's a big old world out there, and that it doesn't do to go thinking of yourself as being the only game in town. I've long suspected that humanity is bent towards Solipsism, that sneaking feeling that everyone else is just a character in our own personal drama, I sure as hell know that I can be, so it's a salutary reminder, from time to time, that there are a bunch of other Matt Fallaizes out there, all wending their way through existence in wildly different manners. I wish them all well. Unless they turn out to be dickheads in which case guys, stop fucking with the brand.


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