I have known of the existence of another Matt Hooban for some time now.
It's a strange sensation, going through the day-to-day business of your life with the knowledge that somewhere else in the world, someone else is going through the day-to-day business of his life being called the same name as you. Just the fact of Matt Hooban's existence used to sit there in my brain like a splinter. "What am I up to today?" I used to wonder, and "could the other Matt Hooban be having more fun being me than I'm having?"
But it wasn't until my obsessive need to take control of my identity hit a fever pitch after my 31st birthday that I decided to track him down and find out.
Now, when I say "take control of my identity," I'm talking about being the first Matt Hooban that comes up when you search for "Matt Hooban" on Google. For years, the other Matt Hooban had that honor, thanks to a stage production called "Soiled" for which he apparently designed all the way back in '03, when I was busy writing online tours of the flora in my backyard.
But it's not exactly like I've been slouching here. My highly acclaimed website, Now Is The Time For All Good Antelopes To Come To The Aid Of Their Banana has been up, running, and updated on a completely irregular basis for four years now. So why was the imposter Matt Hooban still beating me in the Google listings?
Part of the problem was the name of my website itself. Notice that it makes no mention of "Matt Hooban" anywhere in there. As it turns out, this was a critical mistake. Live and learn, I guess.
Anyway, Matt and I jockeyed for years as the top Matt Hooban in the Google results, and my frustration continued to grow. Who was this masked Matt? Why had he made no attempt to contact me when I had clearly gone out of my way to make myself both popular and accessible? Was he really so secure or just not vain enough to even bother Google'ing himself? "What," I asked myself, "is going on in America?"
But Matt Hooban - and by Matt Hooban, I mean the other Matt Hooban - doesn't live in America. He lives in Leeds. I'm pretty sure that's in England, but I only have an American public school education, so it could be anywhere. And I know he lives there because he told me.
See, Matt made a fatal error in judgment, and decided to post some Hooban-related information on a genealogy website, where he left his e-mail address as well. The genealogy site appeared on page 2 of the Matt Hooban Google results listing - territory into which I had previously been shy about venturing. But turning 31 will do some weird things to your brain. It'll make you go insane. Just to relieve the pain.
So I e-mailed him.
And as it turns out, he seems like a nice guy. Doesn't that just figure, though? Before I met Matt Hooban, I can safely say that all the Matt Hoobans I knew were right on the top of my list of the nicest guys in the whole wide world. So far, I think we're 2-for-2.
Matt's response e-mail to me was also laden with this very interesting fact: bananas, according to Matt Hooban, can walk up to six feet every year. It may sound hard to believe, but I have no problem assuming that Matt Hooban is a credible source. Frankly, I believe just about anything Matt Hooban tells me.