I never realised how common The Urban Fox pseudonym had become until I’d been using it as an anonymous blogger for several months.
First, I received email from someone who thought I was moonlighting from the Times website. Next came email from someone who thought I was an Evening Standard hack (or a “Jocasta”, as they are known round these parts).
I was confused, until I did a web search. Only then did I realise I had unwittingly joined a community of thousands. There are web-based Urban Foxes all over the place. The Unoriginal Fox might have been a better choice. But it was already too late.
I suppose it would’ve been simplest just to adopt a new name. But I’ve had an Urban Fox alter ego for years, albeit not as an online identity. As far as I’m concerned, it’s mine. Mine, I tell you! Make them stop using it! Wah!
So here’s who I’m not.
I am neither – or, if I’ve missed another one, none – of the people who use The Urban Fox as their commercial media pseudonym. I am not Samantha Fox, Liam Fox or “Doctor” Fox. I have no involvement with The Urban Fox Press, leisure club, or animal hospital. Nor do I use the name for a newspaper column.
Admittedly, I can be a slippery eel when it comes to identity. My published work goes out under four different names, for a start. But The Urban Fox is not one of them.
You see, I am someone else entirely!
In short: if you read some sneery rant in the middle market press about council kids infiltrating public schools, or house prices plummeting when gypsies move in next door, it’s nothing to do with me.
And the moral of the story? Google before you choose a pseudonym.