|He probably said: "Can't miss me, I'll be reading Carol Shields"; what are the chances, eh?
||[Aug. 8th, 2016|10:41 pm]
Owing to advances in technology and its applications, practices are developing here which are established traditions elsewhere. The arbitrary matchmaking effect inherent in gathering at licensed premises is now being supplanted by methods more contrived, but no less random.|
The way we did it before: presence preceded possibility; now it's vice versa. People have to go by pictures to begin with, which I understand are not always reliable.
"Are you Scott? I'm ____"*
I was impressed by her good manners: when I told her I was not Scott, she had the politeness not to look relieved. She went away and took a seat from which she could glance from her phone to the door and back.
I was waiting for a friend. He was delayed, but I had my drink and my book and I was happy.
I wondered what Scott was like: how closely might he resemble me, what was his outlook on life. Punctuality not his strong point perhaps.
"You're not Scott? 'Cause if you are... it's not funny."
She was back again.
I carry an identity card bearing my name and likeness. The card also displays a logo: an improbably elongated lion, on its hind legs and wearing a crown, and a unicorn, also rampant, and unselfconscious of its mythical status. Despite this lurid cartoon, people usually find the card plausible.**
If ___ was convinced too, when I showed it to her, then only just: her gaze flicked sceptically between the face on the front of my card and the face on the front of my head.
She also took a good look at the book*** on the counter in front of me, as if in question: would Scott read this? I was tempted to recommend it to her, since she was gawping at the thing, and maybe to add some value to this otherwise disappointing encounter. But on reflection, best not to prolong the exchange. I was not Scott, nor near offer.
My friend arrived before she left. I told him what had passed between us. He wanted to stay. He wanted to see Scott too.
*A name a bit more distinctive than 'Scott'.
**Like our Foreign Secretary (joke).
***An anthology of Alice Munro short stories; I thought the maple leaf design on the cover was a bit much, but they really were quite Canadian.