Freudian Slips: Dead Ringer of an Impersonation

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

April 11, 2006

Dead Ringer of an Impersonation

In 2005, a newspaper ran a human interest story about the sports memorabilia in my home. From a splotch of newsprint, I attracted short-lived notoriety, fans, and business inquiries. Pollard Redksin is one such ardent Philadelphia sports fan. He finagled an ingenious way to get my home phone number, which is not listed under my name. Pollard telephoned to congratulate me on my memorabilia collection and super fan status. I took the call. We talked sports and I kept things impersonal. I could never really figure out what Pollard wanted other than him wanting to become my best friend. The call raised a red flag the size of Kansas. I made sure the surveillance cameras in and around our home passed diagnostics.
In a subsequent call, Pollard connived one of my kids into surrendering my cell phone number. That is when the real fun began. I felt like a hostage to his regular calls to talk sports but I always gave him respect and as much distance as humanely possible. I figured he would go away. After two weeks, the frequency of phone calls subsided then it all came to a screeching halt. Pollard must have found a better friend is all I wish to say.
Fourteen months later, I am alone in my car and for no reason Pollard Redskin comes to mind. Pollard Redskin’s nasal voice remained etched in my hard wiring. Pollard owned the affliction of an annoying voice that a hearing impaired person wouldn’t forget. How can I describe his unmistakable voice? Humm, if Gilbert Godfrey called me without introducing himself I would still know it was him. All things pertaining to Pollard resurrected: his uncommon name, his unusual voice, even his exalted story of mingling with greatness when he stole former Philadelphia Eagles Vaughn Hebron’s used napkin at a restaurant. Without rehearsal, I did a damned good impersonation of Pollard's voice. I did it aloud so that my ears could get feedback in the quiet car. I adlibbed the following contrived speech:
“Joe, your buddy Pollard Redskin here. You probably don’t remember me but a little over a year ago you and I almost were friends. You mentioned in passing that you were looking for a specific picture of Pelle Lindberg, God rest his soul. I happened to obtain that exact photo and I wouldn’t mind dropping it off. Maybe I can finally see your house…”
A spooky dead ringer of an impersonation, I stopped the conversation when my voice sounded more like Pollard Redskin’s than my memory of him. I got home and not five minutes into the house the phone rang. It was not Pollard Redskin but my youngest brother. I recently hooked my brother up with the South Jersey Paranormal Research group. As a fledgling member, my brother had just concluded his first investigation. My brother shared his exuberance and we began to talk about psychic phenomenon. I told my brother of my casual interest but trumping reluctance in becoming an investigator with the same paranormal group. We grew up in a house where irony, coincidence, the unusual, and the unexplained were normal occurrences. I told my brother that outside of relentless irony, I have been successful at somehow quieting the occurrences of my childhood. I told my brother to have a good time storming Frankenstein’s castle but to leave me out of the chase. I related that the last thing I wanted to have happen was to be followed home by a goblin or for some discarnate demon to take residence in a balding social worker turned hack ghostbuster. After our lively conversation concluded and before I even had time to let go of that receiver, the phone rang again. When I read the name of Pollard Redskin in the Caller ID box, I freaked out. Incredulous, I started to run probability odds as I answered the phone in a soft worried voice. Pollard Redskin proceeded to repeat almost verbatim what I thought I had invented in the car leaving me to wonder who was zooming who?
“Joe, your buddy Pollard Redskin here. You probably don’t remember me but a little over a year ago you and I almost were friends. You mentioned in passing that you were looking for a specific picture of Pelle Lindberg, God rest his soul. I happened to obtain that exact photo and I wouldn’t mind dropping it off. Maybe I can finally see your house…”
What started out as a human interest story led to a supernatural event. I made one lousy referral to a paranormal group and the eerie stuff returned. I hope the forces at work accept my brother as human sacrifice and leave me the hell alone.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I normally do not take interest in someone else's misfortunes or should I say undesirables, but I must make this an exception.

The "forces at work" that Joe humbly refers to was a supernatural telegram. This special telegram was meant to tell Joe that he is a 'wimp'. The only human sacrafice will be his own unless he deals with those demons within by allowing God into his life.

12:59 AM  
Anonymous et said...

Wow! Though your story is good, Joe, and well written, the wow is not for your story, it’s for anonymous’ comment! “Allowing God into his life”

Anonymous should go join that pink haired lady; the one who doesn’t know Tunisia from Tsunami (from that TV religious show.) she wants everybody to send her their money because she and God share the same bank account! Anonymous should take the sequoia splinter out of their eyes and be still and know the Lord! Don’t you just love sanctimonious people!!!!

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Antarro said...


Fascinating story. That happens to me all to frequently. Pollard, or whatever his real name is, needs to find himself a new type of hobby and stop being so damn intrusive. The "shadows" may have to convince him of that soon.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous T said...

I am always curious of people who impose their obtuse views of God. It is difficult for me to beleive that God was using a paranormal event, such as precognition, to simply call someone a "wimp". It's simply amazing that you immediately accept the event as viable, yet condemn the recipient for not having God in his life. If the message came by way of a celestial and omnipitent force, as you claim, you would have to admit that God is already in his life. But, it seems that God isn't in his life the way you would like or believe. As far as demons are concerned, God gives us the ability and power to combat inner turmoil via loving family, friends and free will. The next time you feel the need to quote your God, look in a mirror and say it to yourself. If you still believe it warrants repeating, feel free to include it your prayers. I would like to have been able to quote a relevant piece of scripture for you at this point, but I was unable to secure a passage that includes: "Thou art a Jackass."

12:49 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Take a chill pill here. Although I do not know the identity of Anonymous, I bet the person was joking and not being sanctimonious.
Thanks for the discussion, everyone.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous T said...

I have been on a steady regimen of chill pills for several months now. That's as good as it gets. Your welcome, though.

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Marcus said...

"Whatcha going to do!" or should I say "Who you going to call....ghostbusters" When you start seeing numbers float around in your head..give us all a heads up so we can play the lottery.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

i see three numbers in your future. 610...WIP

5:05 PM  
Blogger Weary Hag said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post!

One of my sisters and I enjoy a slightly telephathic relationship with one another. Many times, we have called one another only to find our lines busy - because we were calling one another. This might not seem odd unless you take into account the fact that we only called one another about three times per year, and on no significant dates. (and yes, this was back in the days of busy signals)

On several occasions, we also wrote one another describing a movie we rented and watched, only to find that our crossing letters were almost identical - right down to the dates we watched the same movie, as well as our own descriptions AND opinions of it.

About five years ago, via the Internet, I ran into an old high school friend of this same sister. (they are both now in their 50s) I called my sister to send regards and she gasped telling me that just the night before, she was looking through her old high school yearbook and commented to someone about this very friend. She hadn't looked at the yearbook in about 20 years.

I get a kick out of this stuff - though I never really attributed it to any specific type of force.

(NOTE: chill pill left neatly on the counter here - I instead chose reached for restraint)

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Joe

Chances are pretty good that a guy with the name "Redskin" and is an Eagles probably a nutjob. Just my humble opinion as a Skins fan and your buddy Mike

7:08 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

cool stuff you wrote. I don't know how far you have delved in my archives but there are a few of these post laying aorund.

7:54 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

If you give me your number, I'll have him call you. lol

7:56 PM  
Blogger Maja said...

That's slightly creepy but kinda cool! Makes for a great story, and of course, it's well written, too :)

12:39 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

just a coincidence, right?

12:07 PM  

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