Doppelgängers:  A Matter of National Security?

First, I offer this disclaimer. By putting “national security” in the title of this blog, I wonder briefly if this will land me and my blog on the Homeland Security Watch List. The thought of someone watching me seems quite titillating, especially if that person looks like James Bond (Sean Connery, of course—the one true Bond) or Matt Damon as Jason Bourne. Truthfully, at my advanced age I would be honored if the current Sean Connery was stalking me. Let’s face it. Like a fine wine, he has aged well. Not that I have much experience with aged wine. Or fine wine, for that matter. (Mental note: take up wine tasting as a retirement hobby.)

Sean . . . then
Sean . . . now!

If the CIA or FBI takes an interest in watching me, we are truly in trouble as a nation. So, what is my concern about doppelgängers? I must admit that I had not heard the term “doppelgänger” until I saw an episode based on them on How I Met Your Mother.

Here is a Websterian-style definition of doppelgänger:

an apparition or double of a living person.

Sometimes we refer to this as an evil twin or body double or alter ego. I really like the word doppelgänger because it is a long verbose word (see my blog on June 1, 2014, Words, Sweet Words) AND it has that sexy ä in the middle. In the plot lines of How I Met Your Mother, over the years the five main characters had all spied doppelgängers of each other . . . at least of four of the five. Barney remained elusive and when they did feel they found his doppelgänger, it was always Barney, disguised in a new attempt to seduce women.

Lily, Marshall, Ted, Robin and Barney . . . How we miss them!

Although the entire idea of doppelgängers seems like a game, it has been taken quite seriously over the years . . . many years, actually. The word doppelgänger is borrowed from the German language consisting of two nouns Doppel (double) and Gänger (walker or goer). The application by English-speakers of this German word to the paranormal dates to a best-selling book on paranormal phenomena, Catherine Crowe’s The Night-Side of Nature (1848), which helped make the German word well-known. However the concept itself, of alter egos and double spirits, has appeared in the folklore, myths, religious concepts, and traditions of many cultures throughout human history. Usually this has been in a sinister form . . . often foreboding of disaster for the person. So, there you have my concern for our national security after noticing the following particularly striking doppelgänger.

Below is a picture of Mike Morrell. He is a past deputy director of the CIA and has been acting director twice before he retired “to spend more time with his family.”

Mike Morrell . . . serious as the CIA
Mike Morell with his Geoge McFly smile

Oh sure, Mike! We all know who your family is . . . The McFlys! You can’t fool me. I hereby expose your little ruse by posting this picture of George McFly.

George McFly, no CIA worries here

“Seriously? You think I’m CIA?” [snort-snort]
Realizing that the apple rarely falls too far from the tree, let’s assume that Mike Morrell is actually Marty McFly, George’s son (played by Michael J. Fox in the Back to the Future movies). Nice try . . . with the matchy-matchy initials . . . MM. Mike Morrell/Marty McFly. Exposed. BAM!

Shortly after discovering this, I was acutely aware of the uncanny resemblance of my former boss, Linda Booth, to Lily Tomlin. When I tuned in to see the Kennedy Center Honors, I thought, “Holy Cow! Linda Booth is getting the medal tonight!” But alas, it turned out to be Lily Tomlin. Or is it? (I hear a sinister dum-dum-dum . . . . ) If you know Linda, you know what a great multi-tasker she is and how well she handles volumes of work. Could she really be sustaining an acting career on the side? You decide . . . .

Lily . . . wearing clothes that look just like WWLW (What Would Linda Wear!)
Linda Booth . . . Linda/Lily . . . There’s that matchy-matchy initial thing again.

If this is, in fact, one and the same person, who is wearing the wig??

Then there is the wonderful, sweet and talented Sara Tubbesing. I met Sara over ten years ago and was stunned by her resemblance to Susan Sarandon. (I must point out that like Mike and Marty, Linda and Lily, Sara’s maiden name was Shedd, thus promoting that eerie use of double initials . . . SS for Sara Shedd/Susan Sarandon. Perhaps she is hiding her fame with that Tubbesing initial T. Hmmm.) Sara is an educator, a musician (sing, Sara, sing!), and fabulously funny. Up to the time I met Sara, I had a bias against Susan Sarandon, thinking she was snobby and full of herself. After I met Sara, I dearly loved Susan Sarandon. I’m sure she can sing like Sara and she just HAS to be nice. Well, maybe not as nice as Sara . . . but let’s just say that the lines blur at times.

The terminally adorable Sara Tubbesing
Sara wannabe, Susan Sarandon

Last but not least in my discovery of the unnerving coincidence of look-alikes in my daily walk, this is perhaps the most disconcerting. One day, as I sat in my office looking out on the World Plaza (see blog on May 13, 2014, Missing Dexter, for a view from my window), I saw my son, Scott, walking toward the building. He was about a half-block away, but I saw him clearly! My heart soared! He was living in Colorado (still does), so how could he be here? Obviously he had secretly come to town and was surprising me. The closer he came to the building, the louder and happier my heart pounded. When he got about 15-feet from my window I realized that it was actually John Chatburn. The nerve! Impersonating my son like that. And John is such a nice guy. In fact, here is how nice John rolls: when I asked permission to use his likeness on this blog he wrote, “Glad I could bring you good thoughts about Scott without even realizing it.” [Scott, take note. You better be nice if you are running around impersonating John Chatburn. Love, Mom.]

CHIW 008 (2011) John Chatburn
The Kindly and Dashing John Chatburn. (If only I could have given Scott that chin!)
My second born (sorry, fuzzy pic)

Quick test: Scott or John? Correct answers can win you a free subscription to this blog. Oh. Really? It’s already free?

Scott Watkins or John Chatburn? Only their mothers know for sure. Oh yes, and their wives.

I suppose some of you who are reading this may have, at some time in your lives, been identified as someone else, thus tipping you off to your possible doppelgängers. Twice I have been accosted in elevators by people thinking I was a nurse they knew (Doppelgänger Rosemary Simkins, RN in Denver and Doppelgänger Anne Welch, RN in Independence MO). Rather than finding this disturbing in a bump-in-the-night kind of way, I felt flattered and suddenly wistful that I wasn’t a nurse. Oh well. Do I have a current doppelgänger? Do you?? Listen to the words of a cast member from How I Met Your Mother for some comforting words about YOUR own personal look-alike:

We’ve all been searching for the five doppelgängers, right? Well eventually, over time, we all become our own doppelgängers. These completely different people who just happen to look like us. Five years ago? That girl was pretty great. But doppelgänger Robin? She’s amazing.

Amen to all you amazing friends out there!

Julianne or Jane?? So difficult!!!
Jane or Julianne? Very confusing.

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