Monday, August 4, 2008

My Wealthy, Well Connected Family

When I was a single girl in the Air Force, I went out on dates with Air Force guys who had very common last names, like Smith and Harris and Kelley. Yet somehow I ended up falling in love with and marrying an airman with a decidedly uncommon and (for many people) unpronounceable German name.

I never even heard of the name Lingefelt till I met the man who later became my husband. So rare is the name that if you happen to know anyone else named Lingefelt, chances are very good that person is related to me through marriage. I’ve even received a couple of e-mails from strange Lingefelts wondering if perchance they might share DNA with the romance author of that name.

For years I thought most Lingefelts were found in the southeastern United States. Wrong!

Judging from the e-mails that show up in my spam folder, most Lingefelts are, in fact, literally living out their days in Third World countries. I find it absolutely fascinating that among this small, unusually named group of Americans:

--None of them know how to drive, because they’re all getting killed in car accidents in those countries.

--All of them are fabulously wealthy.

--All of them are intimate friends with the royal family of whatever country they’re in.

(Considering their wealth and connections, maybe it’s the Lingefelt chauffeurs who need to find another line of work.)

--And all of them meet their grisly ends intestate.

Meanwhile, I always happen to be the closest next of kin the investigators can find. I might be the most prominent, for what it’s worth, but the closest? Even if there aren’t that many Lingefelts out there to begin with, I should think their bosom bows at the royal palace would have the resources to hire investigators who can dig deeper than just typing “Lingefelt” into their favorite search engine, and settling on the first result.

These are just the little demons I see in the details.

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