That "My Life" Website: It Ain't My Life

Written by Ralph E. Shaffer

Friday, 4 October 2019

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For many years I've tried to find Anne, who, like me, was a first-year high school teacher in Sacramento 62 years ago. Last week I found her...on My Life. Phone number, address, and enough info to convince me that I had located the right Anne. I had, and we had a joyous reunion via email.

But, as I looked further at her My Life page, it occurred to me that this wasn't something she had posted. This was commercial, with links to "full details" ... probably at a price.

My Life says it has pages for 325 million people. Did it have mine, I wondered? Yes, it did... sort of. But much of it must have been some other guy with my name.

For example, back in my college days, the first girl I dated at Cal Berkeley was Rachelle. Movies, the beach, basketball games, ping pong in the rec room at the dorm, etc. Then, one day when i called to ask her to attend the football game with me, she said no, she couldn't date me anymore. Her parents objected, I wasn't a Jew.

Well, Rachelle, you haven't looked at my My Life page. I'm not only Jewish, I'm a "Middle Eastern American." Gee, I could be a Jewish Muslim. Or it might be a strange way of saying that my parents came from Indiana, which is clearly American, and located in the middle eastern part of the country.

It then occurred to me that my kids might be on My Life, unknown to themselves. Yep, there they are. And my younger son will surely get a surprise. Way back when he was in the kindergarten car pool, dear little Phyllis turned to him, seriously, and said: "I can't marry you because you aren't Jewish." Well, Phyllis, you made a big mistake. Right there on the line about religion it clearly says my son is Jewish. If only you had known!

Then we come to relatives and friends on my My Life page. Some of them are correct. But who are all these other folks I never heard of? And how did My Life miss my best friend, with whom I've exchanged literally thousands of emails? Maybe My Life doesn't have access yet to email accounts. But that's probably coming.

I didn't click on my arrest record or other personal stuff. Looks like that costs money. And I didn't find a single reference to my Spoofing, op-eds, short stories or where I worked for 30 years. Well, consider what I wrote in the op-eds, maybe it's better left unrecorded.

But I'm wondering about a class action law suit, all 325 million of us against My Life. If Rachelle gets a little nostalgic and looks me up on My Life and finds I'm actually a Jew - I never told her I wasn't - I may get a phone call from her beginning with "If only I had known." Too bad I'll have to disappoint her, though, since My Life got it wrong. If they had printed my real religious preference that would not only have told Rachelle she was right all those years ago but it might also have alienated some of my real relatives and friends. Fortunately, My Life has it wrong.

When My Life gets it right, that's when I sue.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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