Saturday, January 16, 2010

Murder most foul, as in the best it is, But this most foul, strange, and unnatural.

(That's from Hamlet, by the way.)

I settled down to work on Monday morning, creating To Do lists, checking emails, shuffling papers from one pile to another, drinking coffee, being a busy little worker bee.

And then I got a phone call.

I don't usually get too many phone calls, and when I do get them, people accuse me of just waking up from a nap because my phone persona lacks that verve that you can only get with a one-on-one LIVE David experience. So, I've grown to be hesitant to using the phone. But since it was ringing and all, I guess I had to pick it up. Besides, my cubicle mates don't need to suffer due to my phoneaphobia.

I picked it up and the conversation went something like this, though I am sure to be paraphrasing it a week after the fact.

"David Martin?"
"Yes, this is he."
"My name is Jason Tanner. Have you seen the news today?"
"Um . . . no." [Now I'm trying to think to myself . . . who is Jason Tanner? An old high school friend? A contact at a vendor that I worked with a few years ago? And why the weird question about the news?]

Jason goes on to tell me that he works with me at our place of employment. He has only been working there for about two months. But according to the news that Monday morning, I was responsible for his death.

Now, THIS is a surprise to me . . . and apparently to him as well.

Jason had been receiving concerned phone calls and worried visits to his desk all morning long. And in the conversations where he explained that, no, he had not been in a fight and shot, people remarked that there was someone else in my department with the same name as the accused gunman. Since Jason and I did not know each other and it was a remarkable coincidence that the two of us worked in the same building (but neither of us was involved in the shooting incident that occurred in our city of residence), he got my number and gave me a call.

Once all of this was explained to me, I immediately apologized to Jason for shooting him and we wished each other well. He sent me the link to the news story above and I looked up his picture in the company database.

It was all quite odd. I half expected the Human Resources department to call me halfway through the day and ask me probing questions under a heat lamp. I also wondered why people were calling Jason, all concerned that he had been killed, but no one called me to ask why I did it. No one wondered what had driven me to murderous rage at a bar. Were they afraid of me? Were they afraid that they would be next?

Of course, I tweeted about the entire affair and then I tried to go about my business, feeling sorry for the other Jason Tanner who had died from the fight.

But it got me thinking. Something like this would make for a good movie, right? A serious case of mistake identity. Something like Vertigo or that Gwyneth Paltrow movie with the subway train. Of course the screenplay would need to be written by Charlie Kaufman since he's quite adept at handing the twisty logic of misplaced identity and unknown personalities.

Later in the week I got an email that said that my very own nemesis Jason Tanner would be filling in on my project in the upcoming week. And that is when it truly hit me what was going on here.

First, there was a story about a person (me, or someone with my name) living in my town that killed someone I didn't know. How could I be accused of committing a murder, especially a murder of someone I didn't even know for a reason I could not even begin to guess?

Is it starting to sound familiar to you yet? Are you understanding the plot?

And then . . . I find out that I don't YET know the victim, but I soon will become acquainted with him in the future!

Are you there yet? Can you see what is happening?

Yep. I'm staring in Minority Report, a futuristic murder mystery directed by Steven Spielberg and starring . . . TOM CRUISE!

When I made that observation, it all made sense. Tom Cruise was setting me up. He was using the plot of one of his own films to discredit me and all of the (FUN-LOVING!) accusations I've made about his murderous rage over the years.

By making ME a murderer, Cruise hopes to deflect away from the leads I've uncovered. He hopes to ensure his own safety.

But this post can also be my anchor to protection. I've laid it out there for everyone. If anything should happen to me, remember this. I didn't do it. You KNOW I didn't do it. And now the blame is pointed back at Cruise.

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