THEM: Are you the Dan Kennedy who has written all about how to make millions of dollars? You sell a program of some sort to people and say they can get rich with this program if they buy your books and stuff?

ME: Oh, god, no. I’m really glad we’re meeting. That’s a different Dan Kennedy. No, I’ve written three books, comedy books, and humor. I’m not asking anyone for money.

[I start a goddamn nervous laugh that suddenly feels like the kind of nervous laugh someone would use if they were trying to swindle you out of something or convince you that they’re not lying. It’s a terrible laugh. I have three of them, and this is the worst one that could’ve come out of me. The other two are terrible, but only because they sound stupid and deep.]

THEM: Take Their Money and Leave Them Laughing. You didn’t write this book?

ME: I did not, No. See that’s another Dan Kennedy. Some get-rich-quick guy. I would never write about taking people’s money—I’m super glad we’re meeting to clarify this.

[A long and strange beat of silence here from their side. And I feel like I’m probably making it worse by being frozen and terrified, I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve had to convince someone I am not another person entirely, and it’s locking me up. I’m also frozen because I’m afraid of which laugh will come out of me.]

THEM: Because you mentioned that you’ve written books.

ME: Only three, and they’re just so weird that there’s really no mistaking the two of us. The irony is, I’ve written mostly about screwing up my life, being bad at business, being broke…

THEM: Yet you’re able to pay upfront?

ME: The books were a long time ago. The first one was twenty years ago. I was writing about being in my teens and twenties. I can pay up front, yes.

THEM: Did you fake your death?

ME: This is the strangest tenant interview ever. May I ask, does the rent include parking?

THEM: Yes, but what about this thing I found online where you were dead, you sold all of your rights and business to another guy, but then you came back, it turned out you weren’t actually dead?

ME: Okay, to be clear: I’ve never promised to make people rich if they give me money, and I’ve never faked my death. I’m a comedy writer. I used to do a storytelling podcast with my friends. That got pretty big. I’m in LA on work, and my girlfriend and I want to rent this house while we look for one to buy.

THEM: You’ve never said you’re dead and then taken it back?

ME: Correct. Again, that sounds like the get-rich-quick Dan Kennedy. It sounds like a scam or some kind of old-school “gotcha!” marketing gimmick.

THEM: I think we’ve googled the wrong Dan Kennedy.

ME: Indeed. Yes.

THEM: This is the reason my father kept asking if you had a mustache.

ME: You know there’s a really smart writer in Boston named Dan Kennedy. Covers media, politics. And there’s a very cool soccer player named Dan Kennedy. I dearly wish I had been mistaken for either.

THEM: That’s funny. In fairness, my father did say you were funny, so that checks out.

ME: Your father is the funny one. He had a hilarious way of slipping that mustache question in during our call. He also asked if I drag my left leg, and I laughed so hard. But now I’m starting to wonder if the other Dan Kennedy not only has a mustache but drags his left leg.

THEM: I mean you know, I wouldn’t assume—

ME: Not that I care. That sounded wrong. I mean, we all have, you know…

THEM: Would you need two parking spaces?

ME: Just the one, we have one car.

THEM: Okay, well, I apologize for the confusion. If you can get us birth times for both of you so we have those.

ME: Birth dates?

THEM: The actual time when you were born.

ME: Right.

THEM: So we can do your charts.

ME: No, right.

ME: Obviously.

ME: Of course.