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A Tale of Two E-Mails | by Mike
May 29, 2008 (11:27pm EST)
So here's a fun story I have been meaning to write about but I never really got around to it until now. I've had my GMail address since the early days of GMail when it was invite only and Google only gave you ten invites instead of 100. A couple months ago some dude from Minnesota with the same name as I apparently also registered a GMail address. However since mike.watson was taken, I can only assume he registered something such as mike.watson1 or mike.watson.rules or whatever (note that periods are optional in GMail addresses, so mike.watson is mikewatson is m.i.k.e.w.a.t.s.o.n and so on). However in spite of him registering an address that was not mike.watson, he still thought that my e-mail was his.

It was mainly a minor nuisance. I would get occasional e-mails, usually from someone named Lonny Needy, with updates on classes and seminars and I assumed the other me would eventually converse with Lonny and figure out that all his e-mail was somehow getting lost. Generally I would get stuff like this:

from Lonny Neely <lonnyneely@XXXX>
to Andrew LaRose <AKLaRose@XXXX>,Bryan Eden <dbeden@XXXX>,Jennifer Mers <Jennifer.Mers@XXXX>,Jeremy Melton <TDIDNT@XXXX>,Kerry Schiele <kerry.schiele@XXXX>,Michael Watson <mikewatson@XXXX>,Rich Sartors <RichardSartors@XXXX>
date Tue, Mar 4, 2008 at 3:18 PM
subject School closed 3/4/8 Lab mon.3/10/8

Well, I hope everyone is safe and warm at home. No Midterm today so it will be on 3/11/8. Don't forget the Lab.

I would read them and wonder briefly who these people were and then archive the e-mail without a second though. My initial suspicion was that Lonny simply wrote down other Mike's e-mail wrong. Here's another one from May:

from Lonny Neely <lonnyneely@XXXX>
to Andrew LaRose <AKLaRose@XXXX>,Bryan Eden <dbeden@XXXX>,Jennifer Mers <Jennifer.Mers@XXXX>,Jeremy Melton <TDIDNT@XXXX>,Lonny <eir@XXXX>,Michael Watson <mikewatson@XXXX>,Rich Sartors <RichardSartors@XXXX>
date Mon, May 5, 2008 at 8:19 PM
subject cpr class

Tuesday South County cafeteria 5:30

I'm skipping ahead because it's the first one I found. There are many more but I don't care to seek them out. However, March 24th brought about a twist to this story. Here's the e-mail I received:

to mikewatson@XXXX
date Mon, Mar 24, 2008 at 7:55 PM
subject Order Received - Thank you for your order. Your order number is: 12259

Dear Michael Watson

Thank you for shopping at Midwest Bagpipe Supply.

We received your order on 3/24/2008. Your order number is 12259.

You will receive an email including billing and shipping information once your order has been processed. You should also receive tracking information whether you product is being shipped via USPS or UPS.

You can manage your account, modify personal information, change shipping addresses, or review previous orders made on this system by logging into your account at

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thanks again for shopping with us!
Best Regards,
Midwest Bagpipe Supply

Billing Information
Michael Watson
XXXX Kenosha Dr NW
Rochester, MN XXXX

Shipping Information
Michael Watson
XXXX Kenosha Dr NW
Rochester, MN XXXX

Shipping Method: US Domestic Shipping (UPS/USPS)
Number of Packages: 1

ORDER DETAILS                                     UNIT PRICE     TOTAL
QTY       1
SKU       BP1
PRODUCT   BandPack Bagpipe Case
PRICE                                                $145.00   $145.00

QTY       1
SKU       PGRD
PRODUCT   Pipe Guard Spray Oil
PRICE                                                  $6.00     $6.00

QTY       1
SKU       BR1
PRODUCT   Small Bagpipe Brush
PRICE                                                  $4.50     $4.50

QTY       1
SKU       BR2
PRODUCT   Large Bagpipe Brush
PRICE                                                  $5.50     $5.50

QTY       1
SKU       RPP
PRODUCT   Pro Reed Protector
PRICE                                                 $16.00    $16.00

                                                 Subtotal:    $177.00
                                         Shipping Charges:     $12.00
                                                    Total:    $189.00

Thank you for shopping at Midwest Bagpipe Supply.

So, not only does this guy play the bagpipes, but he apparently does not know his own e-mail address. He went to a web site that sells bagpipes and bagpipe accessories, signed up for an account using my e-mail address, and placed an order. I actually know his phone number and home address now since the e-mail included that info (maybe I will send him a Christmas card). I was kind of stupefied by this, but I decided to ignore it because I couldn't really be bothered to correct some guy who couldn't even get his own personal information straight. Friends later pointed out to me that I should have e-mailed back with an adjusted shipping address and gotten some free bagpipe supplies. I consider it a missed opportunity.

The bagpipe dilemma does not end here, however, for the next day I received the following e-mail:

from info <>
to mikewatson@XXXX
date Tue, Mar 25, 2008 at 8:24 AM
subject Midwest Bagpipes Order

Hi Michael

We are currently out of stock of the Band Pack pipe case. We are having its design slightly modified. We expect to have our first shipment of the redesigned case in about 3 weeks. Would you like me to place a pending order for the case and ship you one when it arrives or would you prefer to choose a different case? Either way I can ship the rest of your order today.


Now the poor guy probably had his shipment delayed because he's kind of slow. I still didn't really care, but I was sort of hoping that he continue to order things with my e-mail. Sadly he hasn't done again at this point.

On April 30th I got a rather amusing e-mail from someone named Diane Watson:

from Diane Watson <dianehwatson@XXXX>
to Mike Watson <lilwatty@XXXX>, mike.watson@XXXX
date Sun, Apr 20, 2008 at 8:42 PM
subject Are you gmail or hotmail??????????

I assumed it was a relative of his. She also e-mailed 'lilwatty@' which I assume is also this dude's e-mail, which amuses me a little but also makes me kind of sad. However since she was e-mailing two people I assumed this ordeal would finally be sorted out! Hooray!

On May 5th I got another e-mail from old Lonny with some pictures attached of people installing lights. I'm not going to post them because that's kind of a douche thing to do, even beyond how much of a douche I am already being.

from Lonny Neely <lonnyneely@XXXX>
to Andrew LaRose <AKLaRose@XXXX>,Bryan Eden <dbeden@XXXX>,Jennifer Mers <Jennifer.Mers@XXXX>,Jeremy Melton <TDIDNT@XXXX>,Lonny <eir@XXXX>,Michael Watson <mikewatson@XXXX>,Rich Sartors <RichardSartors@XXXX>
date Mon, May 5, 2008 at 8:48 PM
subject Fwd: FOR THE WEBSITE...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: lonny neely <eir@XXXX>
Date: Mon, May 5, 2008 at 10:46 PM
Subject: Fwd: FOR THE WEBSITE...
To: lonnyneely@XXXX

Note: forwarded message attached.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Sheila Sperla" <sheila@XXXX>
To: "Tina Strohecker" <tina@XXXX>
Date: Mon, 5 May 2008 11:32:56 -0500
On Wednesday, April 23rd, Joe McCarthy of Lithonia Lighting and David Thurow of Synergy Lighting Controls hosted a seminar for IEC members. Following the meeting first year apprentices, under the direction of IEC Instuctor Lonny Neely, as well as Joe and David, installed T5 lights and new lighting controls in the IEC conference room. What a difference good lighting makes! Thanks to Lithonia and Synergy for their donations, demonstration and education. Just another example of how priceless Associate members are to the IEC!!!

Sheila - IEC
XXXX Pennridge
Bridgeton, MO XXXXX

And finally we come to what I hope is the climax of this wonderful ordeal. On May 12th I got another e-mail from Diane (my first since April 20th) with no body but five or six attached pictures of family photos. It was the regular stuff, people sitting around and having family fun, and one shot of an old man with an oxygen tank and his equally old but less respiratorily challenged wife. I won't post those either, but it was the first e-mail where I actually felt kind of bad for Mr. Watson. Granted family parties aren't always fun, but he was off in Minnesota installing lights and missing lab appointments and I'm sure his mom and other family members missed him. I decided to do the (mostly) polite thing:

from Mike Watson <mike.watson@XXXX>
to Diane Watson <dianehwatson@XXXX>
date Mon, May 12, 2008 at 10:50 PM
subject Re: Pics

Hi I don't know who you are you have the wrong e-mail address.

I felt it was simple and to the point and Diane would contact her relative and everything would be better. The next day she replied to thank me:

from Diane Watson <dianehwatson@XXXX>
to Mike Watson <mike.watson@XXXX>
date Tue, May 13, 2008 at 6:25 PM
subject RE: Pics

no way............. your my son and these are just fun pictures from the wedding.
Are you sure???????

This reply, while somewhat understandable, sort of annoyed me because of all the stuff I had been receiving for Other Mike for the last few months. Also, why on earth would your own son pretend to not be your son via e-mail? I don't know. My reply:

from Mike Watson <mike.watson@XXXX>
to Diane Watson <>
date Tue, May 13, 2008 at 6:34 PM
subject Re: Pics

What does that even mean? Of course I'm sure. My mother's name is not Diane and I do not recognize any of the people in those pictures.

Your son clearly does not know his own e-mail address because I have been getting random e-mail intended for him from his classmates and such but I ignored it assuming he would correct the problem on his own when he realized he wasn't getting any e-mail. I only felt bad in this case because these are family photos and I would assume he would want them. I suggest you contact him via telephone or some other non-e-mail means and figure out what his actual e-mail address is because I assure you it is not mike.watson@XXXX (or mikewatson@XXXX as they are the same thing since periods in e-mail addresses are ignored) since that has belonged to me for the last four years.

I'm not sure if I was too harsh, but I did not hear back from Diane, nor have I gotten any e-mail from Lonny since then, so I suppose I can consider this case closed. Thanks for all the fun times, Other Mike! Maybe some day you will find this blog post on the internet and be able to laugh at this little story. Probably not though because chances are high that you can't spell your own name and will be unable to perform a proper search.