Glasgow, Scotland, UK • November 2015 • Length of Read: 3 Minutes
One of my all-time favourite stand-up shows is comedian Dave Gorman’s ‘Are You Dave Gorman?’ which originated as a result of a drunken bet he made with his then flatmate, the writer and television presenter, Danny Wallace.
Whilst in the pub one night, Gorman claimed that he shared the name ‘Dave Gorman’ with the assistant manager of East Fife Football Club, and boasted that, despite never having met a namesake, there must be loads of people called Dave Gorman kicking about. Danny Wallace disagreed, however, and the pair got so carried away by this throwaway comment that a few hours later they found themselves drunkenly boarding a train from London all the way to Scotland in an attempt to meet this bloke. Successfully doing so, and getting a photo with him, Gorman was so smug about the whole situation that Wallace then bet his friend that he couldn’t find a Dave Gorman for each card in a deck of playing cards (including the jokers). This led to the pair travelling all around the UK, and internationally, to try and locate said number, all whilst trying to keep within a distance travelled of 300-500 mpdg (miles per Dave Gorman). If you haven’t seen it, or read the book, then do yourself a favour and check it out as it’s absolutely hilarious. And at the same time, it also peaked my interest in wishing to meet a namesake.
Without really having to search, my opportunity arose in the winter of 2015 when an e-mail came into my work inbox. Working as an accountant at the time, I’d been assigned to perform a weekend stocktake at a company in Glasgow that constructed cranes, and noticed with amusement that my client contact went by the name of ‘Christopher Roberts’. Messaging him to get some necessary details regarding the work, we had a bit of a laugh over e-mail about our shared name, and I waited in anticipation for the rest of the week in a hope to tick off bucket list number 96. In truth, I was even a little bit nervous when walking across the car park to the reception of his offices that following Saturday morning.
“I’m here to see Christopher Roberts, please,” I said to the beaming girl behind the desk.
“Certainly, Sir,” she responded. “And can I ask your name?”
“No, I understood who you wish to see,” she replied politely, albeit slightly confused. “I just need to let Christopher know who you are.”
“We coincidentally have the same name,” I smiled as the door to her left opened and a burly man walked out.
“Christopher Roberts?” he said, reaching out to shake my hand.
“Likewise,” I said, giving it a firm shake “It’s my first time meeting a namesake.”
“Same for me,” smiled Christopher Roberts.
“I just have one question to ask you before we get down to business,” I said, curiously.
“Do you get referred to as Crobs?”
“Never,” he replied with a deadpan face.
“Thank goodness,” I breathed in a sigh of relief. “Because that nickname is reserved for me and me only.”