The Fake Persona Strategy

Today’s post comes from perennial sophomore Bubby Spamden of Wendell Willkie High School.

Hi Mr. C.,

I don’t get to see much television ’cause there are so many other screens to watch I don’t have enough time for it. But I know things are different for you older folks. You still think we kids spend our nights the way you did – sprawled on the living room floor in front of the tube, with mom and dad sitting on the couch behind us.

That’s kinda sweet, I guess. But why would anyone ever lay down on the floor in front of a screen that doesn’t respond to you? Weird.

Someday you’ll have to tell me all about how it was in olden times. Maybe when I’m your age I’ll have the patience to sit and listen – can you wait that long? I suppose the math doesn’t really work out.

Anyway, that’s why I haven’t watched the TV show that’s the big deal of the moment now that “Stephen Colbert” has signed off the air to make way for Stephen Colbert, who will debut a new show on CBS in September.

If I get what people are telling me, “Stephen Colbert” is a fake know-nothing blowhard character made up by Stephen Colbert to poke fun at people who are real know-nothing blowhards.

And for this they say he’s a genius!

He also got rich doing it, and is going to get even richer in the Fall when he replaces David Letterman. But in that job he’ll be playing his real self, not his fake one.

I’m not too keen on all this using media to pretend to be someone you’re not. Does that really work? I’m pretty sure people are smart enough to see through it without much trouble, just by the language you use and the look in your eye.

But that’s just me.

Still, it does give me an interesting idea – do you think Principal Peepers would buy it if I told him that all these years I’ve spent at Willke High I’ve been pretending to be a snotty, selfish, shallow sophomore when in fact I’m really good-hearted, smart scholar-type who’s just been doing a big con, like a performance art project with me as the star? And that next Fall I want to switch back to my real self and get on with my life?

I could use a lucky break like that. And if it can work once, maybe it would again and again! It would sure be a cool way to get out of a bunch of the trouble I expect to get into after I (someday) graduate!


I told Bubby it all hinges on whether Principal Peepers is:

  1. A Colbert Fan
  2. Gullible

As a high school principal, there’s a slim possibility he’s the first, but no chance at all that he’s the second. Still, it doesn’t hurt to dream big.

What’s your best fake persona?

46 thoughts on “The Fake Persona Strategy”

  1. I think bubby could give a shot at being the alter ego he would like to pass himself off as.
    I have a favorite brain twister that gives you pause.
    you are not who you think you are,
    you are not who other people think you are,
    you who you think other people think you are.

    I think all persona is a presentation
    steven colbert
    the pope
    ted cruz
    Osama bin laden

    all are who they decided to be when the put their feet on the floor

    andy warhol was a model to take note o

    it dawns on you when yu stand next to them. they are just folks. but the energy they emit is acknowledged and noticeable.

    go for t bubby
    a whiz kid with great acting ability
    gosh dale, where do you find these guys…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Good morning. Just being alive seems to be a fake persona to me. Am I really here or am I faking it? So pretending to be a real person of any kind is my best and ultimately only fake persona.


  3. I keep thinking someday will people will figure out I am not a responsible adult – and I suspect I am not alone in that sentiment.

    Best truly fake persona? Me as a village idiot at Renaissance Festival. Her name was Jenny, she wore Pippi braids and carried a stuffed muslin bunny. She played in the dirt and blew bubbles, but did not play in the mud. She liked to play with blocks and would share with passing children and was prone (when the situation warranted) to switch out her simple language for that of an erudite, sassy liberal arts major. Really, I was just unleashing my inner 5-year-old which was fun – did not lead to fame and fortune, but it was fun.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Mostly mud was, well, dirty. And unless it was 6pm on a Sunday, I didn’t want to spend a chunk of the weekend dealing with a muddy costume. So I turned it into a character quirk…


      1. You are too kind. The giveaway is that on those occasions I do bring something, it’s always bars, never cookies.

        I am a total fraud.


        1. Every cookie cookbook I own (a substantial number, I fear) has a section for “Bars”… so in my world bars are just as much cookies as little round doughballs plopped onto cookie sheets!

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Steve, I will have you know my cooking and baking are pretty darn good. They just don’t occur with the frequency or ease I like to pretend they do.

          I’m also a champion knitter, but I have not so much as a pair of mittens I have wrought.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    I think WP and I are friends again.

    This week my persona side was the patient, steady me. I came home Wednesday after a long, difficult day, and was Ms Super Grump–my real self that day.

    If anyone knows someone with computer skills who wants a remote hourly contract job as my assistant (15-32 hours per week), let me know. And yes it has everything to do with the Grumpy Real Me on Wednesday. HMPH. 😦


  5. My favorite quote on this topic comes from Cary Grant. He was born Archibald Leach in Bristol, England. His family life was a horror, and he ran away from home when 13 to pursue a performing career. He began as a skinny, awkward, impoverished young man who had nothing in common with the debonair idol that we associate with his stage name.

    He later said, “I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be until finally I became that person. Or he became me.”

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Morning–
    I don’t fake much; that’s too much work. What you see is what you get with me. To these college students I really am the grumpy old guy who yells a lot. Maybe I do have a soft heart buried in here but I have to know you before I’ll show that to you.

    Oh wait– I deal with a few people where I have to act like I care.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. OT I was very busy yesterday and didn’t have time to respond to all the suggestions on squirrels that I do appreciate. I would just let them do whatever the want if there was not such a large number of them and if they weren’t so destructive. I am sure that if I don’t find a way to keep them out of my bird feeder they will destroy a very nice bird feeder that i treasure.

    I had to do a lot of work to keep them from digging up every one of my newly planted strawberry plants. They nearly prevented me from being able get a strawberry bed established. I’m afraid I can’t just let them do whatever they would like to do.


    1. Give them something they like better someplace else. Dad had seriously fat cornfed squirrels that left the birdseed alone.

      Maybe there is a farmer you know who could spare a sack of field corn?


      1. I’ll add that tim’s suggestion of hotsauce is a good one, and is pretty amusing.

        I chili-peppered tulip bulbs one fall.

        Ever seen a shocked squirrel?


  8. Rescuer. For some reason, with Husband’s family especially, I used to try and help them fix everything that was wrong – “lend an ear”, act as counselor if they seemed to want it. Not good, you get in too deep. Now with the ones who are left, I try and keep mum.


  9. First, let me say that I’ve suspected all along that Bubby is a pretty smart guy. He certainly writes far better than anyone would have reason to expect based on his academic achievements.

    For myself, the “fake” front that I adopted very early on is that I’m tough and invulnerable. You can’t hurt me. In reality, I’m a softie. I empathize too much with just about everyone. Safer to not let anyone know, although most people who really know me, have figured this out.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Afternoon all. I’ve been thinking about this one all morning and can’t come up with a thing. If you ask me, I’d say I’m a “what you see is what you get” kind of person, but is my vision correct? What do you all think?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Only you know for sure, vs, but I suspect you’re right. Whatever “fake” fronts we take on for whatever reasons really become us if we keep at it long enough. I find that I’m a lot tougher than I ever thought I could be.

      For some reason this topic really makes me think. I was recently asked to say a few words at the wedding of one of the members in my Danish book club. Although I’ve know this woman for over 20 years, I declined because I suddenly realized I had nothing much to say about or to her. I don’t really know her, and I’m no good at small talk. Perhaps that says more about me than it does about her?


  11. I don’t have a current alternate persona but starting when I was about 5 or 6, I was a cowgirl who would do TV cooking shows. I would show the viewers how to make hamburgers out of mud and eggsalad out of the insides of acorns. I would ride onto the set on my trusty hobby horse. I’d tell you her name but I have to keep it secret because I use it for passwords sometimes, knowing that only my sibs and I know what it is.

    I will tell you that she had a husband named John (played by my brother using my father’s name), a child named Baby (played rather unwillingly by my sister), and a dog named Peaches (played beautifully by our beloved yellow lab, Trinket).

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Interesting Lisa – I also had a cooking persona when I was a kid, although not a TV celebrity. I made concoctions out of dirt, fireplace ash, evergreen bits. Mine was a solitary concern however – no husbands, babies or pets while I was cookin.!


    2. Well, yes, in childhood there were several personas, starting with Dale Evans (but we never cooked). And then my play name was either June (for the nurse in the Rex Morgan, MD comic strip?), or Abby (for Abby Dalton, who played another nurse on Hennessey, a sitcom).


  12. My problem is that l can’t fake who l am – never could – and this means that those who may not like me really mean it! l grew up with a mother who repeatedly told me that l was “phony”. This wound just triggered a need to always “be myself” without much reservation. This, in turn, has presented a whole other set of problems – like speaking out of turn or making some people uncomfortable with my frankness.

    One thing’s for sure, though, and that is being consistent from one role’s hat to another. Much to my chagrin, some new clients have googled my name and come up with “The Dancing Grandma” before they even look into my professional background. l have no choice but to exude some level of playfulness and energy as a therapist because they already know about my “other” life’s passion. This gets magnified when some happen into the little bar where l dance most week ends!

    lt does seem as though the older l get, the more l can get away with – kind of like Maude from the movie Harold and Maude. The more l care less about what people think of me, the more l feel accepted and comfortable in my own skin.

    Fake persona?? lt’s far too late to learn how to even try this.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I have a persona called Dr. Boomgaarden who I drag out of mothballs when i have to get in touch with a medical doctor or psychiatrist over the phone regarding a client. Hospital and clinic receptionists respond quickly to a terse “This is Dr. Boomgaarden. I need to talk to Dr. Whosit regarding a patient.” I believe it is improper and quite bad manners for people with PhD’s to refer to themselves a “Doctor”, but sometimes I have to throw good manners to the winds.

    Spent most of today on the road to Newell SD to pick up the lambs from the Tri-county Locker. Newell is a very small town of about 600 people between Sturgis and the ND border. It took a while to leave town since we had to stop the car on the main road through Newell and wait for 25 large and slow-moving turkeys to cross the street. One of the toms felt it necessary to stop in the road and start gobbling loudly, wattles quivering. We spotted about eight golden eagles and one bald eagle on the trip, too. The lamb is safe in the freezer.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In my experience, it is fine in academia for Ph.Ds to refer to themselves as Doctor, but you want to be sure to stop your students calling you Doctor when you are a mere MFA.

      Sounds like you had an entertaining afternoon.

      Liked by 2 people

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