Despite having created the name Gambba-Jones in 1992, by combining our family surname and a part of my wife’s grandfather’s family name, it seems we are not alone. As well as Linda, myself and our two grown-up kids, there now appears to be as many as five more in the area – or maybe not.
On Sunday we went out for lunch with five friends. Curiously, when we got to the restaurant a family group, complete with a not particularly adorable baby – very noisy – had arrived shortly before us and claimed to be us. This was done by pointing to our name on the booking sheet and saying, ‘that’s us’. From that point on, or at least until we arrived, they were the Gambba-Jones party. Unfortunately, for the restaurant owner, our arrival and reclaiming of the name did not ring any alarm bells for and the interlopers were not confronted.
Having enjoyed an excellent lunch we asked for the bill, it was at this point the real reason for earlier identity theft was revealed. Apparently, the counterfeit Gambba-Jones’s had, little by little, drifted away leaving their bill unpaid. First the woman left with the baby, claiming it needed changing. This was followed by a further two members of the party going outside, ‘for a smoke’. The remainders then just slipped away, without the staff realising that all of the cuckoos had now flown the nest.
A warning for all those providing services up front and before any payment is received, if you get a customer, or customers, claiming to be each other, check it out!