From One Michael to Another

Text of a recent letter, sent along with a package. Story contained herein.

Dear Michael,

Greetings. My name is Michael Wolf. Your name is Michael Woolf. We’re amid an adventure in (sort of) co-nominality!

You have recently become part of a large repository of stories involving others who share my name. For whatever reasons, every few years, I seem to stumble into a situation in which shenanigans follow when I come across another Michael Wolf/Woolf/Wolff/Wolfe. Just to share a few highlights:

  • At 16, I was thrown out of a restaurant by a manager named Michael Wolf. His name was displayed prominently on a nametag, and noting this did nothing to endear me to him. In retrospect he was in the right. My friends and I were behaving idiotically.
  • At 23, I was robbed by someone named Michael Wolf. I moved out of a flat in the summer of 1993, but my bank continued to send correspondence to my old address. It seems to defy reason, but the person who moved into that flat immediately after me was also named Michael Wolf. I know this because my bank sent him a new debit card and he proceeded to withdraw all my savings in the course of a single day. (I got to meet him in court later!)
  • At 28, I finished my PhD and got some of my first teaching jobs. This led to my being listed on a number of university websites as “Dr. Michael Wolf.” This coincided with a peak in the popularity of another Dr. Michael Wolf, who claimed to have special insider knowledge about alien control of the worlds’ governments and “black ops” technologies on which he had worked that were obtained from UFOs. I got to meet many, many, many of his friends via email. At least they were generally nice. (If you google “Dr. Michael Wolf,” pages about him are the top few hits.)

The stories go on like these. Well, I say “like these” as though there is some rationally discernible pattern to them, when cumulatively they start to seem like a Monty Python bit. At any rate, our stories intersect this past week. I was in Dublin at UCD to attend the Summer Institute in American Philosophy, where I was giving a talk on a book I’m writing. You, I gather, were there around the same time. Friends of mine came across your Moleskine notebook. They collectively agreed that they should make sure it got back to Michael Wolf (me, not you). A trip to a pub was delayed while others searched for me. When we finally crossed paths, a friend of mine confidently handed me the notebook. “What’s this?” I asked. Your notebook, they answered. “No it isn’t,” I assured them. Then they directed me to the front page, and I said, “Well, the fates are clearly telling me that I should get this back to Michael” (you, not me). So, you will find your Moleskine enclosed. Welcome to the repository.

If you like, look me up on Facebook. It’s best to search for me by my full name – Michael Padraic Wolf – since there are a whole fucking lot of Michael Wolfs out there, as we both know.

Best wishes,

Michael P. Wolf (me, not you)

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