If you have seen me in person recently, you may have noticed a difference in my appearance. After about seven years of sporting either a beard or a goatee, I shaved it off last month.
However, the departure of the facial hair has meant the return of another inquiry I got used to hearing back before I ditched the razor, "Has anyone ever told you that you look like Colin Powell?"
Unfortunately, the answer is, "Yes. All of the time." It’s yet another example of the law of unintended consequences at work. In sacrificing the gray beard I ended up looking like a distinguished senior diplomat.
If I have to look like Powell, I’d like to believe the Colin Powell that people think I resemble is the First Gulf War Colin Powell, you know, the one from the era of the Scud Stud, as opposed to the elder statesman/former Secretary of State Powell. In other words, the young Colin Powell.
I shouldn't complain. At least the guy I look like is, for the most part, respected and admired. It’s preferable to looking like I was separated at birth from Charlie Sheen. In which case I'd be pretty well sick of random people coming up to me and saying, "Winning!" Yes, better to look like the guy who is more likely to show up on "Meet the Press" than "America's Most Wanted."
If I lived in the Washington D.C. area, being Powell's doppelgänger might have some fringe benefits, like getting a good table at a nice restaurant without a reservation. So far, no one at Lucky's on Coast Village Road has been fooled. But I intend to keep working on it. Perhaps a trip to the local costume shop to rent a full-dress army uniform might help?
I can think of any number of well-known people who look a lot like other well-known people. For instance, how about former California First Lady Maria Shriver and the Today Show's Natalie Morales? Or Dodger co-owner, Jamie McCourt and NBC foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell?
Closer to home, how about singer Kenny Loggins and writer T.C. Boyle bearing a resemblance to one another? Or former District Attorney Tom Sneddon and former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz? And here's one that's a little bit out there, KEYT news reporter John Palminteri and Borat?
Anyway, enough of this obsessing over look-alikes. I know it's hard to believe but I actually have more important things to worry about. Like where to pay $18 for a martini now that Ruth's Chris Steakhouse is about to close.
And by the way, if you ever want to approach me but aren't quite sure about how to go about breaking the ice, you can always ask, "Has anyone ever told you that you look like Colin Powell?"
© 2011 by Craig Smith and www.craigsmithsblog.com