Until 2015, if you searched my name on Facebook, I was the only Pippa, Philippa or Pip Bugg that existed. Sure, there were Phillip’s, Philip’s and Buggy’s – but Pip Bugg, it was just me.
It was a life of solitude and great responsibility, but it was a burden I was prepared to carry. Yes, I knew it made my profile an easy target for potential recruiters and Tinder matches, but I also knew the ease with which new acquaintances could find me – “Just add me on Facebook. It’s Pippa Bugg. Like Peppa Pig, but P-I-P-P-A-B-U-DOUBLE-G.”
And then one narcissistic Thursday afternoon my whole world changed.
When your identity is stolen, your grip on reality loosens. How many people had she swindled? Those conversations in which people had shared my name – was it really about me, or her? Is there even a difference anymore?
So I decided to take matters into my own hands, and filed a case with Action Fraud.
One of those In Voters (please like me), I’m all for protecting the public sector; the paper bags of free contraception the NHS provides, the countless bin fires brazen Firemen have extinguished in Wickford, the Postmen delivering Valentine’s cards in the face of English-weather adversity. But on this occasion, our precious public sector had failed me. According to the Police’s Fraud Department, a staffordshire bull terrier sharing your name on Facebook “does not constitute identity theft.”
Of all the breeds of dogs that could have stolen my identity, it had to be this one. Not the unconditionally-loving labrador, or novel pug, but the baby-eating breed* that is The Staffy.
Abandoned by my own country, I’ve contemplated making contact via Facebook Messenger time and time again. But what would be the point? Dogs don’t have opposable thumbs anyway.
Where were you, Mark Zuckerberg, when I needed you most?
*Disclaimer: Children are not the staffordshire bull terrier’s main food group, but form a balanced diet in moderation.
Images via Giphy.