Monday, August 5, 2013


I've been going by the name @Rube_Goldberg for almost 8 years. It started in 2006 when I joined the forum boards on Television Without Pity. I didn't want to use my real name, using a TV character name seemed weird (and most were probably already taken), and I wanted to have a handle that was actually a name. I settled on Rube Goldberg because the real Rube Goldberg's claim to fame matches my personality so well. Overcomplicating things with a comedic twist plus making gizmos that ultimately do nothing. The name has served me well on TWoP, Twitter, Blogs, and Instagram.

For whatever reason, when I initially set up my Instagram, I snagged the name rubegoldberg instead of rube_goldberg. As far as I can remember, I believe that's the only major online property where I have avoided the underscored version of the name. It wasn't a big deal until today.

I'm sitting in my office when the phone rings. "It's [name]," K says. I had no idea who [name] is and was not expecting this call. K waits half a beat before adding some more information. [name] is a parent of a student where I work. I had no idea what this call would be about since I so rarely deal with parents outside of an event setting. K puts the call through.

Along with having a child at my school, [name] is a descendent of the real Rube Goldberg. It turns out that [name] has been using rubegoldberg on major social media properties except Instagram because a certain so-and-so snagged the name first. At first my thought was "oh no, this is a cease-and-desist call," but all [name] wanted was to swap the Instagram names.

The number of coincidences at play here is astounding. This is easily one of the top five moments I have had in social media.

(By the way, a book about Rube Goldberg is coming out in November.)

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