Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What's In A Name?

First of all, I'm not making fun of anyone's name. I'm just a big fan of words that, when grouped together, enjoy a linguistic synergy. I like the name Hodges's unique and memorable, though by itself, it's hardly blog worthy. When you consider that there's a real estate agent in Saint John with the last name Hamm and another one called Bacon, then my keyboard gets egged on to start typing. I then discovered, by accident, while eating moo shu pork at a Chinese restaurant in Oromocto, that there's a real estate agent in the Fredericton area called Nettie Hogg. I went ballistic.

For me, this is gold.

I feel childish writing about this, and perhaps only a child psychologist could help me. You see, I was traumatized by my own name as a child. Ian Varty quickly became Ian Farty. This happened long before I mastered the fine art of gaseous expulsions, hence my hurt feelings. Call me Ian Farty now and I'll look at you as if you're telling me that I'm tall (or devastatingly handsome). I won't even blink.

My name once generated a rhyme:

Ian Varty had a party,
And all the farts were there.
Tootie-frootie let a beauty,
They all went out for air.

If I remember correctly, this was composed by a classmate in junior high. I don't remember who wrote it but I do hope that he's now either a junior high English teacher, proctologist or a telemarketer. In either case, payback.

I'm not sure if I spelled Tootie-frootie properly. Spell check hates what I've done to it. My only reference for the spelling is that Kim Fields played a character, on the life altering 1980s hit television show The Facts Of Life, called Dorothy 'Tootie' Ramsey. I was very close to this show, as you might imagine. It debuted on August 24, 1979 (my 16th birthday, one more reason to celebrate). I also had a cousin homophonically called Dorothy Ramsay. I could draw other comparisons to the show; for example, I was pleasantly overweight as a teenager, like the character Natalie Green, played by Mindy Cohn. I also wanted to attend an all girls private school (but my parents wouldn't let me, hence my lacklustre record of teen dating).

I was born with a name that begged for abuse. I'm not alone. Newfoundland has it's own collection of startling hind names. Look through any Newfoundland phone book and you'll find surnames like Outhouse and Butt. I have a friend with the surname Butt (sadly, for me and other children, her husband's name is not Harry).

Sometimes when women get married they hyphenate their names. People we know and love like Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Farrah Fawcett-Majors and Priscilla Outhouse-Butt. Of course I'm kidding, I don't have any friends called Priscilla. I went to Agricultural College with someone who had the last name Biggar. I know, shocking! I really did attend Agricultural College in Nova Scotia. Imagine if Ava Biggar married Harry Butt...

And the best supporting actress Oscar goes to Ava Biggar-Butt for her portrayal of Hannah Mullet in Little Women.

This is getting out of hand, don't even get me started on hairdos.

Or hairdon'ts. I would just like to say that the worst hairdo that I've seen in my life belonged to Björn Ulvaeus (on the looks rather tame in this shot). At least I can't make fun of his last name Ulvaeus (I can barely spell it). Ulva lactuca, the best I can do to demonize Benny's last name, is Latin for sea lettuce. No matter how hard I try, there's nothing funny about sea lettuce. I think Benny needs to stop eating sea lettuce and start putting some ham and bacon on his plate.

It's not just Benny's hair...check out Frida Lyngstad's hairdon't. She's the dark haired Abbomination. I wonder if George Lucas, creator of Star Wars, was an Abba fan. The inspiration for Darth Vader had to come from somewhere. Despite the phallic rumours, I think Frida inspired Darth's helmet head.

These last two images have got me all worked up. I'm thinking about selling my house and moving to Sweden. I should probably fly to Stockholm first, to check things out. I'd best call Scare Canada to book my flight, or I maybe Frida could fly me over in her TIE Fighter.

In any event, I suppose that I'll also have to root around to find an agent to list my home... any suggestions?

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