You might think, just because you know a lot of people, that you would know a stranger when you see one. Things are not always so easy. For eaxmple, it could be that the 'stranger' you are staring at across the room - the one talking to Aunty Betty perhaps, is in fact Uncle John with a beard. You just didn't recognise him. It happens all the time! You see thousdands of strangers everyday, but you never know if you know any of them. This can be problem enough in the real world, but on the internet it's a nightmare! Who hasn't pretended to be somebody else at one time or another? I'm pretending to somebody pretending to be me right now, and you'd never know.
Here are some tips for recognising a stranger.
Generally speaking, strangers don't come over to your house to watch the game on friday night. If you don't know any Canadians, and you meet someone from Canada - the chances are good that you don't know them. Always ask strangers if they are somebody else. This can shake them up a little, but try it. Walk up to somebody you think you don't know and say "Excuse me, you look nothing like Gary. Are you Gary?" Try to pick someone who looks like they might look like Gary. If they say no, they are a stranger. If they say yes, the you've learned their name and therefore they are not a stranger any more.
Another thing to try is to go to your local international airport and hold up a sign reading "John." Everyone who ignores the sign is a stranger, and if somebody says to you, "Hi, I'm John - you must be Tony" - you can charge them $100 for a ride into town stopping past popular tourist attractions on the way. You might even get a few Johns at once, which makes the day even more profitable, and further reduces the amount of strangers around you. why not try making a bunch of nice "John' signs and selling them here on ebay!
For more tips on finding strangers - consult a telephone directory from another country.
How to recognise a stranger when you see one
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3 June 2006
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