True Story©... Haunted by my PAST-past


(look ma, new AI generator!)

    Early last year, I came up with the harebrained scheme to travel back to pre-Rhodesia southern Africa – around present-day Zimbabwe – and slit Cecil Rhodes’ throat before he got a chance to ruin the continent…
Read about it above if you don’t recall how that went over (surprise - NOT well!)

    Anyway… Y’all know if you read last January or just now that I took EXTRA special care to not put myself in position to get anyone pregnant while I was there. This will matter more shortly.
It’s spring, y’all! That means I get to go outside-outside and exercise instead of spending countless hours on my exercise bike. Furthermore, I get to take the dogs with me sometimes. So there it is, last weekend while my mom was out of town, I was tasked with caring for her dog. As a boxer, this dog has a BARREL full of energy that needs to be gotten out. In so much, I geared up for a walk and went to take Luna for a stroll through the parks around my mother’s neighborhood.

    All is going well, me and the doggy got in about two miles before I am approached by a woman. I moved Luna’s leash to my left hand, then pulled out my phone with my right and tapped the power button twice to open the camera quickly.
[Phlip note: yes, that means a white woman has approached me in a park minding my own fucking business]
I swear, this woman looks familiar… I have also been sober for almost two years, so people I don’t know to give a shit about are often quickly forgotten.

Me: “Can I help you?”
Woman: “Beautiful dog.”
Me: “Thank you, she’s my mom’s.”
Woman: “I’ve been looking to catch back up with you for quite a while now.”
Me (backing up): “D-do I know you?”
Woman: “No, but we’ve met before.”
Me: “I-I–… don’t recall”
Woman: “We first met spring break like three years ago.”
Me: “Hmm? Ma’am, I been married for five and a half years, I ain’t ‘meeting’ nobody on spring break.”
Woman: “No! Not like that… You were on the boardwalk giving readings and you told me about…”

[Phlip note: holy shit, it’s–…]

Jennifer: “So you do remember me?”
Me: “Ma’am, you have been haunting me since you interrupted me grifting those hapless bast–… since that day on the beach.”
Jennifer: “Look, I get it… You were hustling people and I was in the way of that in my hysteria.”
Me: “So why are you looking for me?”
Jennifer: “It seems we’re related.”
Me: “WHAT?!!?”
Jennifer: “Is your name not Moe Phillips.”
Me: “Hell no, my name is–… Wait, who askin’?”
Jennifer: “Is that a family name?”
Me: “Isn’t EVERY name a family name when you think of it?”
Jennifer: “Well where did yours come from?”
Me: “This nasty little thing called slavery?”
Jennifer: “eew… sorry, didn’t think that question through.”
Me: “Noted.”
Jennifer: “So anyway… My great-great-great-great grandmother in Rhodesia was named Maureen Phillips after her paternal grandfather, also named Moe Phillips.”
Me: “How the shit do you even KNOW this?”
Jennifer: “Researching birth and death records, family bibles and a little bit of ancestry DNA testing.”
Me: “Makes sense.”
Jennifer: “Once lineage was established, I was able to contact current ancestors and even had a hand on some of the writings from the late 18/early 1900s.”
Me: “Wild.”
Jennifer: “In it, Maureen wrote of how her mother met a ‘traveler’ who called himself ‘Moe Phillips’ and how she had fallen in love with him, but he disappeared after making love to her one night.”
Jennifer: “Gesundheit.”
Me: “Thank you.”

Remember when I said I was EXTRA careful to keep my pænis to myself while I visited the past? Shit like THIS – in addition to not fucking off the time/space continuum – is precisely why.

Jennifer: “So if your name is Moe Phillips and my ancestor’s name is Moe Phillips as well then it serves to a high level of possibility that we share common ancestry.”
Me: “Nope.”
Jennifer: “But–…”
Me: “Not possible.”
Jennifer: “How could you be so sure?”
Me: “Lemme ask you something, Jen… Can I call you Jen?”
Jennifer: “Yes.”
Me: “Jen, have you ever done some thot shit and had to make up some shit to cover it up? Feel free to tell me to mind my own fucking business.”
Jennifer: “eeehhh…”
Me: “Point taken...  I have in a distantly past version of myself.”
Jennifer: “So how does this land on us not being related.”
Me: “Because we can’t be related.”
Jennifer: “Look, I don’t want anything from you, I am over whatever I had going on with my daddy issues.”
Me: “Good, ‘cause I ain’t got shit to give!”
Jennifer: “But again, what does that have to do with anything.”
Me: “What if 1800s-time Moe saw that Guinevere was getting to close and chose to get back to his travels rather than create an untenable situation.”
Jennifer: “Huh?”
Me: “And what if, in an absence of Moe, Guinevere sought comfort in ANOTHER individual who she perhaps shouldn’t have—…”
Jennifer: “You’re talking about my family here.”
Me: “Ma’am, this is five generations out… HARDLY family. And what if, in the arms in that other, Guinevere fell pregnant and–…”
Jennifer: “How do you know her name!?”
Me: “… and the person whom she had fallen pregnant from couldn’t be outed as the father, so she chose to blame a now-distant strange–…”
Jennifer: “How do you know her name!?”
Me: “And since Maury Povich was still DECADES out, no one could check their homework and prove that Moe Phillips WASN’T the child’s father.”
Me: “I just know... You wouldn’t believe the answer to that question if I wrote it in a True Story©…”
Jennifer: “Well to be frank, I DON’T believe it now.”
Me: “If you’re a Frank, you have an amazing surgeon, I would have never guessed you were–…”
Jennifer: “It’s an idiom, you jackass!”
Me: “Look… I know you’re looking for answers here, and I ain’t got em. You said you did a DNA test to get some of the ancestry, right?”
Jennifer: “Yes…”
Me: “And did anyone in or around the area come back as possible distant matches?”
Jennifer: “No, but I figur–…”
Me: “… stop. I am gonna show you something, but you have to promise to NEVER speak to me again, even if you see me in public.”
Jennifer: “But—…”
Me: “… even if you’re working a retail job and you are on the ONLY open register.”
Jennifer: “But–…”
Me: “Even if I am on fire, you must put it out and leave without speaking.”
Jennifer: “Fine…”
Me: “Because I have been HAUNTED by shit I HAVE done after signing up for those damn ancestry sites since 2020.”
Jennifer: “But I got no hits to you or anyone else in Greensboro.”
Me: “Because my real name isn’t Moe Phillips.”
Jennifer: “Bullshit, you’re just trying to weasel out–…”
Me: “… weasel out of WHAT?  Look here at my phone. No bullshitting, I promise.”
Jennifer: “Who the hell is Phillip [name redacted]?”
Me: “Nice to meet you!”
Jennifer: “So that’s you?”
Me: “Right here on my license.  And did you see THAT name on your list of possibles?”
Jennifer: “Well, again, nobody local.”
Me: “So what have we learned?”
Jennifer: “Sorry for interrupting you.”
Me: “No worries… Good luck on your search, have a nice life, Jen.”
Jennifer: “Thanks, Phillip.”
Me: “You don’t know me!”

I have hopefully FINALLY put a nail in the coffin of the ‘Jennifer’ chapter of my life.


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