To be or not to be — that’s not even a question for all the people in the world who don’t want to be me. That’s why my identity has never been stolen.
I can’t say the same for my wife, Sue, who recently noticed suspicious activity on one of her credit cards, received a mysterious box containing junk she’d never ordered, and had to go to the bank to straighten the whole mess out.
I accompanied her to see what it was like to be wanted by somebody other than the police.
The drama, sponsored by a company named for a river in South America (sorry, you’re wrong, it’s not the Orinoco), began when Sue saw a charge for $54.28.
“Did you buy something?” she asked me.
I professed my innocence and said, “I wouldn’t know how.”
A few days later, a prompt parcel person plopped a package on our doorstep, made a beeline back to his truck and sped away.
Sue took the box inside and saw that her name had been misspelled.
“How could anyone misspell ‘Sue’?” I wondered.
“No,” she said with a sigh. “I mean the last name.”
It was spelled “Zezmimia.”
“Sounds like either a small country or some kind of unpleasant ointment,” I said. “Either way, I couldn’t spell the name until I was in high school.”
Sue tore open the box and discovered the contents: a fake spider’s web, five wishing lights and an insulated lunch bag.
“If someone’s going to send stuff,” Sue huffed, “they could have ordered something good.”
That prompted a call to the aforementioned company and a conversation with a very nice customer service specialist named Chanel.
“This is what they do,” she said, referring to the fraudsters who attempt to steal the identities of law-abiding citizens and, it should be noted, online shoppers like Sue. “They’ll send a package to your house using your credit card information and then take the package back before you have a chance to bring it in.”
“You were too fast for them,” I told Sue.
“Speaking of fast,” said Chanel, who cleared the charge at her company, “you should go to the bank and get a new card.”
Before you could say “Chapter 11,” Sue and I were sitting with a helpful financial solutions adviser named Daniel.
“I’m going to freeze the card,” he said after taking it from Sue.
“It’s safer than incinerating it,” I said. “You might burn the bank down.”
Daniel politely ignored the remark and said, “It’s disconcerting, to say the least.”
“If not less,” I added.
Daniel called the fraud department and spoke with a claims specialist named Max, who then spoke with Sue.
“He canceled the card,” she said after hanging up.
“I guess it was Maxed out,” I commented.
“I hate when this happens,” Daniel said, presumably referring to identity theft, though he could have been talking about my stupid jokes.
“Nobody wants my identity,” I told him.
“I can relate,” Daniel said. “I have yet to find a person who wants mine. I’m working on it.”
He looked at the computer screen and noted that Sue and I have joint banking.
“It’s so we can afford to stay in our joint,” I explained. “But after this, if I tried to get into Sue’s account, would I be arrested?”
“Yes,” said Daniel. “The cops would take both of us out in handcuffs.”
After telling Sue that she’d soon be getting a new card, Daniel warned us about credit thievery.
“It’s happened to me,” he said. “There are a bunch of wacko ding dongs out there.”
“That means I’m safe,” I said.
“How so?” Daniel asked.
“I’m a wacko ding dong,” I answered. “That’s why nobody wants my identity.”
Jerry Zezima writes a humor column for Hearst Connecticut Media Group and is the author of five books. His latest is “Every Day Is Saturday.” All are on Amazon. Email: JerryZ111@optonline.net. Blog: www.jerryzezima.blogspot.com.