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Thursday, September 25, 2008

What’s Your Name Again?

I saw Bruce Lee the other day.

No, not the leaping, karate-chopping Bruce Lee, the other Bruce Lee. The one who lives down the road from me. You know. Bartender? The one who has parties in his garage? Yeah, that one.

In my life time, I have known a Bruce Lee, a James Bond, and a Tom Cruise. Both James and Tom left my life long ago, but Bruce is still around, and it got me wondering. How does having a famous name affect your life?

I could ask Bruce, I suppose, but he works all the time; so rather than inconvenience myself by, you know, popping by there and sitting and talking to him about it, I think I’ll just extrapolate.

Still with me?

James Bond. Poor Jimmy Bond. Even the 10th grade math teacher Mr. Sums (I made that up) couldn’t resist calling roll the first morning with a fake British accent: “Bond? James Bond?” he’d say, a smarmy grin on his face. Poor Jimmy. There he was, right up front with the other beginning-of-the-alphabet names. “Here,” he sniffled miserably. Jimmy was a little on the scrawny side with a perpetually running nose. Looking back on it, he probably had a number of undiagnosed allergies and could’ve used a pill or two. What he got, however, was chased down the football field after school by a good portion of the soccer team. In the end, Jimmy was caught and “shaken, not stirred”. Last I heard, James Bond was working in the parks system and was on his second wife.

Tommy, on the other hand, was, as we said back in the day, “fiiiiiiiiiiine”. What a good looking arrogant little bastard he was.

Oh, Tom! Why didn’t you ever call me like you said you were going to?!

I saw Tom at the 10-year high school graduation. He had gone to the Air Force Academy right after graduation and was doing very well for himself. Heavy drinking had altered his looks dramatically, but he was still an arrogant little bastard, and he was drunk drunk drunk. He couldn’t believe I was still single, I couldn’t believe he was still upright, and I slipped out the front door after claiming I had to use the bathroom rather than hear what was going to come out of his mouth next. I actually ran to my car.

What a waste of his good looks and a pretty cool name – or at least until the real Tom Cruise came out with the Scientology stuff. Then it got strange.

So how does having a famous name affect you? Outside of being just one more bullet in the arsenal of casual childhood cruelty, the passage of time seems to take care of it. If it's not your name, it's your height, your hair, your glasses, or whatever little weirdness – perceived or real – that they can sniff out about you.

And speaking of weirdness, I've gotta run. I'm meeting friends Cher and Ozzy for a drink, and you don't want to let these two start without you.


Barbara Blundell said...

What about unfortunate names through marriage ? I worked with someone called Rhoda Christianson who married Alan Bull. My friend Dorothy Hill married Stan Dale
I've heard of Olive Hoyle but can't vouch for this one( You see I don't always twist the facts-I'm usually quite truthful - that boy has a lot to answer for )
As for me-my maiden surname was Gee- so I often had to answer to Gee-Barbara !

Pearl said...

Really? Rhoda Bull?!

Now that I think of it, I actually did work once with a woman whose maiden name was Sandy Rhodes.


Aleta said...

How about being named after a cartoon character? I wasn't, but my brother used to tease the daylights out of me when he saw it one day in the comic section. Ehh, you laugh it off.

I work with customers and we've had some sad names on the books. You wonder what parents were thinking (especially for the guys where they can't change the names). Also had some clients who changed names from a guy to a girl and so forth.

It makes for an interesting world!

Kavi said...

LOL ! I have some incidents of names not matching up to the person. Or Vice-Versa !

Liike Mr.Engineer, who couldnt tell a triangle from a square !

But having Bruce Lee tend to your hair can be quite something. Really !@!!!

Pearl said...

Hi, Aleta.

There is a baseball player in the U.S. called Coco Crisp -- also the name of a breakfast cereal!

There is also another baseball player here named Milton Bradley -- a game manufacturer.

Hello, Kavi!

So nice to hear from you again!


xacan said...

Pearl, thanks for visiting my blog. keep enjoying my blogging:)

Cess said...

he he it was very funny, i guess It really depends of the name u got, I mean James Bond as Pierce B, or Sean Connery are/were pretty sexy, how about ur name is Danny Devito? Less sexy already.
And as Barbara said sometimes u get a really bad last name when getting married that i d rather keep my name in case my future husband is call Mister 'Saussice' (sausage in English!!!) :D

Christian said...

I wish I had a cool name.

Val Aziz said...

Reminds me of the movie Meet The Parents..hehehe my high-school years were all about calling people with funy names and they'll be stuck with it until forever. I was lucky my name couldn't be made fun at..just a normal name.

Pearl said...

Xacan -- Hello!

Hi, Cess.

In English, you would also not want your married last name to be Poole. Cess Poole would be bad.

Hi, Christian.

You don't need a cool name. You have a cool face. :-)

Hi, Val,

Is the full name "valerie" or "valentina"? Either way, yes -- nice name! I never saw "Meet the Parents", but I know what you're talking about. I personally am never quite sure how to pronounce the rather common last names of "Fuchs" and "Koch". Silly Germans!



ugich konitari said...

In India, a suffix of "wala" associates folks with what precedes it and these are names commonly found within a some communities.

so-and-so Treasurywala (maybe GWB can change is name)

so-and-so Gheewala (ghee here is clarified butter)

but we actually had a girl in school years ago, with the last name of Sodawaterwalla. I wonder if she got married to a Daruwala (daru = alcohol in our language) ...

Pearl said...

Hi, Ugich!

Hmmm. Now what would be an appropriate prefix for GWB? ;-)

I have seen "wala" before but did not know what it stood for. Thank you!

Every day, I learn!


Devika said...

This is interesting too...
I remember my friend Newton...who said recently about his shcool teachers who searched for the 'idiot' with the great name..lol! I'll refer him here...

You have lots here...all seemingly interesting ones...I'll be a regular weekly reader for your new ones...thanks Pearl!

btw, you look gorgeous. 'simply' gorgeous in that picture! :-)
liked to have it on my page..the other day!
see you again :-)