Friday, March 3, 2023

Andy Young: Oprah’s twin, or Oprah herself?

By Andy Young

Am I the only person who’s dreamed about having a sibling from whom I was separated at birth?

Oprah Winfrey
I’ve long entertained the idea that through some unfortunate mix-up at the hospital, or perhaps a prearranged agreement between my birth parents and another party or parties, my twin and I were sent to different homes.

It’s taken years, but after much counseling and consideration I’ve clearly envisioned a likely (or at least plausible) scenario which explains how my twin sister, Oprah Winfrey, and I have come to live such disparate lives.

Our similarities are far too plentiful to ignore. We both rode the bus to school every day. Oprah was an honor student; I too was a student. She was on her high school’s speech team; I also spoke a lot in high school, albeit out of the side of my mouth, and mostly to my fellow slackers in the back of the classroom. Oprah won a beauty pageant; I won the blue ribbon for the 50-yard dash at second grade field day.

As adults our parallel career paths have been eerily similar. Both of us are generous to a fault. Oprah once gave away 276 new Pontiacs at a taping of her TV show. I distributed dozens of Big Al’s Pizza gift certificates while doing radio broadcasts for a minor league baseball team in Burlington, North Carolina.

Oprah made her reputation chatting up celebrated people like Barack Obama, Ellen DeGeneres, and Michael Jackson, but my interviews with Johnny Lipon, Steve O’Donnell, and Murray Cook (the Canadian baseball executive, not the Australian musician and red-shirted Wiggle) are every bit as iconic.

But the biggest thing Oprah and I have in common: we both like reading, and enjoy encouraging others to do likewise. Oprah’s had a Book Club since 1996, and has, as of this writing, recommended a total of 99 books to her followers. Coincidentally, I too have been recommending quality reads to my eponymous book club since … well, last week. My most recent endorsement goes to There’s a Bulldozer on Home Plate, by Miles Wolff. It earns the coveted six-star rating from Andy’s Book Club, as it is a memoir that is entertaining, frank, informative, and most significantly, not at all self-serving. Mr. Wolff, unlike other authors who write autobiographically, is scrupulously accurate with his vivid recollections, even when the anecdote he’s sharing doesn’t cast him in a particularly flattering light.

Full disclosure: Mr. Wolff is a friend (and former employer) of mine. I mention this because like my twin sister, maintaining my integrity is far more important to me than increasing my already-vast personal fortune.

I imagine the idea Oprah and I are twins is hard for some people to accept. But have they considered that both of us were born when Dwight Eisenhower was president?

Okay; our listed birth dates aren’t exactly the same, but just ask any conspiracy theorist how easy it is to falsify a birth certificate. And while I’ll concede we look a bit different, remember that not every set of twins are the same gender, or the same height.

Oddly, several friends I’ve shared my hypothesis with have expressed some doubt about my perfectly reasonable assertion. And I’ll admit; on occasion the possibility has occurred to me that Oprah and I might not be related. But the alternative explanation might be even harder for doubting Thomases to get their heads around. Savvy comic book enthusiasts understand it instantly, though.

No one’s ever seen Oprah and me together. Applying the well-known (and generally accepted) Clark Kent/Superman theorem, could she and I actually be the same person? <

No comments:

Post a Comment