Friday, October 15, 2010

Fantastic Future Friday: Mug Shots

Yesterday I did something so stupid it was sort of brilliant. I needed to renew my driver’s license and exercise; I decided to combine the two things. What could go wrong?

The courthouse is a little over a mile from my house so I figured I’d do a brisk walk down there, pay my $20 and do a brisk walk back. This would get me 2 miles of power walking in and take care of my license for the next 4 years.

I totally forgot you need to have your photo taken for your license. So for the next 4 years I’m stuck with a picture of what I look like unshowered, in need of a haircut after walking in a strong wind, from that picture I doubt my Mom could make a positive ID. Then I thought of a great advantage it gives me, if the government ever comes looking for me they’ll have to use that picture to try and find me and that picture could be of about a quarter of the population.

If that picture was on the news just about everyone would say, “Hey, Isn’t that That Guy?” and the police would be overwhelmed with the shear number of false positives that would pour in.

That gave me a great idea for a short story:

I’m That Guy
By Darrell B Nelson

When I was a kid I dreamed of having Super-powers like the heroes in the comics. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned that I had one.

It turns out I’m “That Guy”.

Everyone told me about my power, it just took a long time for it to sink into my head. My first time using my powers was in college. I got used to people constantly coming up to me and asking me, “Hey, aren’t you that guy that I went to high school with?” or, “Aren’t you that guy in my class?”

It just took the proper motivation to make me unleash this power. That motivation came in the form of the most beautiful redhead I had ever seen who asked me, “Don’t I know you?”

I quickly thought up a way to unleash my power and told her, “It was a few years ago and looking at you now I can’t for the life of me remember why I let you go.”

Quite quickly the conversation moved on to all the good times we had in the past and led inevitably back to my room where we took our non-existent relationship to the next level. It worked out nice for both of us, she got to sleep with “That Guy” she wanted to but never did and I got to sleep with her.

Learning to use my powers I quickly became a success. In interviews I was “That Guy” the interviewer met at that place. In restaurants I got great service, as the waiters liked serving “That Guy I know”. The owners would give discounts to, “That Guy I used to work with.”

Shopping was easy as clerks give the best deals to, “That Guy from my school.”

There were only a few times that someone would physically attack, “That Guy who ripped me off,” or “That Guy who bullied me in high school.” That wasn’t much of a problem in public as there were always people that rush to the defense of, “That Guy I know.”

With all these advantages you would think I would have my life made, but you’d be wrong. To balance out my great super power I have one great super weakness: I’m totally incompetent. I start off great in a job, promoted beyond my abilities because I’m, “That Guy the owner knows” and I’m given the very best assignments which I promptly mess up making everyone else have to fix up my mess.

I soon become, “That Guy who got the job because of who he knows, not what he knows.” Inevitably within a few months I am told, “Even though I’ve known you for a long time, I have to let you go.”

So I have put my desire to become a superhero aside and have instead become a supervillian. It’s quite easy, I walk into any bank address the teller by name as I rob them. Nobody makes a scene as they know I will be quickly caught as they can tell the police, “It was That Guy I know…”

Even when the police look at my picture on the surveillance camera it doesn’t help them. All they will say is, “Hey isn’t that That Guy?”

It’s nice to find my true calling.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts


Stephanie Barr said...


Shakespeare said...

I swear to God, I am That Girl. Just yesterday a student asked me if I was best friends with some family he knew, since he'd seen me over at their house several times. Didn't know them. Yet he could SWEAR he'd seen me there over and over.

People walk up to me all the time, and only after a rather longish exchange do they realize I'm not who they thought (only because I am honest about not knowing them). I wondered whether I had a twin I'd never been told about, and she's following me around from place to place, meeting everybody I don't know.

Fascinating idea. I'd beef up the short story and do something with it.