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Business cards

“Do you play the keyboard?” asks a guy outside Balham tube with an instrument case.

“Well… yes,” I say, not entirely truthfully. I’m no live keyboardist, although I can programme the hell out of one—as, of course, could a trained puppy—but I’m keen to find out why he thinks I am.

“I thought so,” he says. “We’ve met before. At a gig in Paris.”

“Not me,” I say. “I’ve not even been to Paris, let alone a gig there.” This isn’t my first doppelganger sighting. My favourite was when my then next-door neighbour got off the tube where we lived and was so convinced that the person ahead of him in the crowd was me that he gave him a playful kick up the arse. Mayhem ensued, apparently.

My failure to be the person he thought I was doesn’t faze my new friend. “Oh, okay,” he says. “Well, I’ll be needing a keyboard player next Wednesday evening. Here’s my card. Let me know if you can make it.” I’m enjoying the idea that I could get a gig solely on the grounds that I look like someone else who can actually play their instrument.

I was confused when a couple of days later in a pub I found a card that exactly resembled his:

(The name reminds me of a Brighton shoe shop from years ago: “R Soles”. However unutterably hilarious that must have seemed to the person who coined it, how dispiriting must it have been to actually work there and have to answer the phone?)

Did Roy have two identities? Louche keyboardist by night and window cleaner and gutterer by day? It’s not unfeasible; the man who installed my oven and put my shelves up is also the tour manager for Sparks. (This is true.)

Sadly the truth is far more prosaic: both Roy and “Pane in the Glass” created their cards at Vistaprint. The design’s right there on the first page of the “free business cards” section. (And Roy appears to have printed his off without actually ordering from Vistaprint at all.) It’s almost as if these people didn’t spend any time, thought or money on their business cards at all.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 30th, 2008 11:05 pm (UTC)
Hahaha! My husband's card was exactly that when Vistaprint first emerged. Then we quickly replaced it when we discovered that every other f**ker was using Vistaprint too. We still have about five hundred of the bastard things in the loft somewhere. : )
Jul. 30th, 2008 11:39 pm (UTC)
Roy should have thought about his extreme keyboard needs when he got his card done.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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