First name of the author of the present work, a
collection of autobiographical
anecdotes and satirical essays, many characterized
by self-reference, to
explain why each word, including the author's own
first name, is not used.
would you like to have an an eight-syllable moniker
...for a first name?
Reaman-R-E-A-M-A-N might not be
so bad in front
of a common family name, but preceding a mouth mangler
twice as long --
"Niquette-N-as-in-November-I-Q-(pause because most
people cannot remember
how to make a Q)-U-E-double-T-E"? Give me a
Sophistication, I find, is three
Naming one's offspring touches them all,
especially the third.
How strange to observe that decades of noble parental
effort ("doing what's
best for the kids") is preceded by the naming process,
which is often anything
Control of Relationship Tension,
Management of Expectations, and
Conquest of Ego.
One's own name is a whole lot
for one than for one's own parents.
Along about the end of the second
trimester, some people
undergo an ego-meltdown characterized by reckless
disregard for the life-long
consequences about to be imposed upon the unborn.
seize the moment to un-frustrate their own
individuality. One might
only hope (pray, if one knows how) that the mild madness
will pass while
the offspring remains safely in utero.
Or that they choose a sensible
middle name like
Paul. Which reminds me...
|A number of us young engineers
were due for our "6-month
review." One by one, we were summoned to
the department head's office.
My turn finally came that afternoon in
1955. It was my first "performance
appraisal" since college. I closed the
door behind me and occupied
the side chair, still warm.
From behind his desk, Mr.
Stephenson inhaled deeply and
commenced an unctuous speech about the
importance of our company relative
to national interests. Another breath
made our division a vital contributor
to the success of the company. In
words worn glib, he lauded the
accomplishments of our department and
expressed appreciation for the efforts
of my own engineering group "over there in
"Finally," said the
department head with a smile, "in
recognition of your own personal
contributions..." He took a slip
of paper from a folder and handed it to me.
Wow, a raise of $5.00 per
Mr. Stephenson made a
checkmark on a list, then he rose
to his feet and offered me his hand.
"Keep up the good work, Bruce."