Listen to Jim: http://jimreedbooks.com/mp3/youtalkintomeyoutalkintome.mp3
or read on, dear reader…
Just who are you talking to when you talk to me? Who are you looking at?
You used to think of Santa Claus when you saw me. Up till a decade ago, people would stop to say, “Anybody ever tell you you look like Santa Claus?” or “Have you ever been asked to play Santa Claus?” or (via a young child, in awe) “Are you Santa Claus?”
It used to be fun, being asked those questions. It gave me a chance to practice my wisecracks, which, funny or not, I still like to make. My answers depended upon my mood or on whatever was floating to the top in my mind at the time: “Yes, I’ve been asked to play Santa, but that would be disingenuous, since I really am Santa!” or “Yes, people ask me whether I know I look like Santa, and the fact is, I really would like to be Santa—not a fake Santa with a fake beard, but the really honest-to-goodness one and only Santa!” or “No, I’m not Santa Claus, but I know Santa…and he’s asked me to make a list and check it twice, and find out just who is naughty or nice.” (This used to impress kids and make them tiptoe around me.”)
Just a few years later, you would think of Ernest Hemingway when you spied me in the shop among all those dusty, daring books. “Anybody ever tell you you look like Ernest Hemingway?” you’d ask. I’d often reply, “Maybe Jed Clampett, but never Hemingway.” or “You mean do I look just like a geezer with a beard?” or “Who is this Ernest Hemingway of whom you speak?”
Then, during the most recent past, you think of George Carlin when I pass by. “Anybody ever tell you you look like George Carlin?” or “Did you know you look like George Carlin?” or (before Carlin died) “Are you George Carlin?” or ”Can I have your autograph?” or ”Oh, you’re just kidding—I know you are George Carlin!” Some people just make up their minds and can’t be stopped.
You talkin’ to me? You lookin’ at me?
And what will you be reminded of when you see me years from now?
Maybe “Anybody ever tell you you look like the Cryptkeeper?” or “Did you play the Cryptkeeper?” or “Didn’t I see you in that movie…oh, never mind.”
I don’t know why people think of someone else when they see me, but I’ll take it as a compliment, since I am someone, and so are you! It’s just that I’m not someone else, I’m just who I am. And so are you.
Next time you see me, ask me who I think you remind me of. Let’s get creative and make sure we stamp each other with the gentle recognition that we are…well, maybe we are everybody, and everybody is us
(c) 2013 A.D. by Jim Reed