Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Hut

Have you noticed that Pizza Hut now calls itself The Hut? You can't give yourself your own nickname. It's not done. I refer you to George in Seinfeld, trying to make everyone call him T-Bone. It won't happen. Nicknames are bestowed.

Well, perhaps Pizza Hut is thinking of The Hut as its wrestling name. Now there's a concept I can support. When I got my beautiful cat, pre-named Mittens, a long-haired domestic-Birman mix, she seemed so delicate and sweet. She has the coloring of a Siamese and her fur is bunny-soft. Aww.

Of course, I hadn't yet seen her eviscerating a pigeon on my porch.

Still, when Mike started calling her The Mitt, I didn't like it. She's a she, not some idiotic male wrestling fan with a Bud gut and missing teeth. Alas, Mike -- like calling Miss Pook Mister Pook -- calls my charming feminine feline The Mitt.

It's hard coming up with wrestling names, though. Mike, for instance, is an accountant. What are you going to name an accountant? The Calculator? Hmm ... that's not bad. The Ten-Forty? Hey. That's not really so awful, is it? Men are always calling things by numbers anyhow. She's a ten. I just got me an F-350. (Men apparently are also always using bad grammar.)

Well, take me. I don't even like people calling me Barb, so I can't imagine embracing a wrestling name. In fact, now that I think about it, I realize that maybe you can't even give yourself a wrestling name. What if, for instance, I decide to use some physical feature of myself that you hadn't even noticed? Now you'll notice it, so now I'm embarrassed. I mean, what if I decided to go with the obvious and call myself The Glass Eye and you hadn't even known I had a glass eye? Now what? Or what if I call myself The Leg and you don't think I have particularly interesting legs. You see the dilemma.

Maybe you can't ever give yourself a name -- nick or wrestling. You can't even give yourself a Plain Old Name because you are way too young when the naming occurs. Ah. Maybe you can only name yourself if there's a ritual involved, a coming-of-age rite of passage like spending three weeks in the woods alone or going to the mall without your friends. Maybe a name must be either conferred by someone else or earned by yourself through some trial by fire. Or water, in the case of witches and back-strokers. Hmm.

I know a couple, the male part of whom is The Third. Yes. He's YYY III. Imagine the pressure when his own son was born. You'd have to name your son YYY IV, wouldn't you? How could you not? What a sublime act of rebellion to name the boy ZZZ. Well, The Third did, in fact, name his son ZZZ. The father's surname has way too many consonants and ends in ski but the son's name is Logan. I guess we know who wears the haggis in that family.

My ex-husband, a purebred Swede, named his daughter Lied (leed), Swedish for song (and English for prevaricated). He's a musician, so that makes sense. I've wondered, though, if his wife, also a musician, is Swedish and, if she isn't, how she accepted that. If that were my daughter, I should think I'd insist on the girl being named Canzonetta, even though it sounds like it comes dusted with powdered sugar. And notice that I completely left out my mother's side of the mix.

Moving on, let's sing The Alphabet Song to honor the birthday of Diane Hammond, author of Hannah's Dream.

Today is also the birthday of my high school sweetheart, John Beaumont. He was the first of our Class of 1968 (Letchworth Central Junior-Senior High School, Gainesville, NY) to die of Old People Stuff. He had a fatal heart attack just before his fifty-fifth birthday.

And of course it's Tax Day, so Mike will see his dogs again later today for the first time in weeks. They've been having sleepovers here so often that their jammies are getting ragged. (They sleep in the nude at home, which is as it should be.)

Returning to names, here's the name of a church -- or at least a "ministry" -- that's on Tyrone just as the road rises up and splits into a frontage road, if indeed that's what happens to the poor thing. It's in the strip mall where the scrapbooking store is ... or was. Anyway, it's called A Touch of God.

No. They're not kidding. Okay, we've all seen A Touch of Class. Blah, blah. And then A Touch of Glass, which is a bit cute, but still ... But A Touch of God? Good heavens! Do they mean like Touched by An Angel? I'd be okay with that if it were The Touch of God, but A touch is just too generic. I should think the touch of God would pretty much blow your mind and deserves something more than A.

Or do they mean just a smidgen of God? just a dab? I'll take a mote of God, please -- mote being such a biblical term, like dust (right, Eunice?). And if that's what they mean, then why bother? May as well hang out in your yard and worship the God In Nature, right?

And wasn't Nature just fine yesterday! My god! all that wind! all that rain! Yay! Both my doors are open now, letting in all the light and air that'll fit. It's absolutely gorgeous both out and in.

And now I'm off to join a friend for lunch at Panera.

The Pan.


Lorenzo di Calabria said...

Actually, one can choose one's own name in certain situations, but with some limitations.

For example, you chose Barbara over Barb. You could change that any time you want, if you can convince your friends to use it.
I switched from Jon (which I had been all my life) to Jonathon when I started working for a boss named John.
My friend Liz from high school went to college and switched to Beth (and boy did that throw me off)
I have two friends and a cousin who go by their middle names because they don't like their first names.
Then of course there are all the people who simply go by their surname for one reason or another.

Of course, those are all just cases where we choose a variation on the name given by our parents. There are some times when you can pick something completely different:

Actors will take a screen/stage name, authors have pen names, etc.
Witnesses in the Protection program probably have some choice.
But those are trying to hide their identity.

I went to college with a guy named Moose. He told us the story of how he got the name in high school, but he might have made that up. Perhaps he simply decided he wanted to be called Moose, and told us all to go with it. You can do that when you meet new people.

I chose the name you see attached to this post, about a year after I met the people who use it. Nope, my parents were not Mr. and Mrs. di Calabria.
Mine is a bit of an odd case - I'm in a Middle Ages recreation group (the Society for Creative Anachronism) so I got to make up a persona and choose a name. Now, everyone in the group calls me Lorenzo. Most of them don't know any other name to call me. Even some people outside the group call me Lorenzo, just because they like it better or they heard it first.

I guess when all is said and done, you can call yourself whatever you want, as long as you can get others to go along with it.

Ye gads, that was long. Sorry about that.

xzentricity43 said...

What about Caleb (yes he'll know who we're referencing should he read your blog)? He labled himself thusly; you may even want to consider a psuedonym to better facilitate the freedom of artistic license (I've no immediate suggestions & will not entertain any unless you're extending invitations).
Of course, the "A" touch of god is to exploit the inherent alpha listings advantage (even though phone books are becoming obsolete, it's a hard habit to break).
How about A Smote Of God? Now wouldn't that be an interesting twist for a ministry.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you got "mote" right -- but WEARING haggis?! Wikipedia confirms my recollection that, rather than being wearable, haggis is (at least by Scottish standards) edible. It might be a bit messy if worn. -- Eunice

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