Alias, Yours Truly

Bayou Bob, Père Robért, T.J. Pleindemerde, Murray Gold, Omar Cayenne, Armand Legg — these are but a few of the pseudonyms and aliases I’ve used over the years, for fun and profit. I once struggled to convince a skeptical landlord that all five of the names on my mailbox belonged to me and that the apartment I rented from him was not overrun with squatters. Under one alias or another, I founded an extraordinarily thrifty New Orleans carnival krewe whose costumes consisted of masks made out of paper plates; rewrote (in one day, for a flat fee) the captions for a Simon & Schuster cartoon book so inane that I didn’t care to have my real name attached to it; and received an advertising award, in absentia, for a free-lance job that was judged superior to material submitted by my daytime employer. I’ve used pseudonyms to protect my privacy, to forestall reprisals from cranks and crackpots, and to liberate my imagination from the pedestrian persona of a mild-mannered reporter. When the occasion warrants, I’ll use them again — on the Internet or anywhere else I please. For all you know, I may be using one right now.

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