Jewish World Review Oct. 26, 2004 / 11 Mar-Cheshvan, 5765
I can't believe They did it: This is identity theft on a grand scale
They said it couldn't be done.
But then They went out and did it anyway.
Andrew Wilson, 43, of Branson, Mo., has had his name legally changed to They. No surname, just They.
They said he did it to poke fun at our common proclivity for attributing all manner of events to some mysterious "they."
"'They do this,' or 'They're to blame for that.' Who is this 'they' everyone is talking about? 'They' accomplish such great things, somebody had to take responsibility," They said.
A self-employed inventor, They holds 14 patents, including one for Ground-Effect lighting, that neon glow you may have seen beneath certain stylish vehicles.
Though They changed his name only a couple of weeks ago, it's already causing confusion. Telephone conversations are no doubt especially challenging:
"Hello? Is They there?"
"No, They's not home at the moment. Can They call you later?"
"I just wanted to know if They wanted to go to the baseball game tonight. When do you think They'll be back?"
"They just went out for a few minutes to run some errands. Who else is going to the game?"
"Ted, Eric and Brenda."
"Will they go in one car?"
"I suppose so. It would be kind of awkward for him to go in two."
"Not They, them. Will they take separate cars?"
"Not if the Highway Patrol catches up with him first."
"Won't they feel crowded?"
"It's an Oldsmobile, for cripes sake. How much room does They need?"
"You mean how much room do they need."
"Are we speaking Ebonics all of a sudden?"
"If they go, then They may feel out of place."
"I don't see how that's possible."
"You know, They can be shy around strangers."
"Who's a stranger? They all know each other."
"They does, too! Listen, now you've got me doing it!"
"Maybe They would prefer going to a game over the weekend."
"No, they said tonight was good."
"When did you and They last talk?"
"At the office. This afternoon."
"So is there something you and They need to discuss further?"
"So why are you calling?"
"I told you. They and I need to talk about the game tonight."
"You said you already talked to him."
"How could I? They's out running errands."
"All of them?"
"All of who?"
(Sighing) "I know, I know. They can't come to the phone right now."
"I really wouldn't have any way of knowing that."
"For this game tonight, tell They that Who's on first, What's on second and I Don't Know is on third."
"That's the first thing you've said that's made any sense."
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JWR contributor David Grimes is a columnist for The Sarasota Herald Tribune. Comment by clicking here.
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