I was recently asked to write a post about Chris Sorensen. No, not myself, the internationally acclaimed Danish cyclist Chris Sorensen, currently competing in the Tour de Lance Armstrong. Now normally I don't take requests, but seeing as this is the first request I've ever received, I guess I'll allow it. Kind of.
You see, I hate Chris Sorensen. No, not myself. The internationally acclaimed Danish cyclist. Sure, he's Danish, which wins him a lot of points. And . . . well, that's the only fact I know about him. And that he placed 12th in the 2008 Olympics. But I hate him because he's more famous than I am. I've given up on being the most famous person in the world. The whole prodigy thing didn't work out for me and I'm over it. But wouldn't it be nice to be the most famous Chris Sorensen in the world? But no, this guy has to be in the Olympics. And some other Chris Sorensen has to be a frequently published college professor. And another has to be a photographer. I don't know if he's any good, but he sure advertises a lot. In any case, when you google Chris Sorensen, you don't find me.
How are talent agents supposed to find me? How are women supposed to track me down, claiming to be the father of their lovechild? How am I supposed to win the daily internet lottery? I've tried publishing in online magazines, joining organizations, going to various schools, turning my privacy status all the way down. It doesn't matter, there are just too many Chris Sorensens.
My name is almost unbearably common. I'm currently on a team of 5 students. 2 of us are named Christopher James. I forced the other guy to go by CJ because I'm bigger than him. When I was in 5th grade there were 5 Christophers in my class of 25. People by the name of Chris obviously make up 20% of the population. 3 of us were Christopher S. I had to go by CJ that year, like some kind of a . . . I don't have a stereotype for the name CJ. But it's not me.
I tried switching it up and going by Christoph one year. It's pretentious, I'm pretentious, I thought it was a good fit. I had a loyal following of 5 that called my Christoph, but no one else. Apart from CJ and Christoph, it's been Chris/Christopher the rest of the time. And I hate it when people ask what I go by. I don't care New Acquaintance. You can call me Christopher if you want, but you won't because you're lazy and Chris is easier to say.
I'll be moving to a new place with zero contacts in 11 months, more than likely. And with this move I have the opportunity to no longer by Chris. Which seems like an opportunity I shouldn't waste.
I've considered stealing my old roommate's middle name. He too was named Chris. But his middle name was King. And he still went by Chris! Ridiculous. If your parents are ballsy enough to name you King, use it my friend. When someone balks at your introduction as King, pull out your birth certificate and shove it in their face. You're the King, you can do what you want.
Sure, the first time they heard you say your name is King they'd think that you and/or your parents were weird. But after they keep calling you King, eventually it would lose it's royal connotation and just become your name. A name that won't be confused with anyone else. A name that will pop up on the internet. A name that will only be slightly awkward if you become a king someday and are King King Sorensen.
I can't really pull off an ethnic name. I'm clearly not a Fernando or Ryu or Vladimir. I don't have melanin or vaccination scars to pull that off. It would clearly do me no good to switch to a John or Robert and have nearly the same problem. I’ve considered making myself hyperBritish with a name like Ashley. But so far my test audiences haven’t responded well to it. I could just make one up, like Riles, which I just made up, and kind of like. But probably not enough to use.
In any case, good luck Chris Sorensen in your cycling thingy. I hope you appreciated this post about you, and me, and everyone we know.
A macho man named Ashley.