Mar 22

Who’s Mike Jones?

Ok, so there’s a rapper out there that has the same name as me.  He seasons his rhymes with his name.

I used to be joked at when talking about football in High School, since there was a NFL player with the name Mike Jones as well.

I laughed with co-workers who see my identification badge, I let the jokes roll other places (although not my primary ringer, I have the “Who’s Mike Jones” ringtone in my cell phone).

I spoke to another co-worker, who shares the same name as “Fresh Prince” Will Smith. He said in the hey-day of the performer, he was joked at as well.

A former manager of mine was named Tim Taylor, and during the run of the Tim Allen hit series “Home Improvement” he was frequently referred to as the “Toolman” – I even would occasionally throw a “I don’t think so, Tim.” to have fun with it.

But, it comes to a point of disrespect after a certain point in time. A co-worker, routinely tries to impersonate the rapper, calling out my name for no reason but to annoy me.

Being that Mike Jones, the rapper, and myself both live in Houston, it has compounded the problem. By my count, there are 123 telephone listings for Michael or Mike Jones in the Houston area.

Despite the fact that he mentions his phone number (and according to the stories I heard, it is legitimately his phone number) in a rhyme, I have had phone calls from several teenagers from all over the country, at all hours of the day and night, wanting to talk to the performer. I’ve shunned most away, but still, getting the phone calls at 2am and 3am that pushes it over the line.

My question is, why is it that those of us virtual unknowns must suffer because one person with a common name rises to fame?

In the pre-Internet days, if I wanted to look up a phone number in another town, I made the trip to the local library, and looked it up in the phone books of major cities they had there.

I also was taught to respect privacy of those celebrities.  If I see a celebrity (even a local celebrity) I will say hello, but not create a scene. I’m reminded of a story told by a sci-fi convention promoter, when he was at the airport picking up William Shatner. Mr. Shatner had just arrived, and needed to take care of “business”. He entered the nearest men’s room, and another patron came running out exclaiming that he just did his “business” next to Captain Kirk! The resulting mob scene created a nightmare for the promoter and Mr. Shatner, since they were on a tight schedule.

I had an opportunity to see a performance at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee a few years ago, and Bill Anderson, an Opry regular, made an appearance that evening, at one point inviting his son, daughter-in-law, and grandson out on stage. He commented that if anyone gets a good picture, he would like a copy. The following year, he performed at an event in my hometown, and I obliged by taking him two 8×10 prints that I took of it. He offered to autograph one for me, but I declined, asking if I could get a picture with him, to which he obliged.

In these days of school curriculums being crowded with much more than the old reading, writing and arithmetic, certain social things like respect seem to be getting forgotten. It’s time for schools to remember that social skills need to be taught as well, and respect should be at the top of the list.

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