Posted by: maureen in sign, name, affection on
May 22, 2012
“Sally, get in the truck,” my superintendent said late one afternoon the summer I worked construction. I was in trouble, and he was about to show me why
Now imagine he would’ve said: “Maureen, get in the truck.” It just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
I loved being called Sally. It felt affectionate. Even, or maybe especially, when the first guy on the crew to arrive at the scene of my accident
invoked it. “Jesus Christ, Sally! What the ----?” he said, terrified at not knowing how to free me from the car in time to save my life. The people in the ambulance, I later learned, told the hospital not to bother getting anything ready. There would be no need.
But I digress.
Calling the broody and somewhat annoying regulars in the cocktail lounge where I waited tables Post Office David and Cappuccino Machine John reminded me this was just one chapter in my life, and things were bound to get better any day. Our family’s had fun regaling each other with stories of Dog Woman, Tool Man, and most especially Pantry Essay Woman. One of my favorite memories of college
features Gas Cap Man and Microphone Man.
We have nicknames for frozen but tasty dinners--Yummy Mush, anyone?--and loud noises around the house that sound more destructive than they are: Nothing Bad Happened.
Maybe you’ve heard Jerry Seinfeld refer to Night Guy and Morning Guy. Night Guy likes to stay out late partying and doesn’t worry about getting to work the next day: “That’s Morning Guy’s problem.”
Nicknames can be aspirational. Only this week I christened someone Open Mind Guy. We shall see. But the grin he gave me when he first heard? It’s a good sign!
Posted by: maureen in wonder, name, laugh on
Jan 24, 2012
What if you could look at mistakes as just information
You’d be in good company. Improv actors, jazz musicians, and even public speakers are at their most entertaining when they look at so-called mistakes as jumping-off points as opposed to, well, mistakes. Nick Morgan
is a public speaking coach with an acting background. He reminded me what I love most about the talk show--the potential to mess up. I’m much more likely to play a clip over and over if it involves a boo-boo. Darrell swoops in, my guest is reassured he doesn’t have to be perfect, and we all have a good laugh.
Speaking of which! I have it from two sources I’m the only person in the history of cartoon watchers to mispronounce Boo-Boo the Bear, friend to Yogi. I got it in my head his name was pronounced like the “bow” in (his) bow tie. “How?” a friend wondered. “How
?” Pause. “It isn’t like you heard someone else
pronounce it that way…”
But I have to ask Darrell every time. Is it bow-bow? Or boo-boo?
You can say that again!