I’m walking around town the other day and someone’s standing in front of the shopping mall looking like a gatekeeper. He wears the face of Sri Lanka or India or something not African and looks real familiar. I can’t figure it out. Did I work with him at the bakery on Bernard street or was I drunk one night at the 7/11 and we talked gibberish?
I surrender the investigation maybe too quickly, but I’m no detective; preferring far fetched theories like the creation room or gene factory where we come from not being endless. Yeh, there’s repetition in the manufacturing of human beings, a shortage of supplies because even a dog’s nose sometimes resembles a human one.
And then there are times when two people look so damn alike that it’s downright spooky. And when they hang out in the same town, it gets twilight zone-ish and when they play on two professional sports teams in that same town it feels like we’re under attack from highly intelligent beings.
Geoff Jenkins played outfield for the Milwaukee Brewers and hit plenty of home runs-151 over a 10 year period including the organization’s bottom of the beer barrel years from 2001 to 2004. The Brewers lost 94, 106, 94, and 94 games during that span, but thank you Jenkins for hitting 85 home runs. Yep, the Brewers were real bad making it a delicious and ripe moment for far fetched ideas. No one wanted to know facts or truth so we entertained each other with ridiculous ideas.
We convinced ourselves that Packer’s All Pro quarterback Brett Favre was doing double duty as the Brewer’s outfielder. Yep, He was one upping Bo Jackson and playing NFL football and MLB baseball simultaneously on the same September Sunday afternoons. Favre was a Packer every year Jenkins was a Brewer. And to make the situation even freakier or more plausible, Jenkins was released by the Brewers after the 2007 baseball season, the same year Favre announced the first of a few retirements.
I first experienced the two face phenomena in 1977 when I opened a pack of Topps baseball cards and Randy Jones appeared to me. He pitched in San Diego which just as easily could have been Timbuktu since the Padres enjoyed next to no national attention.
At that point, I hadn’t seen the 1971 movie Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but I knew all about the actor playing Wonka. Gene Wilder grew up in Milwaukee and attended Washington High School; same one as my best friend’s father. He showed us a picture from the movie and well, I kind of started Jonesing out.
Then a few years later it happened again while watching reruns of Three’s Company. Mr. Roper. Yeh, the dirty old man; the husband of Mrs. Roper who wore those free flowing hippy dresses. That Mr. Roper was looking a hell of a lot like the painter Pablo Picasso.
I never took any of these two facers very seriously. It was just kind of funny or strange and gave me a light hearted feeling that life was a big joke or dream and that we were just passing through with these borrowed noses and ears for a little while and then that’s that.