Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Franchise

Several of you have congratulated me on winning the caption contest for the New Yorker. But it was not me. It was some other Adam Szymkowicz, some Adam Szymkowicz from Vermont. How could there possibly be two Adam Szymkowiczes, you may ask. Well yesterday the plot thickened when I received the following email: So you don't know me... But you have something of mine. My name. yeah, my name. Adam Szymkowicz. When I took it, hell, I thought no one else would want that lackadaisical jumble of consonants and just two and a half vowels. Apparently I was wrong. Shit. This sucks, because you see, we're at an impass. Everyone always thinks that I'm you (I know that the shit hasn't done the whole flippy floppy thing on you yet, but it will, just you wait), and so I get these people who read my stuff and they're all like, "Dude, we like your stuff, and I checked out your website and your plays and saw that you went to Columbia, and like, we're totally down and stuff, can we give you lots of money?" and I'm all like "Hells yeah you can give me lots of money, but as to the whole Columbia thing and the plays and the website and junk...I have no idea what you're talking about." then they get this funny look on their face (so I imagine) and they just kinda shrink down in their chair 'cuz they can't wrap their heads around the fact that two people who do basically the same thing could have the exact same name. Yeah, so welcome to my life dude, this blows. Alright, that's all I got. Just thought I should let you know though, that we're gonna have to have it out over this shit at some point. It'll be a total literary style high-noon showdown. Totally. OK corral style; complete with dust, blood, shotguns and scantily-clad prostitutes watching furtively from behind grimy half veiled upstairs saloon windows. peace out thief, enjoy the name, and good luck with the plays. Adam (The Real One) Szymkowicz So who is this guy? Adam Conrad Szymkowicz. He’s a fiction writer who just graduated from St. Lawrence University. Note his photo. He looks nothing like me. But it looks like we’ll have to have a duel. Because there can be only one. I suggested that instead of a fight to the death he should change his name. I wonder if Arthur Miller ran into this problem.

15 comments:

Freeman said...

Was having a very short cup of coffee with Kyle A. last night, before he met you for bowling (I believe) and he told me this story. Brilliant.

Enjoying reading your bits and pieces and draft snippets.

RB Ripley said...

As someone who shares a name, you have my sympathy.

P'tit Boo said...

Ha ha.

Um. You might want to get the names of these people who want to give you lots of money ... i bet you could use it.
;)

Anonymous said...

My brother's fiancee is about to take my name...and it isn't nearly as unusual as yours. But it really stinks. I can't challenge her to a duel though, she would kick my ass, and I am not sure I could go on if that happened. I just go on comforting myself with the secret feeling of superiority. Although since the name taking hasn't happened yet, I can't tell you if it works well or not.

Adam said...

your brother is marrying someone who has the same first name as you, huh?

might as well be anybody said...

yep. sure is. and the thing is, she has a perfectly noble last name. sadness. However, neither of us is in the public sphere (yet) and so the only people who will be confused are our friends and family.

Adam said...

I suggest you try and get her to go by her middle name or be called something like "Wife" of "Wifey"

I think you do this by calling her by this alternate name a lot around your friends and family until they start using it.

SAS said...

What a great story. As someone with a similarly long, and unusual name I don't know how I would deal if I found out that someone else has it. As many headaches as it has brought me (caused by the many misguided attempts by the world both to spell and say it) it is mine, all mine. And I guess I like it that way.

Adam said...

my sister also had a problem a few years back--someone with the same name as her lived a half hour away and had a lot of delinquent bills and they went after my sister. Her first name is more unusual thatn mine.

Anonymous said...

wifey--i like that.
there was a young person who had my name when I lived in a different town, but that was great because she had a bat mitzvah and I got all her gift certificates to the gap and cash money. Of course I opened everything. I am pretty sure I sent that stuff back to her...or most of it anyway.

Adam said...

I'm still waiting to receive this supposed cash money from the other Adam all these people seem to say they want to give him. Give to a playwright. No one gives to a playwright.

Jason Grote said...

So that's the guy that won the caption contest? Or is there a third Adam somewhere?

I would say that he's 19 and will probably lose interest in writing but winning the New Yorker contest is a big encouragement. Well, there's Kate Moira Ryan and Kate E. Ryan, that must be sort of a hassle.

There are other Jason Grotes out there - a minor league baseball player in California (I have his card from 1999), an right-wing evangelical in Texas, an elementary school teacher in New England, and epilespy sufferer in Iowa. For a little while I got competitive about out-Google-ranking them but now that I have I sort of miss them. No writers in the bunch as far as I can tell, though I'd like to collaborate someday.

hpmelon said...

Adam, just read that you are having a 10 minute play in the Madcap Carnival of new works in DC. Woohoo - is this because I pointed you in their direction? Even if it wasn't, tell me it was so I can feel important.

If not then can the other Adam Szymkowicz please stop masquerading as you and confusing all of us mere mortals.

As a side note - wifey never goes down well with me.

Adam said...

Jason, this is the same guy who won the caption contest but there is another one of us out there--I saw him in a little league photo a few years back. Apparently he uses a pen name so the whole fight to the death is moot.

HPMelon, I would not have applied if you hadn't pointed me in that direction. Wifey wouldn't go down with anyone, but I am prepared to call the other Adam wifey if he tries to intrude on my territory.

bladio said...

i used to run into other people with my name and i was so pissed about it...i was extra pissed because i didn't have a middle name, so i couldn't differentiate myself legally. in 7th grade i got called to the principal's office but they wanted the other person with my name.

anonymous - you need to fess up and say that your brother's fiancee is taking your MAIDEN name, not your current name!! you sneaky sneak!

adam - i also want to thank you for introducing me to overheard in new york. it makes me "LOL" (as floyd would say) every day.