Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Other Mister Fogg

Before the holidays hit us, I had been swimming. Now that we're in the free and clear and I'm not attending parties, gatherings, and gift-giving festivities every other night (all of which conspire to throw me off my groove), I've resumed swimming.

I swim at the Hulsey Wellness Center at Southern Adventist University. To enter, you have to "buzz in" using a finger print scanner. I went in, knowing the receptionist was going to tell me that my membership had expired and I was going to need to pay. Instead she looked at her computer, a little confused, and said, "try again."

I did.

Her eyebrows furrowed, she clicked, and said, "try again."

I did.

She shook her head, her dark ponytail whipping this way and that. "So weird," she said. "The computer keeps saying you're someone you're not. Hold on. Let me go get my boss."

She gets up, bounds down from her pedastel, and disappears into her boss' office. Disappear might be a strong word, as the wall that divided her boss' office from the atrium was entirely glass. He dropped what he was doing and followed his young employee back to the desk.

"It keeps saying he's Mister Fogg -- but he's not Mister Fogg."

Her boss smiled. I didn't know his name, but I recognized him. We had seen each other in here before. "There's a simple way to fix this," he said to her and then turned to me. "Are you Mister Fogg?"

"I am." I nodded with a smile.

"No you're not!" the worker accused.

"Well I'm a Mister Fogg."

"Oh," she said, blushing and sinking down into her chair. "You're Thomas Fogg?"

"Thomas Scott Fogg," I replied. "Yes I am. Mister Fogg is my father."

"So sorry," she said, refusing to make eye contact. "Go right in."


  1. At least you can laugh about it. I -- on the other hand -- am patiently saving my pennies to one day hire a hit man, all the while carefully writing down the names and particulars of every upstart salesgirl who calls me "Ma'am."