What's a Doppelgänger?
When I re-launched my website with its new ursine resource locator [that joke's getting a bit stale, Big Ted] bigtedonline.uk, I added a news item saying that I've moved away from Plumtree and that my "near-identical Australian cousin, Tod" was involved. Now that I've settled down in my new home, I think I'll let you know a bit more of the story...
Once upon a time there was a bear (with splendid fur and admirable ears, you can probably guess who!). He was getting restless in his role as a Roving Ambassador and wanted to see the world without the constraints of only visiting St Mary's churches and being an ambassador (and therefore having to behave himself all the time). He felt that he couldn't abandon St Mary's Plumtree completely, after all, who would chat with Little Ted and help to keep order in the Children's Corner.
So during the first lockdown (this all took place amid some horid virus-thingy outbreak doodad) he sat down with his associates (let's call them "Auntie Fiona and Uncle Les" for now) and had a long chat (and a couple of biscuits that happened to be around not doing anything important). Auntie Fiona and Uncle Les had been thinking about moving away from Plumtree for some time but hadn't known how to break the news to the bear. They all had a long think (and the bear had a short snooze to pass the time).
All of a sudden Auntie Fiona said to the bear, "Why don't we ask one of your relatives to move into St Mary's church in your place. Then you can come and live with us in our new house and visit new places when we're allowed." This was all very well, but how would we find the bear's relatives? [This is getting all too confusing - I'm going to use ME from now on, after all we are talking about ME and it is MY website].
As you know, I have a bit of a chequered past (and if you don't know this, then you haven't been reading my website and so I'm cross - please read Do you have a label? and come back here when you've finished) [Rather rude, Big Ted]. All I really know about my background is that I come from China and was a hot-water bottle cover once.
So, Auntie Fiona looked on the interweb-thingy and came across a site that had lots of pictures of different bears that were hot-water bottle covers. But none of them looked like me.
The best she could come up with was this stripy thing (see right). I mean, where's the spendid fur, the cheeky grin, the nuzzleable nose, the admirable ears and all the other things for which I'm renowned. And it's wearing a bow tie! [I think you're getting a bit big headed here, please calm down, Big Ted].
I was despondent, how could she think THAT monstrosity looked like me. [That's a bit uncaring, Big Ted] So I did what I often do when I'm feeling down - I had a little snooze.
Meanwhile Auntie Fiona continued her search. And just when I was in the middle of a particularly good dream about cakes and steam engines, I was woken up by a loud, "Found him!" And she had!
Auntie Fiona contacted the bear's associates (she called them his owners but I think that's just wrong. Bears are like cats, they don't have "owners") and arranged for him to come and live in Plumtree. Money may have changed hands to sort this out, I couldn't possibly say.
So, this is my distant cousin Big Tod. He's from Australia, which is even further away than China. This is his passport photo (on the left) so it's not very good, but you can see he really looks like me. Same admirable ears, same posture and same feet (OK, same slightly-larger-than-normal feet). The splendid fur's not quite as splendid though, and the nose isn't quite right - I blame the Australian climate.
I'm not sure why he's got no clothes on - perhaps it's an Australian thing. Seems a bit odd for your passport photo! But, I'll share out my clothes with him so that we're both suitably attired. And he can have my lovely, stripy cardigan 'cos it can get quite cold in St Mary's, Plumtree. And I'll ask Auntie Fiona to give him a haircut to get rid of that quite unnecessary bit of string. [Ahem, actually you used to have one of those before it was surgically removed, Big Ted!]
So, if the questions is "what is a Doppelgänger?" The answer is "It's a Big Tod!"
[More accurately, doppelgänger is a German word that means a person/bear who closely resembles another person/bear, Big Ted]
Please visit Big Tod when you are next in St Mary's and he, Little Ted and the rest of the toys are out of Coronavirus isolation in the Vestry. You can see for yourself how much he looks like me. And you can check out his funny accent.
G'day Cobbers (snigger), Big Ted