Idaho Idiot Bill Bickel. This is new.

While at the same time just more of the same. Seriously, how does every Bill Bickel in the country think he has my email address? I’m not even sure whether this makes five or six, that’s how bad it’s gotten.

I just got three apparently-important e-mails regarding his upcoming medical procedure, and I have no way of forwarding them to him.



  1. You are the only Bickel I have ever known personally, Bill or otherwise. Apparently, you are the only Bill Bickel that can function properly

  2. It’s a much more common surname than I’d have thought, though very few of them are even distantly related to me: three different European families independently stumbled upon the same name.

    (Three that I know of, anyway — but even three seems to defy the odds)

  3. We’ve already discussed (and refuted) this possibility for IBB, but if those mails to IIBB all came from the same institution, the mistake may not have been IIBB’s. He may have written down the address (perhaps illegibly) on the hospital form, and some nurse could have transcribed it as yours.

  4. What’s the procedure for? You might be in with a chance to get free LASIK surgery or hair plugs. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

  5. IIBB’s a new addition, so there’s not enough information to go by. But whatever the reason was in this particular case… this is happening freakishly often, isn’t?

    If I hadn’t been able to track down most of these Bill Bickels, I’d have had to assume this was all some incredibly elaborate and ultimately pointless scam.

  6. I’m pretty sure sending medical information to the wrong person is a violation of HIPAA, so if it’s the clinic’s typo they’re potentially in serious trouble.

  7. If you’ve got his log-on and password, you might try using them to contact his health care provider. There’s usually a way to send messages with those sites.

    On the other hand, it’s so bizarre that someone would send you this information that it’s possible the whole thing is a set-up and using the site will lead to a computer virus. Temporary passwords are usually sent only in response to someone forgetting his password and requesting a new one.

  8. Maybe this is some kind of setup for the big time travel reveal. Where Future Bill amasses his fortune, comes back here, fakes his death and leaves a crap ton of money to CIDU Bill. Plus he impregnates CIDU Bill’s wife. “Oh, Bill’s his own grandpa, he came through a time warp and knocked up his grandma….”

  9. According to http://howmanyofme.com/search/, there are 5 Bill Bickels in the US.

    There are 183,708 people in the U.S. with the first name Bill.
    Statistically the 357th most popular first name.
    More than 99.9 percent of people with the first name Bill are male.

    There are 8,394 people in the U.S. with the last name Bickel.
    Statistically the 4695th most popular last name.

    Bill Bickel

    There are 5 people in the U.S. named Bill Bickel.

  10. Chak, that web site notwithstanding, I know of at least ten, including a pastor, a professional golfer and a chimney sweep. And I somehow doubt I’m aware of every Bill Bickel in the United States.

  11. I think that site is going off exact-match legal name. That same site says that there are 103 people named “William Bickel.”

  12. Technically, carlfink, they didn’t send me any specific medical information — though of course they granted me access to all of it.

    Or maybe not: maybe once on the site, I can’t proceed without Bill’s Social Security number.

  13. According to that search link, I’m the only me in the US. I know that’s not quite correct, as I have a nephew with the same first and last name, but he probably doesn’t show up on the records they search.

  14. Very strange. I have a very common first and last name which I use in my email addresses and don’t recall ever getting email destined for someone else. You might be being set up for a scam but I think it is more likely that you are being trolled for giggles.

  15. “You might be being set up for a scam but I think it is more likely that you are being trolled for giggles.”
    That’s what I thought. Either that or you have an enemy — maybe someone who really likes the squirrel?

  16. Yes, I tried that site for my name: Brian is the 29th most common name, so I beat Bill there, and Rauchfuss is the 150436th most common last name, so I beat Bickel there too. They claim there is 1 or fewer of me, even though I know there is a clone of me (a Brian Rauchfuss of almost the same age) out there.

  17. Bookworm, I’ve established the existance of most of these Bill Bickels, so I have no reason to doubt the others are legit.

    Unless this is the most elaborate scam in history, involving the creation of a fake real estate agrncy, a fake parish, and two fake newspapets.

  18. The most elaborate scam in history is probably the one detailed in Robert A. Heinlein’s short story “They.” You might want to take another look at some of those misdirected emails and see if any are coming from Glaroon.org .

  19. Bill, have you thought of turning this into a novel?

    You could take the basic threads of this and run with them. You could turn it into a dark, layered mystery drama
    about a regular average guy who gets caught in a web of intrigue.

    The scam angle could be interesting, as could be plotline of the IBB character being in possible danger…should your character reach out to help? It could lead to trouble down the line.

    The novel would write itself. 🙂

  20. @Grawlix: “The novel would write itself. ”

    Yes, but the royalties would all wind up misdirected to one of the other Bill Bickels.

  21. Actually, it would probably work the other way around: one of the other Bill Bickels would write the book, and the royalties would get sent to ME.

  22. @ Brian Rauchfuss – How wonderful to have a name that lends itself to an instant alias. (I assume you already know that in German, it means “smokeyfoot”.)

  23. 1 – My maiden name is not all that common,but not uncommon either. When we got our telephone it was in my maiden last name and first initial (Robert worked with children with emotional problems and we did not want them to look find him in the phone book.) So when the first phone book came out after we were married I looked me up. There were 35 listings with the last name in Nassau County – me, 2 for dad, 2 for my uncle, a cousin, and 28 strangers and a non-relative who lived up the street my family.

    2 – I did an Internet search for me with my maiden-married name – I did not show up. I did one with my maiden name – I did not show up. I did one for me with just my married name – the name actually showed up – in California. So there may be another Meryl with married last night – or it was an error.

  24. Got an email from the medical center this morning asking Idaho Bill if he wants to reschedule the appointment he apparently didn’t show up for earlier this month.

    Well… I’d notified them before the time of the initial appountment that they had the wrong e-mail address. If they ignored that, or if this is the only contact information they have for him, there isn’t much more I can do.

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