With thanks to Facebook’s search function, apologies to Dave Gorman, and gratitude to Northern Hemisphere Simon Smithson, who agreed to answer my questions and be my friend.

Hello, Simon Smithson! How are you, who are you, and what do you do?

Who am I? A 34 year old Englishman, father to my 21-month-old daughter Libby, husband to my lovely wife Becky.

What do I do? In a nutshell, I work in an office. It’s a very nice office mind, (we even have an escalator), but still 9 to 5 office drudgery. Sometimes I feel like a battery hen.

Not quite the glamorous, globetrotting lifestyle that you, my namesake, appear to lead. Strangely, since befriending you on Facebook, my Gmail inbox has been replete with invites to parties and other exciting gatherings. Though it seems possible that I might be invited to parties on the other side of world by strangers, it seems more likely that your friends have instead been confounded by our similar, yet mirror-image like, email addresses and have sent me these invites in error. However, I am now able to explain that I am not the handsome, literary Kiwi to whom they intended to extend the hand of friendship, but am in fact a grumpy, exhausted, Yorkshire-dwelling Englishman who simply happens to share the same name. They must find the experience confusing, and slightly disturbing.


I am glad to hear you’re good – and in three months, happy birthday to Libby!

You know, I’ve never worked in an office with an escalator? And now I really, really want to.

I’m afraid I have to correct you, however. I’m an Aussie, not a Kiwi. If I let that one slip through to the keeper, I’ll never hear the end of it. It’s similar to being confused for a Welshman – something I learned from my grandmother, who, as a matter of fact, was from Yorkshire, as is my mother. They were from Rotherham – are you anywhere nearby?

Which brings me, by a neat piece of coincidence, to something I’ve been looking into recently. Yorkshire puddings. I’ve never had one, and I’d always had a mental image of a creme caramel kind of thing. Tell me, is this something you’d regularly eat? I realise this is perhaps not the kind of question you saw coming.

The escalator is overrated. The office is supposed to be one of the most energy efficient in Europe, though how they can acheive this with an escalator (in actual fact 4 escalators!) that run 12 hours a day, and a glass roof is entirely beyond me. Perhaps it’s just one of those self-fulfilling proclamations, like ‘this is the longest bar in the world’ (my university bar) or ‘this is the longest pier in the world’ (Great Yarmouth Pier), both of which are blatantly untrue, but have entered local folklore.

My humblest apologies about the geographic confusion (I notice you didn’t contradict the ‘handsome’ or ‘literary’). I can’t claim that geography is a strong point of mine; this I can only blame on poor choices early in my education (choosing German over Geography is a somewhat confounding choice; I can now speak the language, but have no idea where Germany is, or how to get there).

Rotherham is about 40 miles from my doorstep. It seems a strange coincidence that your family originate from so nearby. I’m not a native Yorkshireman, though I’m rapidly approaching the point where I’ve lived here longer than I’ve lived elsewhere, so will achieve honorary status. My father’s family originate from the next County south. Maybe we share a common ancestor?

You’ve fallen into a common trap with regard to Yorkshire Puddings, which are not in fact a dessert, but an accompaniment to a ‘roast dinner’, which otherwise consists of a roasted meat (typically chicken, beef or lamb), roast potatoes and boiled vegetables, all served with gravy. In a bizarre twist they actually have identical ingredients to pancakes, but rather than made thin and fried are made thick and baked in an oven. If done properly they come out delicious, light and air-filled. If I make them they come out thick, heavy, and much like an unpleasant pancake.

My university bar was never going to lay a claim to anything; I worked there, and let me tell you, it was a decidedly low-rent operation. But speaking of bars, and Yorkshire, is there still a bar called The Atlas, opposite a cemetery, in existence, that you know of? Apparently my great-grandparents ran it for a little while.

I wonder if we do share any ancestry – my English ancestors went by either the surname Walton or the surname Dewick; and I think they got around a little.

As for backgrounds, did you know we have a crest? We have an actual, honest-to-God family crest, that, I guess, we can officially use. I’m not sure how one goes about using a crest, but it gives me a sense of belonging that feels strangely comforting. Typing my own name into Google has never been so rewarding.

So how is life in England, at present? I’ve always meant to visit, but never gotten around to it. My great-uncle, who’s an ex-Royal Marine, keeps telling me I should go back and visit.

Yorkshire is a pretty big place. However, a brief bit of research on Google Maps shows this.

Which appears to be a pub of the same name, opposite a graveyard, in Rotherham, so perhaps this is the very place! At the point at which the Streetview car captured the image the pub was up for lease (and given the state of the UK economy it probably still is) so if you feel like a return to your roots it presents an interesting option!

Neither Walton nor Dewick ring any bells, though I do know that at some point my family name was ‘Smithson-Hogg’. Thankfully they dropped the second of the two barrels before I came along. Simon Smithson is quite long enough thank you.

Not sure about the correct usage of a family crest. Does it have a motto? Are there eagles on it?

I often wonder whether our name has any link to the Smithsonian museum; is this something that you’ve thought about? Have you ever been?

Life in England is currently fair to middling, it’s a pretty average kind of place. Where are you currently? You seem to spend a lot of time alternating between Australia and the US, why is this? Talking of Australia, are you affected by the floods that I hear so much about? Coming from such a small, and thankfully generally natural-disaster-free, country events on such a scale boggle my mind.

I was wondering recently how similar the signatures of different people with the same name will be. This then got me thinking about the possibilities of fraud between two people with the same name; to prove I’m me all I need is my passport or driving license bearing my name and picture. This I could also surely use to prove I’m you. How does this work if one has an entirely common name like John Smith? Can I just go into a bank with my passport and withdraw all funds for any one of the inevitable gaggle of John Smiths on the banks records? How fragile this concept of identity!


A pub landlord you say? Well… I’ve heard of worse ideas. Although I don’t know about this whole warm beer business. Is that true, or just a cruel and unusual stereotype?

Simon Smithson-Hogg? I can’t even imagine what kind of person you, or I, would be, with such a name. It’s just so… so very different. The emphasis on the syllables is all different, it changes the sounding out of it… how strange. Maybe this is something people should do as a daily meditation; throw a ‘Hogg’ on the end of their name to see how it sounds.

The crest has a knight’s helmet, three suns, and a number of feathers. I’m not sure how it’s officially used, but apparently you can get it in mousepad form. Which must have been what our ancestors had in mind…

I’ve never been! I’m not sure if James Smithson had ever been to the States – I know he charged his son with founding an institute for the benefit of all mankind, and he had enough ready cash that he could just up and order such a thing done and be reasonably confident it would be taken care of.

Which segues neatly into my back-and-forth to the US and back. I used to live there, until I was left jobless by the GFC and moved back. Now I’ve got friends from my first stay, from back here, or from TNB, and that makes it a lot easier to go over. And, honestly, I just love it. Have you yourself been?

I’m in Melbourne right now, and, thankfully, unaffected by the floods. Queensland has been hit the hardest but my home state is also not faring too well, with record flood levels in some towns. What’s been great is the reaction of the country; people have been so good about coming together to support those affected.

Hmmm.

I think we’re going to need a passport comparison. Mine is shocking, by the way. It’s a horrible scrawl I developed in primary school and never trained myself out of.

We probably shouldn’t publish them to the internet though.

Glad to hear that the floods haven’t affected you directly. The news coverage in the UK has pretty much stopped now, which is either an indication that the situation has improved, or that something sensational involving either X-Factor or Pop Idol has overtaken events.

The warm beer thing is a bit of a myth, though until recently bitter (served at room temperature) was more popular than lager (obviously served chilled). I’m not sure Rotherham would prove a good location to cut your landlording teeth; it does have a reputation for being ‘a bit rough’, which generally means you’ve got a much greater chance than is acceptable of ending a night out with fewer teeth than you started with…

It would be interesting to know the origins of the family crest, though I suspect these things are just generated at random by some dubious website nowadays. Does it have a motto? I’m fascinated by the idea of having something potentially inappropriate in modern times as an official family slogan.

I can’t believe that with all your cross-Atlantic (does that apply if traveling from Australia to America? Remember my lack of geographical prowess!) traveling you’ve not yet been to our museum! I’ve got some friends who live in Washington DC, so I really ought to visit at some point. Unfortunately I’ve only visited the US three times, and I doubt either can be considered a real taste of the place; the first was to Orlando with my wife’s parents, the second was to Las Vegas to get married, and the third was to Los Angeles to do some work for Harbor Freight in Camarillo.

I have to confess I had to look up the meaning of GFC; I’m going to blame it on the late hour, and the lousy week I’ve had this far. What did you do before the redundancy?

You’ll be glad to hear that I’ve resumed reading Sparks. I absolutely need a break from Infinite Jest, which isn’t as riveting as I was led to expect. I’ll let you know my thoughts as I progress further, though so far I’m enjoying it very much.

There is no motto for the family crest; we’ll have to come up with something. ‘Orbis non sufficio’ would seem to have the requisite amount of flair – although I think that may be taken.


And no – I think that’s trans-Pacific. I’ve yet to set foot across the Atlantic; between the two of us, though, we’ve crossed the two big oceans. Maybe after the next redundancy I’ll have a crack at the Baltic, or the Adriatic.

Two jobs before the redundancy I was in PR; one job before I was in consulting, for the redundancy itself, I reviewed porn sites.

I know. Best job ever.

And speaking of which – I think it may be time to say good job, Simon Smithson, and adieu, on this interview – we’ve covered a lot of ground and the internet is a tyrannical master on how much space we can allocate. Sir, it was a pleasure, and I’m honoured to share the name.

What’s your middle name, by the way? Mine’s Nicholas.

Unfortunately we don’t also share a middle name, mine’s John.

It’s possible the redundancy was a blessing. I can image that job would play hell on your joints.

Thanks for the opportunity to get to know you better, though it may turn out that few others find this conversation interesting I’ve found it rather enjoyable!

Carpe Botulus!

TAGS: , , , , , , , ,

SIMON SMITHSON is an Australian writer and editor. He is currently based in Melbourne, Australia, but frequently finds himself in Los Angeles and San Francisco. His work has appeared on both sides of the globe in print and online in publications such as BLIP, Every Day Fiction, Beat, The Loop, My Sinking Boat, and more. He has a tumblr at www.simonsmithson.com and he runs a lifestyle experiment at www.selfhelpless.net.

77 responses to “Smithson vs. Smithson”

  1. Zara Potts says:

    Ha Ha! Kiwi! Ha Ha!

    I really enjoyed this – what a great idea and how lovely the other Simon Smithson sounds!
    Who’d have thought? Two Simon Smithson’s – an idea that is simultaneously terrifying and awesome!!

    • Simon Smithson says:

      He’s a very nice guy, I’m pleased to say. Although it’s truly strange to see his comments on Facebook, as they’re logged as ‘Simon Smithson:’ and I think ‘Wait? Did I do that? When?’

      And I knew – I knew – you were going to be all over that Kiwi line.

      I knew it!

  2. Ha! I love this. Well done Simon … and Simon. You know there was an American show in the 80s with that title.

  3. Judy Prince says:

    “Carpe Botulus,” Simon—–seize the botulism?

    “Meeting” your other must’ve been a bit like finding a twin you’d not known about. Did you wonder what he looks like?

    And neither of you’ve been to the Smithsonian? Maybe there’s a huge Smithson-Hogg crest above its imposing front door, boasting a yew branch in a hog’s mouth.

    • Simon Smithson says:

      I wondered about that myself.

      Maybe it’s ‘grab the derriere’?

      That would make sense, considering how I like to live my life.

      I found out what he looked like on Facebook – he credits the Smithson legacy of good looks and savoir-faire, and he has a very happy-looking family, which is nice to see.

      And no! I only just found out today it’s in DC!

      • Judy Prince says:

        You think “botulus” means derriere, Simon! That bears um some thought.

        I’d read that the man, Smithson, who donated the money to build the Smithsonian Institute was an Englishman, but I forgot the details of how the Institute ended up in the States. I don’t live too far from there now, but honestly have never had an inclination to visit it, p’raps because it’s adverted as loaded with paraphernalia representing various popular artifacts from a few centuries up through the present.

      • Judy Prince says:

        Hey, Simon, I just read this article from today’s NYT online, about the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, to open in 2015:

        http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/23/us/23smithsonian.html?_r=1&hp

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Hooray for the Institute!

          It was founded by a guy named James Smithson; he gave a whole bunch of money to one of his kids to benefit mankind after his death. Amazingly, the son did so. I would have blown it on magic beans.

        • Judy Prince says:

          HA! “Magic beans” indeed, Simon!

          Here’s some info on James Smithson and his Institute, from a website called “Smithson and the Smithsonian”:

          “In 1829 English scientist James Smithson left his fortune to the people of the United States to found an institution for the ‘increase and diffusion of knowledge.’ Smithson’s impetus in providing for a research and educational institution in a new country on another continent remains a mystery. His bequest sparked widespread debate over what such a national institution might be. Once established, the Smithsonian Institution became part of the process of developing the U.S. national identity.”

          Apparently, the bequest provoked quite a controversy in the USA up until the 1846 founding of the Smithsonian Institution. Further:

          “The Smithsonian Institution is now the world’s largest museum complex, composed of a group of national museums and research centers housing the United States’ national collections in natural history, American history, air and space, the fine arts and the decorative arts, and several other fields ranging from postal history to cultural history. The Institution includes 16 museums, four research centers, the National Zoo, the Smithsonian Institution Libraries (a research library system), the Smithsonian magazine, the Smithsonian Institution Press, a Traveling Exhibition Service, an Office of Education, and a number of other offices and activities.”

          Looks like its time for you (two) to travel to the Smithsonian Institution—-and write chapter two of your Smithson and Smithson TNB piece!

          Here’s the URL for the article I’ve quoted:

          http://www.sil.si.edu/Exhibitions/Smithson-to-Smithsonian/intro.html

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Huh.

          What is it with non-citizen Smithsons with a thing for the US of A? This is intriguing.

          Alright everyone – to the Smithsonmobile! And also to the Smithsonian.

          I’m clearly going to need a crack team of professionals. Judy, you can be the jewel thief whose partner double-crossed her in Morocco and who’s only one step ahead of Interpol finest detective, Colonel Robespierre.

        • Judy Prince says:

          We’ll be watching, and waiting to read, your Smithsons’ Smithsonian Saga, Simons!

          Yes, oh yes, I’ll be the food (forget jewels!) thief one step ahead of her partner and defo in Casablanca, Morocco, at the fruit and veggie stands in the bazaar, filching satins and silks and practicing my British accent. I’ll be Norah to the Thin Man. Or Mae West to WC Fields. Or the w.c. to the loo? Shall we begin to negotiate a filmic contract, dear Simons?

  4. J.M. Blaine says:

    don’t be
    puddlin’
    round now
    mate
    you’ve got a whole book here
    called:

    The Escalator
    is
    Overrated

  5. Is this the beginning of a series wherein you stalk Simon Smithsons around the world, asking them about Yorkshire puddings and warm beer? You should convince them all to start writing for TNB. That would be fantastically confusing. You could all adopt the same pose in your profile photos.

    I got an e-mail from a David Wills about a year ago. He seemed like a nice guy, but he was a bit annoyed. Apparently his inbox was full of letters from angry Korean people and demented fans of William S. Burroughs and Hunter S. Thompson.

    • Simon Smithson says:

      Yes.

      Yes it is exactly that.

      Oddly enough, I found another Simon Smithson on Facebook with G-Dragon as a like. Go figure.

      Ha ha ha… that’s awesome. Was there ever a cross-over, where an angry Korean fan of Thompson reamed him out?

      • That’s awesome. Powerfully awesome.

        You know, I just looked up your name on Facebook and there are way more of you than I thought. I also looked up me… and discovered a David S. Wills with several TNB friends. I think there was a little misunderstanding somewhere along the line. This guy is a huge bald biker with “champ” tattooed on his bike. There is possibly no one on earth who looks less like me.

  6. Simon Smithson says:

    If you ever fancy attempting a remake of Simon and Simon, you know where to find me!

    Botulus is latin for sausage. It seemed strangely appropriate!

  7. This other does sound like quite a nice guy. I want to change my name to Simon Smithson now and use him as an alter-ego, though I’m not sure who’d be the mild-mannered one.

    There’s a Nate Missildine out there on facebook, whom I’m convinced is part of an online scam. I mean, who could really be called that?

  8. Jessica Blau says:

    This is great! I love that English Simon Smithson is just as charming as Aussie Simon Smithson!

    I haven’t read the comments above, so maybe someone already mentioned this, but I think this should be a regular! I might have to interview my Jessica Blau FB friends!

    • Simon Smithson says:

      Do any of them have the coveted middle name? Which is a great one, by the way.

      And his daughter is adorable in photos! We live charmed lives, I tell you. It’s a great name.

  9. Irene Zion says:

    Simon,
    You and Simon are perfectly fabulous schizophrenics.
    I’m proud to know you both.

    • Simon Smithson says:

      Proud to be known, Irene! And right back to you. I can’t speak for the other Simon, but I’m sure he’d say the same.

      Probably.

  10. I’m totally impressed with how funny Smithson Mach II is. It seems so likely that when you finally track your doppelganger down, they’d be someone you’d just as soon left alone.

    I smell a dueling Smithson camping trip in the offing. Bring a huge canteen of Philz.

    • Simon Smithson says:

      Thank God he’s a nice, funny, cool guy. Otherwise I’d have to ask myself some hard questions. As is, I won’t, and what a relief that is.

      He was also nice enough to write back, so there’s that too. Good work, SS.

      I’ll be in SF in Feb! I’m going to drink so much Philz. For me, for Northern Hemisphere Simon Smithson… and for you, Sean Beaudoin.

  11. Angela Tung says:

    what a great idea and fun interview! the other Simon Smithson seems like a great sport.

    i have been curious myself about the other “Angela Tung’s” on the internet. there’s a dentist and a piano teacher, and an attorney in either D.C. or New York.

    for a long time, when I Googled myself, the attorney Angela Tung’s NY Times wedding announcement from the early ’90s would come up first. it was very weird to see my own name next to WEDDINGS and some guy I didn’t know.

    • Simon Smithson says:

      He really, really is. It’s probably because his name’s so great.

      Hmmm.

      Maybe you could start up a collateral barter agreement? One Tung helps another? Have you ever wanted to learn piano?

      Isn’t it strange! I see Facebook announcements now about things I did…

  12. Richard Cox says:

    I think it’s quite amazing that you found another Simon Smithson and he was this well spoken and had such a great sense of humor. I turned down a FB request recently from a fellow who shared my name because his profile seemed a bit on the daft side. But now I’m thinking I should have approved him, and maybe he would have interviewed me for a web site somewhere. Damn.

    Great idea, Simon. Both of you. So clever.

    • Simon Smithson says:

      It’s too late, Cox! The idea is mine! All mine! And not anyone else’s ever, no matter what evidence there may to substantiate the truth!

      Also: whew! Imagine if he’d been a jerk. Bad news.

  13. This post just further fulfilled the fact I have a man crush on Simon Smithson. And let me add, that it would have really gotten weird if that character from my 100-word story from college “Simon Smithson Is No Degenerate,” would have entered the foray.

    • Simon Smithson says:

      Nick, could you please write a piece called Simon Smithson is Incredibly Rich?

      Huh.

      But maybe then I’ll turn into Mr. Cox.

      Man-crush reciprocated, sir! You’re the 21st century’s pre-eminent iPhone scribe, among the many other caps you wear.

  14. Ronlyn Domingue says:

    Oh, thank God, you haven’t flipped out and become a raging narcissist.

    This was really quite charming. If you guys ever meet, a podcast might be in order so’s we can hear the accents. It would add to the Smithson Experience.

    My first name is totally made up. For a long time, the only other beings I knew of who shared it were cats. A Persian lineage with hard-core flat faces. Now I know there are other human Ronlyns, thanks to Google. I’ve always dreamed of having a nice, solid Biblical first name that is easy to spell and pronounce—like yours. *sigh*

    • Simon Smithson says:

      Well, I haven’t flipped out.

      It was a lot of fun to get to know the other Mr. Simon a little better. Previously we’d commented on each others’s walls and photos on Facebook, now I feel like I know him somewhat.

      A podcast! Good thinking!

      Are you kidding? ‘Ronlyn Domingue’… such a good name. It speaks of luxury and depth, of opulence and mystery. I think it’s perfectly suited to your current Southen home, but then, I think it would be a name for anywhere with a hint of mystique. I think it could be hard to be a Ronlyn Domingue, for instance, in tract housing.

      Then again, I have no doubt that if any Ronlyn Domingue could pull it off, it would be yourself.

      • Ronlyn Domingue says:

        Mystique? Really? You peer into depths I cannot see, Mr. Smithson.

        Irene Z. had the idea that I write an essay about my name. It’s on my backburner. At the moment, I regret having tossed out my 8th grade basketball trophy because it would have made a good photo to include in the post. My name was engraved “Ronalyn.”

        • Simon Smithson says:

          I suppose I have been lucky in that sense – there’s a solidity to the pronunciation of ‘Simon Smithson’ that can’t be denied. Although I did used to be friends with a guy who perpetually screwed it up and called me ‘Simon Smitherson’.

  15. Aaron Dietz says:

    This is awesome. I’ve been in the process of interviewing the “other” Aaron Dietz for a few years now–he’s a graphic designer in San Francisco and apparently he’s quite busy (we just can’t seem to finish that interview). I’m glad to see that there are name-twins that can actually finish this sort of thing.

    Also, Simon Smithons rule!

    • Simon Smithson says:

      Eat it Dietz! The game is mine! As is the interview! You lost, too busy in the world of successfully authoring impressive books of humorous note and fascinating experimentation!

      Oh.

      Wait.

      Did I say eat it?

      I meant, congratulations.

      Simon Smithsons totally rule. Maybe Northern Hemisphere Simon Smithson could be friends with San Francisco Aaron Dietz?

      (Also, thanks).

      • Simon Smithson says:

        Damn it. I try to limit myself to one faux-arrogant-victory speech per piece commentary, and I doubled up with you and RC. Please don’t think this means I was recycling material. It’s just really warm over here right now, and my brain’s lagging a little.

  16. kristen says:

    Haha, this is awesome. Nice work, bud. And, as others have pointed out–a funny chap this other Simon seems.

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Ah, Simon and Simon… how fragile this concept of identity indeed. This is delightful. I am however hoping for more on the uses of the famed Smithson family crest. I smell a History Channel show here.

    Meanwhile, lucky you. The other Elizabeth Eslami is a teenage cheerleader in Iowa.

    • Simon Smithson says:

      I know! He really hit the mark on the head with that line. Which made me jealous that I hadn’t thought of it.

      If you click on my author page, the thumbnail for this piece is the crest. Maybe we could get some yellow and blue pom-poms made for Elizabeth Eslami 2?

  18. Lisa Rae Cunningham says:

    This is fun, Simon! You know I use my middle name because of a lot of hometown confusion as a kid. There was another Lisa Cunningham. Nicholas is a good middle name, btw. It suits you.

    • Simon Smithson says:

      Thanks Lisa! I was never sure what the ‘Rae’ was; between you and Erika it seemed to be more common that I knew. It’s not a name I’ve ever heard of here – is it Celtic in background, do you know?

      And thanks!

      I hate that other Lisa Cunningham.

  19. Joe Daly says:

    I think that if/when I enter the French Foreign Legion, and they let me change my name, I will take Nicholas Smithson-Hogg. I mean, how could I not, right? Holy shit, is that one big, bad-ass pimp of a name.

    UK Simon is a hoot and a half! Glad he was up for the interview, and such a compelling subject. As always, the questions were probing, entertaining, and packed with so much pimping that Interpol had to form a vice squad, just for the EU to understand what you were doing.

    Is there any way we could do the passport comparison thing? I think I need to see what people are using to cross borders. I’d particularly like to see JM Blaine’s. I’ll bet he’s got wings on fire coming out of his back.

    When I renewed my passport, the Irish Consulate gave me the opportunity to have my name spelled out in Irish instead of the Anglicized version I’ve used all of my life. I could just see the US Customs guy trying to get his arms around “Seosamh Pádraig O’Dalaigh.” I stuck with “Joe Daly.”

    Great interview, BP. And hats off to your UK brother from another mother. Well done, boys!

    • Simon Smithson says:

      If you joined the French Foreign Legion it would become the French Pimping Legion the moment your foot crossed the threshold, my friend.

      And I know! I started to become jealous of his easy wit and easier-going charm; I wondered if maybe I should start editing his responses to look like mine, because who’d know the difference?

      But justice, in the end, won out.

      Have you ever read Frederick Forsyth’s The Day of the Jackal? A bad Bruce Willis movie was based on it.

      Ha! Seosamh, you say?

      And thanks, JD! I’ll be in SF shortly, wishing I was in Daly City.

  20. Erika Rae says:

    I feel as if I’m staring down the barrel of an idea for a novel, here. The question is…which Simon Smithson will be the one to write it first? Or would you both write a novel, and then see who can sell more copies? Or maybe you would each write half of the same novel? Yes, I think the latter. If not for any other reason than to fuck with the legal side of things regarding rights. (I would so love to sit in on that arbitration meeting…)

    There is another Erika Rae in Boulder. Also a writer. I really want to meet her.

    Well done, both of you. Clever as hell.

    • Simon Smithson says:

      I think the latter too – and my God, what a re-enactment of Dude, Where’s My Car? that meeting will be. ‘I said the subsidiary rights go to Simon Smithson, not Simon Smithson!’

      Heh.

      Awesome.

      You should get in touch with her! Although I bet you’re better. Maybe she’ll realise that and burst into tears over her cupcake in the local cafe.

      This is going to be awkward.

      And horrible.

      You’ve ruined her life.

      You monster.

      (and thank you!)

    • Simon Smithson says:

      I’m quite liking this novel idea, SHSS – make it so!

  21. Simon… you are an endlessly fascinating man.

  22. Dana says:

    Hey! I know I left a comment here.

    Huh?

  23. Amanda says:

    About six or seven years ago I took a three-month temporary assignment to work in another province, while the company that employed me prepared to lay off about a thousand of us (including me, once that assignment was over). I was stationed at the home office, where they were moving the business because it was cheaper to rent property and to pay people low(er) wages than where we’d been based before.

    The city was dull, the weather sucks balls, and the people at that office shunned me like the weird urban office girl I was, haha…but…they had an escalator, and that thing was so odd and office-sexy that it made it worth attending work every day. The office escalator is never overrated!

  24. Tawni Freeland says:

    What a brilliant idea for a piece, Simon Smithson. And nice to learn more about you, Simon Smithson. And you too, Simon Smithson! I truly enjoyed reading this. xoxo.

  25. Clarissa Olivarez says:

    This is brilliant! A google search revealed many other women named Clarissa Olivarez – all scattered throughout the U.S. (and mostly in Texas, my state of origin). But I have to admit that this piece made me a bit sad when I realized I didn’t have a mousepad with my family crest on it (which would actually be “Casso,” I guess, since it’s my maiden name – I don’t know…it’s trickier for women). Imagine a hybrid crest – Casso-Olivarez-Hogg. Now that’s pretty cool. A very enjoyable read!

  26. Hank Cherry says:

    I bring up another Hogg sized question, could I perhaps add the “Hogg” before the Cherry? Plus, Texas had a governor named Hogg who named his daughter Ima Hogg.

    Thanks for reminding me of that. Great read.

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