Mistaken Identity · 23 April 2010

A man in a suit and tie sits with his back to the wall of a dark panel van.  It is obviously day outside as there is a little sunlight filtering into the van from somewhere to the man’s left.


(from behind the camera, directly in front of the other man)

What happened to you?



I was just coming out of the store after getting my new suit.

MAN2 walks out of the store onto the sidewalk.  The sun is bright and he looks up to enjoy the sunshine on his face.  He looks back down to where he is walking just in time.  A man in a striped shirt on a bicycle almost runs him down.  MAN2 barely has enough time to sidestep the bicycle.  He brushes himself off a little even though he was not touched.  Then smiles again as he walks down the street.  The smile does not last long though.  A man (a bank teller or manager) is talking to a police officer and pointing wildly down the street from where MAN2 had just stepped out of the store.  Then, the man looks directly at MAN2.  He points and jumps up and down animatedly.  The officer has a confused look on his face and points to MAN2’s suit.  The bank teller raises his hands and looks confused for a second at MAN2’s clothes, but then uses both hands to emphasize MAN2’s face.  He mouth’s, “This is the guy!”  MAN2 looks backward down the street from where he came and points to the store where he had just gotten his new suit.  He pulls at one of the sleeves to emphasize that the suit is brand new.  The officer listens to his radio.  He looks at the teller/manager whose eyes are pleading and insistent.  He looks at MAN2.  He gently grabs MAN2’s elbow and nods his head to follow.  The officer places MAN2 into a paddywagon even though he pleads innocence.  The officer nods his head sympathetically.  It is obvious that he doubts the teller/manager.



I had just gotten my new suit when some maniac almost ran me over with his bicycle.  But it was too sunny and life was grand, so I just kept walking.  Then a crazy bank manager comes running out of the bank yelling, “We’ve been robbed.”  A cop was right there to help him out too.  He calmed the guy down a bit and got part of his story, but the guy was still waving his arms around like crazy.  I couldn’t help but stare just a little.  I shouldn’t have because the little guy starts pointing at me.  I look behind me to see if he was pointing at somebody running away from the scene.  When I turned back around, the cop waved me over so he could calm the guy down.  The guy says, “This is the guy!  He just robbed the bank!  Arrest him.”  The cop asks, “I thought you said the guy was wearing a striped shirt?”  I chimed in, “I just came from the store where I got this new suit.”  But the guys was insistent.  I was the guy.  The cop probably would have let me go, but he got a call on his radio.  He said something back, then grabbed my arm, and led me back to his paddy wagon.  I kept trying to say that he should ask the store owner where I got the suit.  He just shook his head sympathetically and said that we would get it all straightened out, but for now, I would need to wait it out in the wagon.


The man is looking down as he finishes describing his day.



What else could I do?

(pausing and finally looking up)

What happened to you?

The camera pans slowly around the paddywagon, left so that it sees the rear door.  The rear of the wagon has a door with a barred window where sun light is coming through the heavily tinted window.  When the camera finally gets through its 180 degree pan, it rests on a man who is looking into his hands which are resting on his lap.  He is chuckling a bit.  MAN1 has on a striped shirt.  He also has a beat up bicycle wheel around his neck.  His head is sticking out between a couple spokes.  He looks familiar – through the grease on his face and the smile on his lips, it can be seen that he is the identical twin of MAN2.


(chuckling a bit as he lifts his head)

I ran into a fire hydrant.


The scene is oddly familiar.  It is the same sidewalk from a different perspective.  MAN1 is riding the bicycle.  He almost runs over MAN2, but gets around him and the crowded sidewalk.  He turns the corner and dodges people.  Unfortunately, he hits a fire hydrant not far after he turns the corner.  He goes headlong over the hydrant and the bicycle follows.  Somehow, the front tire gets wrapped around his head.  A police officer is there when MAN1 comes to his senses.  The officer is helping MAN1 up from the ground and mouthing, “Are you okay?”  MAN1 tries to shake the officer off a bit by being brave and saying, “I’m fine, officer.”  The officer is not convinced and looks intently at MAN1.  MAN1 looks worried as the officer slowly gains recognition.  MAN1 tries to talk his way out of the officer’s grip, but the officer has him firmly by the elbow.  He reaches into his vest pocket and shows MAN1 a picture.  He mouths, “This is you.”  The picture is the man with prisoner stripes and a number in front of his front and profile.  MAN1 nods his head no.  He tries without luck to wheedle his way out of the grasp of the law.  The officer calls on his radio.  MAN1 continues to try and talk his way out of the situation when the paddy wagon pulls up.  The officer is unconvinced as he cuffs the man hands in front and leads him to the paddy wagon.  He helps MAN1 into the vehicle and nods his doubt as the man continues to argue his case.  The officer mouths, “Tell it to the judge,” as he closes the


(still chuckling a little)

Before I hit the hydrant though, I guess that I almost ran you over.  I kept going and dodged everybody and even made the corner.  Then my luck ran out and I hit the hydrant.  A policeman is never around when you need one, but apparently shows up magically when you don’t.  After I regained my senses a little, I found myself being helped up by the cop that put me in here.  He says, “Are you okay?”  I said, “I’m fine officer.”  I tried to be on my way, but he kept insisting on helping me.  He keeps looking at me closer and closer as I try to convince him that I’m okay.  Then, he gets this look on his face like he knows me.  His grip on my elbow gets tighter and I am still groggy so I can’t escape even if I wanted to.  The guy reaches into his vest pocket and pulls out your mug shot.  “That’s not me,” I say.  It’s my twin brother.  He says that I escaped from jail today and that every cop in the city is looking for me.  I keep telling him that it is you.  All the way until he shoves me in here with you.  He even says, “Tell it to the judge.”  When my eyes adjusted, I saw you.  That’s what happened to me.

Both men are in view and are laughing.


I would have made it if you hadn’t escaped from jail today.


No.  I would have made it if you hadn’t robbed a bank.

They both laugh as the scene fades to black.

© 2010 Michael T. Miyoshi

Share on facebook

Commenting is closed for this article.