I’ve recently found myself plunged head first into another baffling mystery from the Stygian depths of the Solano County Hall of Justice.
And it all comes down to a simple question to which I have yet to find an adequate answer:
Perhaps I should explain.
(Sure, why not?)
The mystery began to unfold on an overcast afternoon about three weeks ago when a complete stranger sidled up to me near the entrance to the stately structure and quietly asked, “Are you Marty?”
No big deal, right?
I immediately shrugged the whole incident off as nothing more than a simple case of mistaken identity. That happens a lot at the Hall of Justice and, unless the person asking has an arrest warrant with your name on it, there’s really nothing much to worry about.
But then it happened again.
I have to admit that I’m growing just a tad bit concerned about the situation, particularly about exactly who Marty might be and why so many people seem to be looking for him in a kind of general, catch-as-catch-can manner.
I mean, it’s one thing if folks are looking for good ol’ Marty to thank him for his many years of selfless service to mankind or, perhaps, to return his two-carat diamond pinkie ring.
On the other hand, we’re talking the Hall of Justice here, so Marty’s just as likely to be a difficult-to-identify felon wanted by the FBI, CIA and FFA (not necessarily in that order).
Or perhaps our high-living pal Marty owes a bundle of cash to an ill-tempered gambler with a name like Jimmy Tri-Tip.
Marvelous. Simply marvelous…
Right now I’m hoping that I just bear a strong resemblance to a generic Marty kind of guy – you know, aviator glasses, walrus-like mustache and a waistline that proudly proclaims “I love burritos!”
Not that this really helps me very much, since a general sort of Martyness could just as easily be the aforementioned benefactor-of-mankind Marty, the depraved-serial-killer Marty or, perhaps, the I-owe-a-bundle-to-the-mob Marty.
I suppose I could start wearing one of those little stick-on name tags that proclaim “Hello! I’m —-” and then write on it in bold letters NOT MARTY.
To be realistic, though, nobody really pays much attention to those little name tags.
Former California Gov. Gray Davis wore one for years but very few people believed he was really the governor.
Now they don’t even believe he’s Gray Davis.
It’s beginning to look like the only hope I have to maintain my own identity is to make a desperate personal plea to Marty, wherever – and whomever – he may be:
Please come on down to the Hall of Justice at your earliest convenience and make your presence abundantly visible.
(And lose the mustache, amigo – it makes you look like a walrus …)
Originally published May 23, 2004