A few weeks ago, our advertising representative Pam Schultz asked me about my last name.

An odd question to come from a coworker, you might say, but not so in my case. The thing is, I got married a couple of years ago, and while my legal name is now Carter, I continued writing for The Republican Journal under my maiden name. That’s why Pam, my coworkers and many readers know me as Tanya Mitchell.

So I briefly explained this to Pam, and then she asked me if my last name had ever been Roy (it hasn’t).

Then Pam told me a woman named Tanya Roy was the first-place winner in the best local writer category for the 2012 Best of the Best contest, an annual event that highlights businesses and individuals for their work and is intended to raise money for scholarships at the Hutchinson Center.

“But we think it’s you,” said Pam.

It seems most people who intended to do so voted for “Tanya Mitchell” (thanks to all who did), but someone also voted for a Tanya Roy. After some re-checking, Pam learned it was indeed me who won the honor.

Well, what a nice gift from the people who read our paper each week! And now, I am about to tell you of other unexpected gifts that came with this case of mistaken identity – a new name, and a lot of laughs.

The two guys in the newsroom, Ben and Dan, decided “Roy” is a fitting new nickname for me. The joke has since spun out of control, and now Roy is really my evil twin who causes mischief ranging from racking up parking tickets and jaywalking to regularly telling (and sometimes showing) insufferably rude people exactly where to go.

Now every time we get reports from a local police department about the latest complaint involving people drinking and causing a ruckus at the Swanville dam, I expect a comment such as, “Sounds like Roy was at it again.”

This whole scenario is the story of my life, at least the part that pertains to the various nicknames I’ve had over the years. In school, my friend Jen called me “T” (she still does). When I first started working at the Journal, a former reporter named Murray Carpenter occasionally called me “Scoop,” and after I’d been here a few years, another former coworker, Beth Staples, called me “Timmay.” A certain retired police officer I know still calls me “kid” (which, by the way, I love).

But the story continues as far as my newest alias. It seems Roy isn’t going anywhere.

At the end of last week, I noticed that my name was listed in the Best of the Best supplement as “Tanya Roy.” I decided to email one of the organizers and get to the bottom of this. Well, lo and behold, there had been a mistake; the certificate, as it turns out, reads “Tanya ‘Roy’ Mitchell.”

Then I got to the second part of the email, in which the organizer inquired, “Why do they call you Roy?” I laughed so hard I almost fell out of my chair.

Someday I’ll figure out where this Roy reference came from, or my name isn’t Tanya Mitchell (or “Tanya Carter,” or “T,” or “Timmay,” or, of course, “Roy”).