A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times

ALTER EGO


From the moment I entered my e-mail address linda1038@bizzazzle.com, I felt that I was not alone anymore since there are 1037 Linda's like me connected to Bizzazzle, and for the first time in my life I experienced a sense of belonging to something really big and important. I was excited and ready to embrace my new cyber-life.

My first e-mail was from Vernon University offering me a Bachelor Degree in Law Enforcement within 6 months instead of the usual 4 years - and for half the price. I was overjoyed. Not that I was looking for a new degree. I don’t want to be a policeman. I have been quite satisfied working as a bookkeeper for a plumbing company for 20 years - but, I asked myself, what about all those years at school, and the money I spent getting my Accounting degree? All for this? I looked around me at all those pipes and sinks and taps and, excuse me, even toilets, and I began to feel like a fool. A nobody. And lonely, too. I couldn’t go on like that. I just couldn’t do it. That’s when I plugged into the Internet for myself. I opted out of the company’s e-mail and began on my own personal e-mail service. Who-ee! Look what’s happened.

Of course, I don’t want to be a cop. That’s ridiculous. But, hey, there’s so much more out there! I have a whole family of Lindas - one thousand thirty-seven Lindas - somewhere in the world, reaching out to me.

My e-mail messages were thrilling. I could hardly keep up with them in between doing my regular job, sending out invoices and purchasing orders. ‘Dear Linda’ I would read - and my heart would beat faster even if I were being contacted by some foreign company.

For example, a Canadian drug company came right out and offered me pills for depression without a prescription - at 75% off market price! They must have ways to get your medical records, right? So they knew I might need some. And how easy it was to get these pills - no need to become a Canadian citizen. I could stay in England. No problemo. Not that I have ever been seriously depressed. Don’t get me wrong. I do have an occasional mood swing, especially now that I’m seeing a wrinkle or two when I look in the mirror.

Every morning I wake up excited to start a new day of my improved life. I have become more stylish and aware of my looks, which are not bad, if I say so myself. I now walk proudly between the cubicles in my office, flashing my newly-whitened teeth and my replica Rolex watch and fake Prada bag. And, best of all, my new designer shag me shoes which everybody knows simply scream with sexiness. That first week of my new life among the Lindas, I really don’t think the men in that office got a lick of work done. Nada. Nish, glish and not even a frosty flake. I was on a roll. I felt unstoppable. I refinanced my house - twice. In both cases the banks qualified me even with my bad credit score, which, because of my new shoes, I’m sure they ignored.

Meanwhile, my mailbox brimmed with messages from Lindas who live as far away as Timbuktu, if you get my drift. For example, how about this one: "Dear Linda, I am Olga from Russia. I am 21 years old and want to meet you to share experiences."

At first I was not sure what Russian Olga wanted: to visit my home in Scunthorpe, Lancashire, or to invite me to come to the cold Siberian mountains? Both sounded promising, but to clarify the situation, I went to her web site. I was in for a bit of a shock. What was this? Porn? This Linda was no lady, maybe a man in disguise? All she - or he - wanted to do was discuss certain erotic situations and practices that I had never even heard of! And although I think of myself as being very cosmopolitan. I couldn’t help but wonder was this a can of worms I was opening?

Which reminds me of all those messages offering ways to increase the size of the male organ - though why these Lindas would think that I - a woman - would require such information, I can’t imagine. I’d be much too embarrassed to pass on that sort of thing to a male friend. In any case, why would I want to give a boyfriend of mine a leg up - so to speak - with the chicks in the local nightclubs?

On the other hand, the woman next door might welcome such a tip since she is constantly complaining to me about her husband’s lack of prowess, down there. And he has confided in me that she beats him in frustration. He doesn’t know what to do. I could do him a favour.

As for me, I now feel that I am in the middle of things, you know, finally connected to my own Reality Show - with me as the star. I’ve sent out my own message, again and again, but when they ask for a photo, I don’t send. What if they don’t like my eyebrows or my chin? I keep my message short and sweet:

"I am Linda from Scunthorpe. I am pretty. I love dogs. I like to shop. I want to meet you."

Weeks are passing by. After the first flurry of e-mails, my mailbox comes up with only a few nibbles now and then - mostly from, I suspect, cross-dressers and other quirky folks in disguises I tell myself that maybe I should send a photo, after all. But, maybe, not a picture of me. Oh, no. I’ll have to think about this one. Does anyone really send a photo of herself? I mean, unless she is really beautiful?

Anyway. The thing is I’m connected. I feel it every day. My Manolo Blahnicks have made my feet a real asset - the minute I walk into a bar, I am spotted. I chatted up every night. All because of my new shoes and my sense of self-importance. I’m not a nobody anymore. True, I still send out invoices to customers who have called on our company to fix their plumbing issues.

But I now have a secret life that makes me smile to myself as I open my own mailbox (when the boss isn’t looking) and watch to see which new Linda wants to meet me next.

I wonder what would happen if I changed my e-mail address to Ingrid or Josephina? And sent a photo too. I could pick a really gorgeous picture. Right? Yeah. Then I could join Facebook or YouTube or start Twittering.

This is only the beginning!



ALTER EGOSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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