Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Transitive Property of Mistaken Twins

In high school many people thought my best friend Charlie and I were twins.  We got a kick out of this but couldn’t understand why people we went to school with would think we were twins.  We were the same height, had the same build and had many of the same clothes.  We both had long hair and played guitar and got good grades but that’s about where the similarities ended.  Charlie had dark brown hair and mine was blonde.  Everyone liked Charlie especially the girls and why not, he was good looking, always happy, smiling, fun to be around and talked to everyone (all of that is still true).  Most people didn’t know who I was.  I was too serious, didn’t smile much and didn’t talk to many people.  I was simply known as that kid who hangs out with Charlie.  A few girls did talk to me but just to get info about Charlie and they hoped I would let him know that they liked him.  The girls I went out with all really liked Charlie and went on dates with me just to be close to Charlie and to keep track of him because we often went on double dates.  Now I’m not feeling sorry for myself, just pointing out that we were different in many ways.  We thought it was absurd that anyone could mistake us for twins.  

After high school Charlie went to Taiwan on a church mission.  I had to take a second language in collage so I picked Chinese because Charlie was learning Chinese and I thought it would be fun to speak the same second language as my best friend.  In one of Charlie’s letters he told me about another missionary from England who’s Chinese name was Sung.  Many people in Taiwan mistook him and Elder Sung as twins.  Charlie thought it was strange that in high school the two of us were mistaken for twins when we didn’t look alike and in Taiwan there was a bloke from England that was being mistaken for his twin.  

I enjoyed Chinese classes so much that I continued to study Chinese all through collage and ended up with a second major in Asian Studies.  Anyways, 2 or 3 years after Charlie returned from Taiwan I was spending the summer in Taiwan.  One afternoon I was at a beach near Danshui northwest of Taipei.  I was wandering around looking for shells when a group of girls came running up to me yelling “Elder Sung! Elder Sung! Hello Elder Sung!”  I couldn’t believe it.  I never met Elder Sung but I knew exactly who they were talking about.  I explained to the excited group of girls that I wasn’t who they thought I was but rather I was a friend of Charlie’s (who they also knew).  I told them that back home many people thought Charlie and I were twins and in Taiwan many people mistook Charlie and Elder Sung as twins.  So if me and Charlie could be mistaken as twins and Charlie and Elder Sung could be mistaken as twins then Elder Sung and I must look like twins too.  They agreed.  

Transitive Property of Equality: If a = b and b = c, then a = c.

I don’t see it but Charlie and I must look like twins.  
Seems like the wind has been blowing every time Charlie and I get our picture taken together lately.
Maybe I should just grow my hair long again.