Wednesday, June 4, 2008

What's in a name?

When I was a kid my then kid brother Trevor thought it would be clever to call me Dog. The great thing about being a kid is that we were all one at some point. Since Trevor thought it was clever to call me Dog, he thought he would be constantly clever if he called me Dog incessantly. So that is what he did. I of course didn't want Trevor to have a corner on being clever so I decided it would be even more clever to call him Retriever. So from then on when he would call me Dog I would call him Retriever. I'm sure you'll agree that this was even more clever than him calling me Dog.

Well the net result of all this cleverness was a cleverness impasse, a sort of detente if you will.

As kids, most of us were tagged with various nicknames. I learned very young a sort of nickname paradox. It goes something like this: The probability that a nickname will stick is directly proportionate to the degree that you dislike it or the degree to which you protest it. If you really, really detest a nickname you should at the moment of inception embrace it, and passionately; convincingly declare how much you like it. I've been tagged with some really good nicknames over the years, most of which didn't stick for very long. The one's I hated the most didn't stick because I loved them the most. Don't ask me which one's I really hate because I will likely tell you I love them. You'll never really know for sure because I'll say I love some nicknames that I really do love and vice versa.

Have you ever noticed that when you go to restaurants they will usually ask something like, "May I have a name?". I don't think anyone has ever asked me "What is your name?". Ok, I get it, they just want a name. They don't really care if your name is an alias or not. One time Amy, Brad and I were at a hamburger joint in Orem called Fuddruckers, and the girl asked "May I have a name". I said, "Sure...Diego". My kids immediately started giggling like I had just said the funniest thing they had ever heard. Their laughter reached a crescendo after the burgers were cooked and "Diego" was called out over the intercom. I thought they were going to blow chunks, but I realized all they had to eat so far were their milkshakes and there weren't any chunks in them.

A few years ago I went to another restaurant and the cashier ask me, "May I have a name". I told them "Doug". The cashier took my money, made a note on my reciept and handed it back to me. I was amused to see the person had spelled my name "Dug". This really cracked me up. Of course I shared this story as seemed appropriate, but imagine my surprise when it happened again at another restaurant. I love it when illiterate restaurant employees have a sense of humor.

Recently we decided to order some chinese food for take-out. Becky and I negotiated that Heidi and I would drive to pick up the food if she would order it. So Becky called Ming Gardens, placed the order and soon Heidi and I were off to pick it up. As we walked into the restaurant no one was at the counter, but there was a box of food sitting there with a handwritten receipt. I glanced at it and told Heidi it was our order. She asked, "How do you know". I replied, "simple the name on the receipt is Dough".


Blaire Roper said...

Thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

That was funny! I think the little cousins might even get more of a kick at calling you uncle Dough rather than uncle dog.

Doug said...

Easy Heidi! Oh wait, I really like that. That's a great idea.

Side Note: I was working with one of my salespeople one day and he had to pick up his daughter Avery at the end of the day from the inlaws house, while I was with him.

Yesterday he told me that Avery, the daughter, asked him when he was going to take Dog to work with him again. Ben the sales rep said "I'm not going to take our dog with us". She replied, "No, not our dog, Dog with Glasses".

Guess what I had been wearing that day?