Self-Aggrandizement By Mail

My Dad has a wonderful story about a loyal secretary, Marla, working at his company during the late 1970s. Marla'd been with him for more than 10 years, and one day walked into his office and mentioned that she wanted business cards. What Marla wants, Marla gets, Dad thought, and so set to the task of ordering them.

"Most people have a title printed on their business card, Marla," he said. "What would you like your title to be?"

She thought for a moment, and then replied, deadpan: "Well, I've always wanted to be a Supreme Commander."

Dad bit his lip, nodded, and filled out the form. The finished cards read:

MARLA JENKINS
Supreme Commander
AirCore Industries
555-6798

Marla, if you ask me, was a genius. One of my many perverse pleasures is to follow her lead by dreaming up impossible titles and affiliations for myself. It makes filling out all those boring HTML Name-Address-Company forms much more amusing. Presented here are some of my favorites:


Sean Ragan, Antipope.
Not to mention the one and true.
Address all inquiries to Daryl Revok.

Kudos to the people at ReadyMade; somebody actually wrote this one out by hand.
Sean Ragan, Executive Member of the Club of Rome.
Sean Ragan, Dark Lord of the Sith.
Send in the nuns!
His Holiness, Sean Ragan.
TO: Sean Ragan at Allied Invasion Headquarters, Europe.
I was going for that masonic feel, here. (See below.)
For he IS...
Hail to the friggin' chief.
Sure. Why not?
This one's for you, Marla.
Sean Ragan C/O the Trilateral Commission. (CAUTION! CONTAINS ONTOLOGICAL WASTE!)
I give you Herr Ragan, the ubermensch.

update

I was running out of titles to bestow upon myself when I happened across a marvelous list in Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum. I quote the entire thing here, and I'll soon begin working my way through it:

Prince of Babylon, Knight of the Black Cross, Knight of Death, Sublime Master of the Luminous Ring, Priest of the Sun, Grand Architect, Knight of the Black and White Eagle, Holy Royal Arch, Knight of the Phoenix, Knight of Iris, Priest of Eleusis, Knight of the Golden Fleece

-High Grades of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite

Another point I wanted to make: This trick may seem like sheer egotistical tomfoolery (it is), but there is a side benefit, which is that you can deduce who's selling your name on a mailing list, and who's not. When I get a piece of mail addressed to me as "Antipope," for example, I can check my files and determine that such-and-so company knows me by that title, and therefore that it must have been them who sold my information. I can then send them a nasty letter and maybe get some free stuff for complaining.

9.2.2003



A case in point:  I have never had dealings with OfficeMax, and yet the know me as 'Dark Lord of the Sith.' Looking back, I see that Quadratec, Inc., knows me by that title.  Now I know who's selling my name on a mailing list.
I like this one.  It's subtle, with a charming humility.
Hard evidence that somebody, specifically Gempler's (see above), has been selling my name on a mailing list.
Gempler's has apparently sold my name to a lot of folks.  They already agreed once to take me off their 'rent' list; I wonder if I can make them buy back my name from everyone they sold it to?

iamanangelchaser@yahoo.com

2006-4-18

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