The Stealthy Disguise

A number of the people who share my Facebook feed put up false names and false pictures to identify themselves. I presume that this is to prevent stalking by disreputable types. The subterfuges are designed to throw scoundrels off the trail.

It doesn’t work. I still know who they are. And I still write dreadful things on their posts.

It is also bad practice to get into the habit of giving false names and addresses. Try that on a policeman, health officer, or magistrate and see where you end up…

If you must be in disguise, do the right thing and wear a bandanna tied over the lower half of your face. And a hat pulled low over your eyes. Speak out of the side of your mouth, and if possible, carry a .44. It worked for Jesse James and he was able to make a good living off the railroad trains.

I have been known to dress up in funny costumes and one of my Facebook pictures depicts me dressed as Kaiser Wilhelm II. I’m not His Majesty, I hasten to add. But I am Uncle Dick Stein, as the FB registration makes clear – but dressed up in a moustache and pickelhaube. It’s a sort of formal dress for when you want to invade Belgium.

I am always leery of people who have several names. This applies to those who have changed from one name to another – either informally or through the courts. I am never entirely sure whether legal dealings with them will be firm, or will dissolve in a cloud of spurious identity.

There is always a suspicion that they did something in the old guise that doesn’t bear remembering, and that it would be interesting to find it out. Public records are massive things to go through, however, and the cost of private investigators precludes most searches. I’ve only used one once – the price was high but the information invaluable.

I am also put off by the hyphenated names. The very practice speaks volumes about the character and aspirations of the wearer…but in many cases those volumes are somewhat pretentious, if not downright risible.

I do not treat people who wear a nickname – ” Nugget “, ” Ace “, and ” Jimmo ” amongst them – with contempt, as I cannot depress the sights of the weapon to their level. They escape unscathed.

So just be yourself, and identify yourself with your proper names. I do not ask you to state Christian name; a first or given one will do. I always respond to the question about a Christian name by saying that I don’t have one – nor do I. It’s surprising how long it takes for some questioners to figure that one out…

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