We find ourselves with a family member embroiled in an identity crisis of late. Seems old What’s His Name, our son-in-law, has almost exactly the same name as another Marion County citizen who seems to be having a tad bit of trouble staying on the right side of the law. Don’t you hate it when that happens?
The first hint of a problem came a month or so ago when the courthouse news in several newspapers carried the names of newly arrested citizens. Among them was a Shane A. Marlar, 26, of Hillsboro for driving under the influence. Uh-oh. Looked like some troubles on the horizon for our own Shane Marler, but amazingly enough not many people mentioned it. I took that to mean “not many people noticed it,” but that is not a correct assumption. (And when will I learn?) Actually just about everyone noticed it, raised an eyebrow, and said, “Wow …” They just didn’t comment on it in our presence or ask if the Shane involved was our Shane!
What’s His Name, our very own M. Shane Marler, 33, of Hillsboro, is not the same guy, but few people in Peabody where he works or Hillsboro where he lives figured that out. What’s His Name even created some posters to hang in local businesses noting the different first names, the different spellings of the last name, and the different ages. But as I have said before from this soapbox, people see and read exactly what they want to see and read. And everyone loves a scandal!
Then about two weeks ago, a similar announcement hit the courthouse news. The young 26-year old Shane A. Marlar of Hillsboro was arrested again. Sheesh. This could get real old real fast. So, if you are our Shane, do you ignore this and hope it goes away? Or do you hang up more posters and go protesting all over town … or do you have your mother-in-law down at the newspaper office whip-up some quiet disclaimer for you?
Well, I don’t know. I am only the mother-in-law down at the newspaper office. And what do I know about “quiet disclaimers” or being cautious and circumspect? I am generally a “take the bull by the horns” kind of gal. So this disclaimer will be a bit on the blunt side.
Okay, I admit it … it probably isn’t easy to be my son-in-law. But M. Shane Marler, 33, of Hillsboro, likely does a better job than I deserve. So I am going to call in some markers here on his behalf. Our What’s His Name is not the guy in the newspaper. He is not the one you are talking about. He is not the guy your friends are talking about. So take the high road, be a better person. Don’t spread stories, rumors, and suppositions. Don’t know for certain? Then stay out of it. Keep still.
As usual when we stumble into these controversial topics, I am going to encourage you to contact me if you have an issue with this opinion piece. You can call me at home or at the newspaper office — both numbers are in the book and both have answering machines if I am not available. The newspaper e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org, the fax number is (620) 983-2700, and the postal service address is PO Box 129.
There you go — a surplus of ways to get in touch with me and offer your thoughts about my opinion. More of a chance than you gave old What’s His Name to explain himself to you!
— Susan Marshall