Throughout my life, strangers have approached me thinking they knew me.  A girl in south Jersey was positive we had been friends for several years even though we never met.  Some guy I met at the Renaissance Faire swore I went to a     culinary school with him.  I can make a mean mac and cheese but I certainly never went to school for cooking.  Most recently, my own mother thought I might be a member of the band Lamb of God.  Do I have a doppleganger?  Are there clones of me running around?  Am I a culinary master who playes in a death metal band without any knowledge of it? 

That Guy You Know

For Fats' next column, expect to see "How to Ask Proper Advice and Not Just Type Something That Ends With a Question Mark," because seriously, I'm tired of answering opinion questions or, worse, what appears to be a test of my omnipresence.  Let's begin with the random spacing in the middle of sentences, and the superfluous use of the letter "e" in playes, and then I'll libellously berate That Guy for his inability to... uh... hold on, I'm getting another mail... hold on a second... I just gotta see what... this......

It occurs to me that the last question(s) I asked require you to be more of a psychic than a sage.  I suppose what I want to know is, assuming I have been cloned, how do I go about finding said dopplegangers?

That Guy You Know

For a follow up to my award-winning "How to Ask Proper Advice and Not Just Type Something That Ends With a Question Mark" column, I shall write "How to Include a Proper and Justified Addendum/Corollary" and I will reference this one.  Well done, Mr. You Know.  Here is a synopsis:
a) Rescind any previous ignorant questions
b) Actually ask advice
c) Call me something flattering like "sage" or "Teeming Fount of Wisdom" or "Your Sassiness"

This question is interesting.  In a society that has been diluted by countless generations of genetic mixing and consequent 'blanding', people are looking more and more like other people than any period since the Biblical era (in all honesty, how many different 'looks' can you sport with a full beard at age 530?)  In addition to that, genetic alteration has made cloning not only a possibility, but a really cool idea for a Halloween costume.  However, we live in a world where identity theft is prominent, and pretending to be a celebrity might get you a few free drinks at a local dive bar.  How can you protect yourself?  By what I like to call the three 'tions'

The first step is detection.  You need to be able to tell if these people are truly dopplegangers and not simply people that vaguely resemble you.  And there are countless ways to detect imposters, as learned by television and movies.  First, we take the movie "Face Off"  The way to trace if someone has stolen your face and is masquerading as you is to follow a trail of terrible terrible acting.  If people come up to you and say: "That Guy You Know, I saw you the other day, and MAN you couldn't even ask for directions in a convincing fashion!  Are you okay?"  That's a clue.  Pretty soon, the trail will lead you to someone who is hopelessly unable to mimic a telephone conversation with no one on the other line, or needs someone to spray him with mace to elicit even a single tear on film.  Then you will have found your guy.  ;
Another method is illustrated in the old Star Trek television show (no, not the one with Captain Janeway, the older one.  No, not with 7 of 9 either.  Older.  Picard?  Gahh!  Does ANYONE watch good TV anymore?)  In the old days, when your evil clone existed, he was quite easy to spot, as he had more facial hair than you.  This is not gender specific.  If you have an evil mirror image, (s)he would not only be doing evil, but would be doing it while sporting no less than a goatee, and likely an entire VanDyke, or in situations where the regular you already had a full beard, (s)he would have the uncommon neck-man-chu or the downright rare foreheadburns. 
A third way to discover your too-significant other is illustrated in the movie "Twins".  Look for Danny Devito.  He's your doppleganger.

The second step is eradication.  As you mention, That Guy, your doppleganger is either a chef or a heavy metal artist.  He's TRICKY to pin down, in other words.  But he's up to no good, I can assure you.  There have been very few documented cases of identity theft being used to raise money for starving children or raise starving children for kicks.  So how do you get rid of your evil twin?  Simply, find your biggest strengths, for they will inversely be his biggest weaknesses.  Then stab him in the sense of humor.  Done.  Gone.  Or stab him in the ability to listen (meaning his ear).  Or stab her in the boobs if yours are fantastic.  And if they are, please send photographic proof

The final step is prevention.  How can you prevent yourself from being cloned, stoned or blown like glass?  Can't help the second two in this issue, and cloning prevention is a little tricky.  First off, you need to make sure none of your tissues or cloning materials (skin, mucus, hair, loose DNA) are accessible.  You can do this by encasing yourself in a thin, pliable cylinder made of mercury or, if possible, diamond.  This will keep your reproducibles intact and leave all the mad scientists scratching their proverbial heads (which are likely alive in some futuristic device, or a breadbox). 
Another way to prevent someone wanting to replicate your beautiful beautiful head is to make it somehow less desirable - to the point where NOBODY would want to look vaguely like you.  Models include: Melissa Rivers, Andy Rooney, ex-president Rutherford B. Hayes, the Scion...etc.  You can do this with make-up, surgery, genetic manipulation, or, if you have a truly skilled artisan, a very very good pencil sketch. 

Before you know it, the world will be rid of more yous, which is really what I'm trying to accomplish here.  One is, I daresay, more than sufficient. 

That wraps this one up.  My mailbox has been pretty musty and unloved. 
Show it some love

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