Several weeks ago, I made the mistake of answering a telemarketing call. I knew it was a telemarketer, but he said the magic words and I got suckered in.
For the record, the magic words are "free vacation," not "free porn," though admittedly I might have stayed on the line for the latter.
I answered a few survey questions about my laundry detergent preferences, and spelled my name so they could properly process my free Caribbean cruise. Moments later, I received an email confirming my fantasy vacation.
"Dear Thomas Wanski," the message began.
I can understand how someone with hearing loss and a good tequila buzz might think that sounds remarkably similar to Tawna Fenske. But I spelled my name several times, including for my email address, which they obviously got right.
I replied with a correction, and assumed that would be the end of it. I didn't really expect to get that Caribbean cruise, but I also didn't expect to get an onslaught of phone calls for my new alter-ego.
"Is Thomas Wanski there?" chirped the cheerful telemarketer who called several days later.
"There's no such person as Thomas Wanski," I explained. "You've got my name spelled wrong in your database. I'm Tawna Fenske."
There was a long pause. "I see. So do you know when Mr. Wanski will be available?"
I corrected the first 15 or 20 people who called asking for Thomas Wanski and asked to be removed from the calling list. Now I just ignore any calls from 800 numbers. Still, part of me likes the idea of having Thomas Wanski as my alter ego. It might even make a nice psedonym if I decide to branch out and write crime thrillers or become a male porn star.
This isn't the first time I've been renamed as a result of poor transcription. Once a month, I receive a lovely cooking magazine adorned with the following label:
I've actually grown rather fond of that one, and like to imagine Tauina Fenski as the star of her own risque cooking show. She wears nothing but a smile and a checkered apron, and has two dozen creative uses for truffle oil.
What's the weirdest name change you've been given as a result of someone misspelling your real name? Please share!
I'll be busy writing a new romantic comedy starring Thomas Wanski and Tauina Fenski. I'm pretty sure it's going to be a bestseller.