Double Take

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

I was stunned one afternoon driving up Highway 400 to see myself on the road ahead of me. The license plate on a black Chevrolet SUV read J Foster. Now I know ‘Foster’ is a fairly common name. There are thousands of us in Ontario alone. I personally know two other Jim Fosters but I knew it wasn’t either one of them. I know that because the three of us together couldn’t afford a vanity license plate and if we had one we would have to share it and pass it around whenever one of us had to go somewhere, which may not be quite legal and certainly not convenient if we all wanted to go to the liquor store at the same time.

Naturally I had to take a good look at myself and pulled up alongside at exactly 100 kph. (I wrote that in case an OPP officer sees this column – not likely but you never know) I was stunned to see that not only did I not look like me; I was a woman, and quite a handsome woman I was at that, which  of course didn’t surprise me, because after all she is a Foster.

Rather than look like a silly ass by waving like a maniac or blowing my horn, I just let her drive on blissfully unaware of how close she was to seeing me, her namesake. Instead she just looked straight ahead like a normal person instead of some crackpot gawking in everyone else’s windows.

But later I regretted that decision for she might have wanted to see what she would she would have looked like had she been born a man.

Folk wisdom, such as it is, tells us that we all have an exact double somewhere in the world. I used to think mine was Robert Redford but the last few pictures I have seen of him suggest he has become an old geezer so I guess I was wrong.

Didn’t I read somewhere that American presidents and other world leaders often travel with stunt doubles so if someone wants to take a shot at them the double is the guy who gets blown away? If that is the case Donald Trump and Boris Johnson could be doubles for each other. Just a suggestion mind you, but I think they better start walking around with a bag over their heads since there must be hundreds out there gunning for either one of them. And by the way, one or the other should get a new barber, perhaps both

I think I heard this right a few days ago, CBC Two’s Tom Allen said that someone published a picture of Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame on Dimitri Shostakovich’s birthday since he is a dead ringer for the late Russian composer. That may well be true but I’m sure I could tell one from the other if they walked into this room. For one thing, Daniel is 30 and Dimitri would be 103 and his suit would be 70 years out of style. On the other hand so is mine so I guess I would have to ask to see their driver’s licenses.

I have known twins who were remarkably alike yet there was always something a tiny bit different about them and I had no trouble telling one from the other. Sometimes though, one twin can pass themselves off as the other, particularly in public school when they were little kids and their mothers dressed them the same, but not so much as they grow older.  I once dated twins and they fooled me for a month or two, but one night as I was kissing one goodnight I realised she was at least 6 inches taller than the other. I never noticed the moustache before either.  

I was looking up famous look-alikes one afternoon, hoping I might look like someone notable other than an axe-murderer or someone high on the FBI’s Most Wanted List and was surprised to see a picture of Vladimir Putin, the Russian President when he was a teenager, and another of Home Alone actor, Macaulay Culkin. They could pass as twins. I didn’t know what to think other than I wouldn’t want either one get behind me. A word to the wise, if at the next meeting of the United Nations someone who looks like Vladimir is on the second floor and Trump is halfway up the stairs, The Donald better duck; there’s a can of paint coming right at him.

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