But what’s to be done? What can you do to avoid this if you value your privacy, if you don’t particularly want people, even if they are related to you, poking into your business - even many, many, many decades after your demise? How can you throw this potential “researcher” off your trail and thwart him in his tracks?
I offer suggestions. Caveat: no living or dead person, in any capacity, other than the author, i.e. me, endorses these, and to be fair, even I have grave doubts about a few of them. But here goes…
Second. Claim you were adopted. Admittedly, most of us grew out of that fantasy before high school, but you can resurrect it easily enough. Brainstorm with fellow family history-phobics. Plot your story. Have turning points and an inciting incident. Milk that conflict. Give it a black moment and do try and fit some sexual tension in there. Leave no stone unturned. Remember this is not lying. It is creating. Creation is good. And the sublime beauty of it is you don’t need proof. That’s for your ‘researcher’ to tear their hair out trying to find.
Third. Throw in lots of mentions of another country to set people on a false trail. It might pay to go there as well and take photos. Target some unsuspecting but very rich and attractive local and make sure you get plenty of selfies with them around. Preserve the pics. This will arouse the suspicion of the future “researcher”. They won’t be able to sleep for trying to figure out what you were doing in this country, and who that person was, and do they, your descendant, in fact possess this mystery person’s DNA and quite possibly a claim on their fortune? Photobombing a local politician could work to your advantage, too.
Now, settle down. I know what you’re thinking. Hashtag hypocrite.
But we are not talking stalking a real person here, or any kind of harassment. (See New Zealand legal information). We are not even talking cyberstalking with fake Twitter and Facebook accounts. We are suggesting stalking a ‘thing’. For example – just throwing this out there – stalking rugby league.
For example, you genuinely loathe league, loathe it passionately, and everyone knows it. What better way to arouse the suspicious mind of your future relative than to start quietly admiring it, and most of all documenting this perplexing admiration but without giving a sufficiently believable explanation. You head off to games. At work you start throwing around phrases like “goal line dropout,” “knock on” and “credit to the boys.” You have www.nrl.com.au in your desktop favourites. You appear at press conferences with a fraudulent media pass. (I have no clue how that happens but I’m sure you can figure it out.)
|Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19190717-40-1|