What’s In A Name?

Posted: April 20, 2013 in Community, Family, Humour
Tags: , , , , , , ,


Names: we all have them. Some are long. Some are short. We have people with beautiful, memorable names like Katharine Hepburn, Truman Capote, Theodore Roosevelt, to name but a few. There are people with single names like Sting, Jewel, Seal, Slash, and Madonna. Even Prince comes to mind, although he changed it to a symbol for a few years, which I attribute to some sort of mid-life crisis (that must have been interesting at the doctor’s office….’Uhm, next, could we have ‘Thingie’ come in?)

So, we have names to identify us, to link us to past relatives, to personify perhaps something important to those who named us. Names like some people have because of dear old grandpa, or our parents’ best friend, uncle, aunt, cousin, neighbour. Some have gone a little overboard and named their children stuff like Sunset, Moon-Unit, and Blanket (look these up, they’re real), some unfortunate double names like Amanda Huginkiss, Anetta Sandwhich, and even some pretty racy ones which I can’t put in here because my kids will read this. I think I got my name when my father was opening his mail. My brother Bob got his when my dad was fishing.

All this has a point. ‘What is this point?’, you ask, ‘and when, for the love of God, are you going to get to it so I can read CNN’?’, you go on to ask in exasperation. Believe me, I would like nothing more than to tell you, but it behoves me to seemingly ramble on so that I can lay a base for the real topic, otherwise to me it just won’t sound as meaty or full.

Okay, so here goes. Although everyone seemingly has a name, I on the other hand am quite forgetful of them. Oh, I’ve tried many of the techniques recommended in order to improve the retention of names. Methods like word association. For example, you meet someone by the name of ‘Ted’. Ted rhymes with bed, lead, fed, head, etc. So, in order to remember him, it would go something like ‘When Ted was in bed, it lead to his head getting fed!’ You say that four or five times, you’re good to go. It sticks. You definitely have ‘ed’ in your brain, and when you see him next, Ted will pop out, right?

I would just end up calling him Steve.

I’ll tell you, this has become a real problem for me. It’s not because I’m a business man, or that I know a lot of you. I get by. I use the old stand-by’s…’Hey, Bud!’, ‘Yo, Dude!’, ‘How’s it going, Chum?’  I’ve developed methods of coaxing people’s names out of them. So, I’ve managed to cobble an existence together by managing my disability, so to speak, and thus far it has worked. That is until my wife ‘What’s-her-name’ came to realize this.

I have many nicknames for what’s-her-name….babe, love, Pootie-Pie, BooBoo….the list is endless. But when she discovered that I do this to everyone, including my two kids ‘Sonny’ and ‘Hey-you,-could-you-empty-the-dishwasher’, the proverbial jig was up. Chose-Bin gets pretty upset when I call her little pet names now. Apparently it is no longer ‘cute’ or ‘endearing’; no, now she thinks it is just demeaning.

It’s not like I mean to do this. My dad started it all. I’ve worked with him for years, and it has rubbed off on me. He not only forgets names of people, but of objects as well. Once, when he was on a roof, he yelled down to me, ‘Hey, Bill…could you get the thing that’s on the thing beside the, uhhhhh….thing?’, and then he just walked away. I know for a fact that he didn’t realise what he had just done. I had to climb up on the roof to ask him just what the heck he meant, and we managed to decipher what he needed after sitting for a minute and laughing it out of him. So you see, genetics play a big part in this, and it is not at all my fault. Just ask my mother, Minoune…

So, if you happen to stop to talk to me, try not to be upset if I call you Pete and your name is actually Jennifer, or if I ask you about you father Dude’s rectal exam results, or if What’s-his-name really did win their hockey game. I mean well. Maybe you can feel just sorry enough for me to contribute to the ‘Keep Thingamabob in beer’ fund. Thingamabob would surely appreciate it.


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